"Queer Japan" Post-Production

$1,925 of $39.4k goal

Raised by 36 people in 15 days
Graham Kolbeins  LOS ANGELES, CA

Queer Japan is a documentary film with a mission to amplify the voices of LGBTQ+ people in Japan. Last year, thanks to a Creative Artist Exchange fellowship from the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission and a successful Kickstarter campaign, we spent 5 months shooting over 100 interviews in locations across Japan. Now, we need your help to edit that mountain of footage into a 2-hour documentary film, along with web videos, a zine, and a photo book featuring extended interview texts.



Your donation will fund the post-production of Queer Japan, helping us share the stories of these unique, brave LGBTQ+ individuals with viewers around the world. From activists and manga artists to drag queens, dancers, and politicians, the participants in this documentary lead inspiring lives and their stories are vital in a world that frequently ignores them. Your contribution also directly supports the queer community in Japan: we’ll donate 10% of the funds raised to five excellent non-profit organizations featured in the film.


In order to complete Queer Japan in time for 2018 festivals, we’re aiming to raise our post-production budget by May 30th. Please help us spread the word and reach our goal! Having had the pleasure of meeting the incredible participants in this film and capturing their stories, we’re excited to pass those stories on to audiences around the globe. Your support in that process means the world to us.


Non Profit Organizations servicing the LGBTQ+ community who will benefit from your donation:

community center akta / コミュニティーセンター akta
Cross-Border Café / クロス・ボーダー・カフェ
Deaf LGBT Center in Osaka / ろうLGBTセンター 大阪
dista (MASH Osaka) / dista(MASH大阪)
Good Aging Yells / グッド・エイジング・エールズ

Crew / スタッフ

Director/editor: Graham Kolbeins / グレアム・コルビーンズ
Producer: Hiromi Iida / 飯田ひろみ (HIROMEDIA8)
Co-writer: Anne Ishii / 石井アン
Lead translator: Jocelyne Allen / ジョセリン・アレン
Additional interpretation: Sho Akita / 秋田祥
Cinematographer: John Roney / ジョン・ローニー
Still photographer; Hiroyuki Takenouchi / 竹之内祐幸
Assistant editor (Tokyo): Kyle McCloskey / カイル・マクロスキー
Original score: Will Wiesenfeld (Geotic) / ウィル・ウィーゼンフェルド

Main cast / キャスト

Vivienne Sato / ヴィヴィアン佐藤
Hiroshi Hasegawa / 長谷川博史
Tomato Hatakeno / 畑野とまと
Sumiko Nogi / のぎすみこ
Gengoroh Tagame / 田亀源五郎
Atsushi Matsuda / 松田篤史
Akira The Hustler / ハスラーアキラ
Rokudanashiko / ろくでなし子

Fumino Sugiyama / 杉山文野
Gon Matsunaka / 松中権
Leslie Kee / レスリー・キー
Masaki Matsumoto / 松本政輝
Junko Mitsuhashi / 三橋順子
Kaoru Aoyama / 青山薫
Lily Taiga / 大河りりぃ
Tetsuro Onitsuka / 鬼塚哲郎
ZIN / ジン
Akiko Hori / 堀あきこ
Margarette / マーガレット
Shimone Fukayuki / シモーヌ深雪
Saeborg / サエボーグ
Chiga Ogawa / 小川チガ
Aya Kamikawa / 上川あや
Hideki Sunagawa / 砂川秀樹
Yuka Miyagi / 宮城由香
Kyuun / キューン
Kiyo Nakamura / 中村キヨ

Budget breakdown / 予算内訳

Personnel (editor, producer, co-writer, translation team) / 人件費: $15,000
Post-production equipment (dedicated editing PC, 4K monitor) / 編集専用機材費: $2,500
Physical goods (production of DVDs, zines, books) / DVD・小冊子・写真集等の現物: $6,225
Licensing (music and news footage) / 楽曲・ニュース映像等使用許諾料: $3,500
Original score / オリジナル楽曲制作費: $1,500
Additional shooting in Japan / 日本での追加撮影費: $3,200
Festival distribution costs / 映画祭出品料: $1,500
Crowdfunding fees / クラウドファウンディング手数料: $2,500
NPO donations / NPO団体寄付: $3,500
Total post-production budget / 総額: $39,425

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Update 1
Posted by Graham Kolbeins
14 days ago
Wow, what a fantastic first day!! Thanks to your contributions, we've raised over $1000 in the first 24 hours. Backers, I can't thank you enough for jumping in on day one and giving this project your support.

Anne and I are hard at work preparing for Queers & Comics, an academic conference celebrating LGBTQ+ comic arts, which will be held at California College of the Arts in Oakland, CA this Friday and Saturday. If you can make it out, please join us for our panel discussions on queer manga, where I'll be showing short excerpts of new footage from Queer Japan (about 8 minutes total). We interviewed a number of gay, lesbian, and straight manga artists for Queer Japan, and I can't wait to share some of that material!

One of the documentary's main subjects, Gengoroh Tagame, will also be a keynote speaker at the Queers & Comics conference. Come meet him in person! Full details on the conference here: queersandcomics.cca.edu/2017schedule

More updates and photos coming soon! Follow us on social media @QueerJapan and please, help us spread the word about this campaign.

Thank you!!
<3 Graham
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$1,925 of $39.4k goal

Raised by 36 people in 15 days
Created April 9, 2017
Eric Arroyo
1 hour ago
George Aoyama
3 days ago
Sarah Green
3 days ago

This looks fascinating, I can't to see it!

Stephen Miller
4 days ago

Hang in there, Graham! I can't wait for the final product. Perhaps I can use it in my "Queer Japan in Literature and Culture" course that I teach quite often. Best, Stephen

Benjamin Steinsieck
4 days ago
Nicole Bracco
6 days ago

This looks gorgeous! Hope you do really well on your documentary, cheers from Brazil <3

James Catterall
6 days ago
7 days ago
Robb Carnes
11 days ago


Aaron Aldorisio
11 days ago

Can't wait to see the finished product!

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