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30th JSC Award

"Kujirabito" Bon Ishikawa

A documentary about people living in the village of La Marera, Indonesia, while continuing traditional whaling for 400 years. La Marera village with a population of 1500 on a small island in Indonesia. Residents value each other's harmony above all else, pray for gratitude for the blessings of nature, and live while keeping their legends. Among them, the whale harpoon fishermen called "Ramafa" are the most respected. With a small handmade boat and a harpoon, they risk their lives and challenge a giant sperm whale. In 2018, Benjamin, one of the Ramafa, died during whaling. While people are deeply saddened, his father, Ignasius, who is a master of boat making, decides to rebuild the traditional boat as a symbol of family unity. A year later, their boats row into the ocean for unseen whales. Directed by Bon Ishikawa, a photographer and filmmaker who has been chasing the people of La Marera for 30 years as a life work, based on the images taken from 2017 to 2019. Delicate and immersive images of the daily lives of the people of La Marera village who live with nature.

It was praised for contributing to the theme and aim of the work as well as excellent shooting technology.

Movie "Kujirabito"

113 minutes / Vista / September 3, 2009 Theatrical release

Distribution / Unplugged Production Bonfilm

Director / Shooting / Bon Ishikawa  2nd shooting Naohiro Yamamoto Editing / Koichi Atami  Sound / Yukio Hokari youtube notice url

 Bon Ishikawa


For 30 years as a photographer, he has photographed on seven continents around the world with the theme of earth and prayer, from battlefields to surviving whaling.
Taking advantage of that experience, he has been engaged in film production activities in the world as a documentary film director and cinematographer since 2015.
Work history
Documentary film "The Most Beautiful Village in the World" (2017) on the theme of the Great Nepal Earthquake  
Director, shooting
Directed and photographed by "Kujirabito" (2021), which depicts the survival whaling of Indonesia.
(Guam International Film Festival Best Documentary Award, Audience Award, CFK International Film Festival Best Drone Film Award and many others)
On TV, Kansai TV's "Challenge the Giant Whale", which participated in co-directing and marine photography, won the 1997 ATP Documentary Award.
As a photographer, he won the Japan Professional Photographers Society New Artist Award and the Kodansha Publishing Culture Award for his photo book "Kaijin". Received the Photographic Society of Japan Writer Award for "The Days After Memories of the Great East Japan Earthquake".
  In addition, he has written many books such as "Ise Jingu, Relocation and its mystery".

Japanese Society of Cinematographers JSC Award Committee December 2021 Yoshiday

Awards are given to photographers who have demonstrated excellent shooting skills in video works (other than theatrical feature films) .

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