Editor Note: Hamish has another in his series of Five Questions With…

Hamish came up with this idea because he was accumulating too much material for his Famous News Sushi column and asked if he could do these mini-interviews. Why would we say no?

Thank you Hamish for being such a trooper for us. We really appreciate all fo your hard work.

Let us know what you think of these interviews in the comments below.


TGG: Thanks for agreeing to this interview today. Could you introduce yourself to our readers?

CR: I’m Canadian and I grew up in Athabasca, Fort McMurray and Saskatoon. I went the University of Saskatchewan (B.A. and J.D.). I have spent 25 years in Japan in Matsumoto, Nikko, Karuizawa, Sapporo, Kobe and Tokyo among other places. Since completing a Master’s degree in law (LL.M.) at Hokkaido University in 2000 I have worked in Tokyo as a legal translator and lawyer.

TGG: Chris is an executive producer of previous interviewee Darryl Wharton-Rigby’s film “Stay”. Could you tell us about “Stay” and your involvement in the film?

CR: Stay was shot in 2014 and I was not involved in the production, but I have been very involved in the post-production which has been a tough but rewarding experience with Stay having just received its tenth festival laurel. I came on board in 2015 when I did some legal work with the film and stayed in touch with the director and writer, Darryl Wharton Rigby. He approached me to invest in the film and become a producer when the film was accepted for the Urbanworld Film Festival in New York in 2017. Since then I have been representing the film and trying to get to the goal line of commercial release. We have an international distribution deal but we are still looking for a distributor in Japan.

I got involved with Stay because it is one of the rare films to really show what it is like to live in Tokyo and also has a cool story about love and addiction and I think the taboo around recovery from addiction in Japan needs to be changed. I was greatly honored to represent Stay at the Dances with Film Festival in Los Angeles in 2018.

TGG: We have a lot of indie filmmakers who read this website. If there’s one thing that all indie filmmakers need to know before making their film, what would that be?

CR: Producing an independent film involves getting over some many hurdles, so a filmmaker has to have a great belief in and passion for the story and subject matter.

TGG: You’re also a Tobacco Control Advocate. How did you get into that, and what are the issues that face Japan?

CR: I was a smoker for many years before I quit and I first came to consider the problem of tobacco when I went to Cambodia in 2015. Cambodia is ranked among the top countries in the world for passive smoking protection by the World Health Organization and I was surprised that unlike Japan I was not bothered by smoking in Cambodia. I began to research and write on the topic and then in 2017 I organized the group, Smoke Free 2020 Tokyo Olympics on Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter.

As a result of the government involvement in the tobacco industry through Japan Tobacco, Japan has one of the worst records on tobacco control and the result is a heavy burden for health and the environment.

TGG: Finally, can you let us know how we can best support you?

Please like Stay on Facebook:

And follow us on Twitter, @StayMotionPic and Instagram, @staymotionpic

TGG: Thanks for agreeing to be interviewed. I’m really looking forward to seeing “Stay” released soon!

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