The Unseen Festival, Program 5: Furusato, Monday, September 25, 2017, 7:30pm

T H E  U N S E E N  F E S T I V A L

Join us on Monday, September 25, 7:30pm for Program 5 of the Unseen Festival: Furusato. The evening features Thorsten Trimpop’s Furusato and leads off with Shunsaku Hayashi’s Railment. The evening kicks off with a reading curated by Marcia Douglas, featuring Courtney M. Morgan, Awon Atuire, and Jovan Mays.

Railment, by Shunsaku Hayashi. 2016. 10 min.

Railment, by Shunsaku Hayashi, is a continuous scenery where physical movement stays in the same position. Speed of continuity and movement accelerate and gradually cause a distortion. 2016. 10 min.

Shunsaku Hayashi (b.1992) is a Japanese artist mainly working on painting, animation and experimental film. He studied at Goldsmiths, University of London as a trainee under the Japan Cultural Ministry Abroad Research Fellowship for up-and-coming artists from 2012 to 2015. His recent animation REMEMBER won Golden Horseman for Animated Film at 28th FILMFEST DRESDEN, and it was shortlisted for several international competitions.






Furusato, by Thorsten Trimpop. 2016. 94 min.

In Furusato, by Thorsten Trimpop, a small town in Fukushima’s exclusion zone searches for normalcy after the world’s biggest nuclear catastrophe since Chernobyl. A teen rocker, a media-savvy activist, a conflicted TEPCO engineer, and a female horse breeder cope with the loss of their homes and the unseen danger of radiation. Each faces a crucial decision: to stay or to go? “Furusato,” or “hometown,” is an unsettling portrait of daily life amid an ongoing cataclysm, one with repercussions far beyond Japan’s shores. Furusato reveals a way of life that has taken hold amid tremendous uncertainty and risk, in a place rarely seen and often misunderstood. Culminating in a samurai horse race with a thousand-year tradition, the film offers a space to reflect on the larger issues of progress, its untold sacrifices, and the true cost of the way we live today.

Thorsten Trimpop is a filmmaker based in Chicago. His new film Furusato, is a human-scale portrait of a small town in Japan’s nuclear exclusion zone. It premiered at DOK Leipzig, where it won the grand prize, the Golden Dove, and is now touring film festivals worldwide. His first feature film, The Irrational Remains, premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and won numerous awards. His earlier film and theatre work have been presented at venues as the Locarno Film Festival, The International Film Festival Rotterdam, and on European Television. Thorsten taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, and Boston University. From 2014–17 he was a fellow at MIT Open Documentary Lab. He is currently an Assistant Professor at the School of the Art Institute Chicago.

Readers and Reading Curator

Courtney E. Morgan is the author of The Seven Autopsies of Nora Hanneman, published by FC2 in 2017. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Colorado, Boulder, where she has also taught. She is a recipient of the Thompson Award for Western American Writing, and was longlisted for the Diana Woods Memorial Award at Lunch Ticket and Glimmer Train’s Short Story Award for New Fiction. Morgan is the founder and managing editor of The Thought Erotic sexual culture journal and teaches at Lighthouse Writers Workshop and The Gathering Place women’s shelter. She currently lives in Denver with her son and is working on a literary speculative novel.





Awon Atuire is a spoken word artist of the West African oral tradition and a writer. He received his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Colorado Boulder where he is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Comparative Ethnic Studies. His work is grounded in Ghanaian oral poetics and Africana literature.  Awon’s book length manuscript, “The Ladder Gave the Roof its Name” is a collection of short stories and essays.


Jovan Mays is the emeritus Poet Laureate of Aurora, Colorado, a National Poetry Slam Champion, Curator of A Story, a student narrative project in Aurora Public Schools, a TED Speaker, and Director of Your Writing Counts, a youth poetry program throughout the Denver Metro that engages just over 200,000 students annually.




(Photo by Patrick Campbell/University of Colorado)

Marcia Douglas is the author of the novels The Marvellous Equations of the Dread, Madam Fate, and Notes from a Writer’s Book of Cures and Spells, as well as a poetry collection, Electricity Comes to Cocoa Bottom.  Her awards include a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and she is an Associate Professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder.