Branching Paths: Documentary About Japanese Indies
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Branching Paths: Documentary About Japanese Indies
5 February, 2016

Branching Paths is a new video project about Japanese indie games industry. Japan was the the world’s greatest innovator from the 1980’s to the mid-2000’s, while in recent years, Japanese studios were not ready to take risky projects and couldn’t keep up with advanced technologies. The film explores the subjects and looks into the lives of local indie developers.

During summer 2013, I had the chance to give a talk at CEDEC (Japan’s Computer Entertainment Developers Conference) about what French gamers thought about Japanese games. We polled 6400 people and asked them what they were looking for in Japanese games, and the answers were almost universally «Crazy, free, and indie spirit». Around that time, Yoshiro Kimura of Onion Games approached me about making videos to promote his newly founded studio to overseas audiences.

Anne Ferrero, Director

Branching Paths: independent Japanese development

Many gamers around the world missed those times and the only way to bring them back was for developers to go independent. Japan presents a history of independent creators creating lively communities and for the last couple of years game industry begun to recognize the influence of indie creators.

We ended up creating some prototypes for a video blog series where Kimura would interview indie games developers. I began thinking about finding financing and partnership for this interview series, and showed the prototypes to producers at a production company in Tokyo called Assemblage, who became interested in the project and became partners, supporting it as a full-length documentary about the relatively under-promoted independent development scene in Japan. Ultimately the documentary has been in created bit by bit for the last two years and is near completion.

Anne Ferrero, Director

Branching Paths: independent Japanese development

This documentary answers many questions about the state of independent developers, the price of independence, about the relations with government and many more. The film has not been released yet, but the director believes that the project is nearing completion.


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