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For the forest of 100 years in the future: The Hidakuma Brand Film 2020 is complete! Behind the scenes of the shoot

This 2020 Hidakuma Brand Film shows the forest as it is today.

The Hidakuma Brand Film for 2020 is complete. It asks, “What can we do now for the Hida forest of 100 years in the future?” Hear the thoughts of various people involved with Hidakuma alongside beautiful background images of Hida.
Filmmaker Benjamin (Ben) Boult is a director, cinematographer, and camera operator based in Brooklyn, New York. In July 2019, he spent two days in Tokyo and one week in Hida where he met with Hida locals, carrying out interviews and filming from morning until nightfall. The five-minute film, constructed from carefully selected images of Hida, encapsulates Hida as it is today along with the thoughts and feelings of those involved with Hidakuma.
This article features comments from Ben and camera assistant Yuta Kuronuma from Loftwork and goes behind the scenes of the shoot.

《Hidakuma Brand Film 2020》

Hidakuma // Forests of Japan

Promotional Short // 2020

Director // Producer // Cinematographer // Benjamin Boult
Line Producer // Aya Inoue
Camera Assistant // Yuta Kuronuma
Editor // Harry Shock
Composer // Jordan Plotner
Colorist // Mary Perrino

Benjamin Boult Web: benjaminboult.com

Member’s Voice


The story of Hidakuma is a story of intersections, a search for harmony between forces which appear to be in opposition. Where do environmental sustainability and economic opportunity fit into one another? How does modern technology meld into an art form born from artisanal craftsmanship? When can global collaboration inform local wisdom? How can modern life acknowledge and reflect ancient tradition? It is my hope to convey the playful curiosity which guides this small town’s woodworking cooperative, a curiosity which I hope to carry with me into the world.

Benjamin Boult

Filming was a journey full of encounters with the wonderful people of Hida.
Above all, I want to start by saying a big thank you to everyone who gave their valuable time to help with the making of this film.
Having rarely walked through a forest in recent years, while filming, I was suddenly reminded of the smell of being deep in a forest of broadleaf trees.
It was a rich scent that changed with every step I took, as the freshness of the air mingled with the smells from various trees, plants, organisms dead and living, and the ground.
The producers of these smells were not particularly there for our benefit, but just as we do, were acting naturally as they saw fit without any regard for those nearby, so not everything was as you hoped it would be. However, just like us, it felt like they were sharing their treasures with any parties willing to listen carefully.
For the first time in a while, I felt hopeful that there were many people in Hida with the necessary talent and spirit to share these treasures. It was a great feeling.
I hope that the film, which Ben has constructed from the voices of the people of Hida, will give everyone the chance to experience the Hida’s treasures.

Yuta Kuronuma, Loftwork

A photographic account: behind the scenes of filming.

The train to Hida. Making the journey with all the equipment.

The train conductor at Inotani Station who helped to carry the luggage.

Our first day of filming was at Ibata Interior’s factory. We also filmed Assistant Professor Nick Bruscia and his students from the State University of New York at Buffalo who were staying here at the same time.

The students observe Ibata Interior’s process for bending wood.

They allowed us to continue filming after the students have finished.

A commemorative photo with Mr. Ibata, the CEO of Ibata Interiors.

Ben talks to Hidakuma’s Takeshi Matsumoto about forestry and the initiative at Hidakuma. Filming continues until late in the evening.

A workshop held by basket weaving artist Ms. Tsukuda as part of the student’s study program.

Filming examples of Kumiki joinery and tools at the Hida Crafts Museum (Hida no Takumi Bunkakan)

Children gather around the koi pond while Ben films the koi.

Hidakuma’s Chairperson Chiaki Hayashi, who originally asked Ben to make the film, is pleased to see him again.

Filming Mr. Tanaka the carpenter at work.

Mr. Tanaka shows what he made in the workshop.

A commemorative photo with Mr. Tanaka.

Nishino sawmill factory.

A commemorative photo with Mr. Nishino.

Hida City’s community development seminar forester training takes place in the rain.

When the day’s training was over, people took part in the filming.

A commemorative photo with Mr. Stricker, the Forester.

Yawaiya Folk-Art Store.

Beautiful fields spread out in front of Yawaiya Folk-Art Store.

A commemorative photo with Mr. Asakura, the owner of Yawaiya Folk-Art Store.

Mr. Tanizawa, from Hiramekido which was under construction at the time of filming, also took part in filming.

As well as Mr. Tanizawa, we also got to meet Mr. Watanabe, the carpenter working on Hiramekido.

Soba restaurant Yasuke became Ben’s favorite lunch spot.

Special Thanks!!

We would like to give our heartfelt thanks to Ben and everyone involved in making this film along with all of the locals who participated in filming.
We hope that this film will reach as many people as possible.

At Mt.Anbo.