Q: Who made the film, and what was it like to make it?

A: The crew was just me and co-director Ana Paula Hirano. This allowed us to become very close to the families in the film, which I think was fundamental to sharing their stories. We got to know them, followed them from Brazil to Japan, and filmed them for many years. We did some of the most powerful interviews at their houses at two in the morning. I think that this intimacy is one of the defining characteristics of the film. Just as much as the filming, though, One Day We Arrived in Japan is the result of what turned out to be a massive editing project – shaping over 150 hours of footage of three families over ten years into a compelling 80-minute film with a coherent and engaging narrative structure. Ana Paula and I did a lot of editing over the years, but after filming was finally complete in 2015, four excellent filmmakers joined the team and made wonderful creative contributions. First, Marlom Meirelles became the film’s creative consultant and co-editor, and together we reviewed all of the footage and edited multiple versions over the course of ten months. Then, co-editor Luelane Corrêa and I collaborated for two months, revising the film and adjusting scenes and transitions frame by frame. Felipe Lacerda, during two intense weeks as editing consultant and finishing editor, helped develop a more compelling narrative structure and improve the film on every level. Finally, Ricardo Cutz did the sound editing and sound mix, and the team at O2 Pós did the image post-production. So, what started as a two-person project became a massive team effort. And hundreds of people from around the world have provided support and advice, for which we are extremely grateful. It has been quite a saga.