Documentary Update. David Schendel and his 5 crew members shot film between October 31 and November 3 for our documentary Profiles in Courage and Compassion. Filming took place at four locations: the JACL Hall, the Buddhist Temple, Ricketts Lab on Cannery Row, and the Tor House in Carmel. On November 4, Schendel's crew traveled to film an interview at Ed Ricketts, Jr.'s Mill Valley home. With one more important interview remaining with descendants of a cannery worker in the 1940s, we will have completed fifteen interviews. Schendel will then be ready with film in the can to move on to the editing phase. So we are getting closer to our timetable targets: first cut in May of 2017 and premiere showing in September.
The Crew. L-R: Sitting, Ilya Chegodar, 1st assistant camera; Greg Sumner, producer; Standing: Sarah Chang, production assistant; John Honore, director of photography; David Schendel, director & producer, Bill Roden, gaffer.
Geoffrey Dunn, historian, providing context and insights about public opinion favoring and opposing the return of Japanese Americans for resettlement after WWII to the Monterey Peninsula. Photo taken at the Buddhist Temple in Seaside.
John Hudson's mother, Margaret Allan Hudson signed the 1945 petition. His grandfather, A.M. Allan, was partners with Gennosuke Kodani in their enterprise, the Point Lobos Canning Company, located at Whalers Cove. Here John comments on why his mother supported the petition drive and his memories of the Kodani family. Photo taken in the Tor House garden.
Francis "Skip" Lloyd, a descendant and retired attorney living in Carmel, comments on how war can influence public mood. Skip also offered thoughts about why his father, Francis L. Lloyd, was inclined to sign the petition. Photo taken at Ricketts Lab on Cannery Row.
Larry Oda Receives JACL Ruby Pin Award. In April of 2016, Tsuneo Larry Oda was honored by the national JACL as a recipient of the Ruby Pin award. The Ruby Pin is the JACL's highest award given to members who have made exceptional contributions to JACL and society at great personal sacrifice.
A third generation Monterey resident, Larry has served two terms as national president of the JACL and a term as vice president for General Operations. He is a current board member and former chapter president of the Monterey JACL and served as general chair for the 36th biennial national JACL convention. In 2007, he was a member of the prestigious Japanese American Leadership Delegation to Japan, a program to further U.S.-Japan leadership ties. In 2012, Larry was a member of a JACL delegation that delivered relief funds to residents of the Sendai-Tohoku region recovering from a devastating tsunami.
From 2014 to the present, Larry has actively participated in the Kakehashi Project enabling young Americans to travel to Japan to build cross-cultural bridges. He is currently employed in management by the City of Salinas, CA, remains active in community affairs, and has authored Seaside Canning Company and the Oda Family History.
Congratulations, Larry, on your JACL Ruby Pin award.
Documentary filming has launched. On June 22-23, 2016, David Schendel was in Monterey to film our first descendant-interview with Howard Brunn, a Carmel resident whose parents signed the petition welcoming back Japanese Americans from the internment camps. The location for this filming was the JACL Hall stage and the background setting, arranged by Larry Oda, consisted on shoji screens and bonsai plants kindly provided by master sensei, Katsumi Kinoshita. Following the Brunn interview, Schendel interviewed Tim Thomas and filmed Tim's discovery of the original petitions with 434 signatures. While in town, Schendel visited the Buddhist Temple where he was kindly hosted by Akemi Ito. Schendel also toured the Tor House, a famous stone house built by Robinson Jeffers, a famous poet and petition signator. David scouted these two sites as possible locations for future documentary shoots. All in all, great interviews, nice screen-grabs, and a productive start for our documentary project.
JACL/HP Receives Grant. JACL/HP was awarded a $10,000 grant from CA Humanities with a matching grant from the Go For Broke Foundation. The grant will help fund a film project, Monterey: Profiles in Courage and Compassion (M:PCC) that is tied to some recently discovered documents in the Heritage Project's archives. The documents are original petitions signed by citizens of the City of Monterey who welcomed Japanese families back to Monterey after the last internment camps were shuttered in 1945. Barbara Watanabe, former vice president of strategic advancement for the Go for Broke National Education Center (GFBNEC) secured the grant and will provide continuing advice and guidance as project director.
As currently planned, the Heritage Project will interview descendants of petition signators and preserve this story in a 26-minute video. Tim Thomas, a member of both the Heritage Project committee and JACL board, discovered the petition documents in the CJAH archives. Tim and Carolyn McCombs are project co-managers for M:PCC and will be assisted by the Heritage Project committee and a project advisory group.
Barbara Watanabe and GFBNEC also helped to secure a grant from the National Park Service's Japanese American Confinement Sites (JACS) Grant Program for 2016. This grant will bring together ten communities chronicling human experiences during the World War II era that involved citizens who offered a helping hand to Japanese Americans. The ten communities are: Monterey, CA; Oberlin, OH; Chicago, IL; Peoria, IL; St. Paul, MN; Rochester, MN; Truchas, NM; Kingsburg, CA; Honolulu, HI; and Salem, OR. Each community will tell its story based on graphics, documents, and artifacts. This 10-community project will also entail a traveling exhibit built around historical context, WWII events, and interactive displays that explain the many challenges that faced Japanese American communities during WWII.
Videographer/Editor. Following an exhaustive search of several highly qualified videographers, CJAH selected David Schendel of Schendel Films in San Francisco, CA as the filmmaker for our film project Monterey: Profiles in Courage and Compassion. David will direct, shoot and edit our 26-minute documentary. Born in Massachusetts and raised in Minnesota, Schendel has long pursued an evolving and successful career in the arts and film. A graduate of the University of Washington School of Drama, Schendel honed his creative talents by focusing on classical theater, directing and filmmaking. David's film portfolio includes his award-winning Yank Tanks (2002) which has screened at several film festivals, on PBS, and the Sundance Channel. His recent film, The Comedy Club (2015), documents the history of stand-up comedy at the famous venue, Cobb's Comedy Club, in San Francisco. At the 2016 Cinema at the Edge (CATE) film festival in Los Angeles, The Comedy Club, directed by Schendel, received the jury award for best documentary.