Cinemaleap is one of the most active XR companies in Japan. As a content producer (FEATHER, BEAT, Clap…), organiser of the Beyond The Frame festival and content distributor, it plays a leading role in the promotion and distribution of Japanese XR works. Meeting with Tetsuya Ohashi, founder of the studio, and Lynn Song, producer at Cinemaleap.
Cinemaleap, an XR production, distribution and event studio
Lynn Song – Cinemaleap is a Japanese XR content production and distribution company worldwide. We also import immersive works from all over the world to Japan. We are organising the Beyond The Frame festival in Tokyo, the 3rd edition of which is coming soon. Through this event, we hope to grow the XR community in Japan, encourage new creators. And to give more visibility to the national contents in the world. We are organising workshops and conferences to explain what is possible with these new media, and to build relationships with international companies such as VeeR VR (China) and NewImages (France).
Tetsuya Ohashi – I founded Cinemaleap in 2019 after discovering XR formats a few years earlier, and understanding that it was a new art form in its own right. Initially I organised a VR competition in a short film festival, then conferences, meetings. Today Beyond The Frame is the continuation of this work. In Japan, our creators are not totally familiar with XR; we need to create new opportunities!
Stay in control of your narrative
T. O. – It is important for us to produce our own content, as I want to accelerate this type of productions at the national level where we have many talents and studios capable of creating them. Since 2019 we have produced 3 animated films (FEATHER, CLAP, BEAT) and 1 live-action film (coming soon), but also several AR experiences with real narratives. This is a first step, and we have more VR films to come.
T. O. – In terms of distribution, we work with several companies in the world (Digital Domain, Diversion Cinema …) and we have built up a VR catalogue of content that we offer to theaters or events. We also work with Japanese companies, especially in telecommunications, as a programmer. Unfortunately, there are few places (LBE) likely to host VR. Especially since the Covid-19 crisis, where many cultural venues have closed.
Pushing XR art in Japan
L. S. – There is a real pool of talent in Japan, from directors to animators who are already working on feature films, short films and commercials. These are all resources that we can make available for immersive projects. We also bring in international directors such as Jonathan Hagard (REPLACEMENTS) on our projects. We build our films on the principle of international co-productions to give them full potential.
L. S. – Our work with Jonathan Hagard came naturally, with a Japan-Indonesia co-production because of the subject of the project. We participated in Cinemart at the IFFR in Rotterdam where we also met a French co-producer Floréal Films, which accelerated the development of the project. We will be present in the next months at more events worldwide, including NewImages in June.