Fukuoka has been the setting for many films and television shows, and it is the work of the Fukuoka Film Commission to encourage and facilitate filming in the city. In Japan, many municipalities began establishing film commissions in the early 2000s with the idea that attracting filmmakers can enliven regional cultures and economies and also promote tourism.
Fukuoka established its commission in 2003, and since then, it has assisted in bringing many film and TV crews to the area. Commission staff provide a wide array of support, from helping crews find filming sites and obtain permits to referring them to equipment operators and other potential collaborators. Citizens can also register with the commission for the chance to be an extra.
The Commission not only assists crews whose works are set in Fukuoka, it also helps crews look for certain kinds of locations. To do this, it cooperates closely with the City of Fukuoka and 17 nearby municipalities to find sites suitable of a variety of filming—from commercials to TV dramas to full-length films.
In recent years, Fukuoka has even been the setting for a few foreign productions, including a movie called “Fukuoka” directed by Korean-Chinese director Lu Zhang that was released this spring. The Commission has been able to build ties with renowned directors like Zhang due in large part to the Focus on Asia Fukuoka International Film Festival. This year again, the festival will be the main highlight of Asian Party in September, so don’t miss it!
Originally published in Fukuoka Now Magazine (fn237, Sep. 2018)