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July 18, 2011 / California Film Institute Blog

13 Year Old Director Wins Awards for The Catcher on the Shore

Most of us, when we were 13, were in middle school, trying to navigate our way through puberty and move on to high school without doing anything to embarrass or make ourselves stand out too much. Ryugo Nakamura, however, chose a different path. In 2009, Nakamura, then 13, submitted his screenplay for a short film named Goat Walking, was submitted to the short film category for the Okinawa Visitors Drama Competition. The competition, which was open to the public, was held by the Okinawa Convention and Visitors Bureau, the tourism authority for the Okinawa area. Nakamura won.
The screenplay was then developed into a feature length film, and the result is The Catcher on the Shore, which Nakamura both wrote and directed. The film follows Hiroto, a sixth grader from Naha, on the island of Okinawa, as he is sent by his mother to stay with his father and grandparents for the winter at the rural village where they live. The setting is ideal for Hiroto, and provides him and his new friends from the village with many great and diverse places to play. Immediately, he takes a liking to his grandparents’ baby goats. Horrified when he witnesses his grandparents slaughtering one of their goats for dinner, Hiroto proceeds to hatch a plan to save the remaining goat from its imminent demise, fighting what he sees as the backwards conventions and barbarism of the people he is living with.

Director: Ryugo Nakamura

Producer: Yuiche Ide, Sugar Train Inc.

Writer: Ryugo Nakamura, Yuki Yamada, Tsukasa Kishimoto

Cinematography: Akihiko Nitta

Editing: Shiyo Morita

Starring: Munekazu Uehara, Seima Gima, Susumu Taira, Taeko Yoshida, Yayoi Shiroma.

Official website: (Japanese)


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