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‘Big Bachi’ Crowdfunding Campaign Launches on Kickstarter

How do World War II, the Hiroshima bombing, a powerful corporation with a secret, a mysterious man from Japan, a runaway girl, and a ghost from the past all connect?

Nobody really knows, but full-time gardener/reluctant detective Mas Arai is on the case.

First Pond Entertainment announces a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign launch for a feature film, “The Big Bachi,” adapted from the acclaimed novel “Summer of the Big Bachi” by Edgar Award-winning author Naomi Hirahara.

The film centers around Japanese American gardener Mas Arai, an atomic bomb survivor, whose past propels him into a noir mystery set in Southern California.

“Diversity” has been the buzzword in Hollywood since the Oscars controversy earlier this year. Still, Asian Americans in the industry continue to be vastly underrepresented. “The Big Bachi,” which will feature Asian Americans in front of and behind the camera, is an opportunity for inclusion but has almost no chance at traditional Hollywood financing. First Pond Entertainment hopes to raise $100,000 through Kickstarter to launch this film.

“The character of Mas Arai from ‘The Big Bachi’ is a conglomeration of people familiar to our tiny production team, each with their own distinct voice and story,” says director Derek Shimoda. “We’re all somehow linked by Mas — three of our fathers were or are still gardeners, two survived the atomic bomb, and so on. This emotional connection encourages us to tell our story in our own words, which is why we’re so eager to collaborate on ‘The Big Bachi.’”

Shimoda’s credits include “June Bride: Redemption of a Yakuza” and “The Killing of a Chinese Cookie.”

The screenplay is by Mark Tasaka (“Dance Moms”) and the producers are Oliver Ike (“Emoticon”) and Koji Steven Sakai (“#1 Serial Killer,” “The People I’ve Slept With”).

Hirahara’s other Mas Arai mysteries are “Gasa-Gasa Girl,” “Snakeskin Shamisen,” “Blood Hina,” “Strawberry Yellow,” and “Sayonara Slam.” She based the character on her later father.

She has also launched the Officer Ellie Rush mystery series with “Murder on Bamboo Lane” and “Grave on Grand Avenue.”

The script for “The Big Bachi” was recently accepted in the second round of the Sundance Screenwriters Lab.

The Kickstarter campaign ends Friday, Nov. 4.

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