Saga Film Project

Local to Global



Local to Global. A filmmaking movement from Saga Prefecuture

Concept 01

Saga Film Project brings community together.

Ever since day 1 of location scouting, a number of SAGA locals have been involved in this project. Begin with Never-give-up Saga film commission, local Japanese tea farmer, seaweed factory, private high school teachers, long-running onsen resort, local hospital, and even boar hunters have pitched in to create this film.

“Let’s make something beautiful together”.
Before we knew it, TSU had become a key to bring the community into “one-team”.

Concept 02

Saga Film Project as a teaching tool.

In Japan, when it comes down to a filmmaking, there’s no opportunities but only in Tokyo where has the access to studios, equipment, and distributions. If you want to become a filmmaker, you’d have to literally move to Tokyo. That’s been a common sense among the professionals for a long time; however, the time has come to change that.

Many of our cast members of TSU had never acted before. Many of our crew members were volunteer high school and university students who had never seen a professional cinema camera. But with instruction and collaboration from a group of Tokyo-based professionals, they have shown a great interest in the film industry and committed themselves to the filmmaking process.
This did more than provide professional and unique experience to locals.
It gave these young students the inspiration to become future filmmakers themselves, the spark that will light the fire of a movement we hope will spread to different rural areas throughout the country, inspiring others like them and letting new films be born.

Concept 03


Saga Film Project as tourism tool.

Every film should be original and unique in some way and TSU is no exception.
By setting the entire film in Saga Prefecture, it is able to offer a glimpse into a different kind of Japanese lifestyle, one where people live in harmony with the oceans, mountains, and abundant nature, where time moves slower than in the big city, and where traditional stories extend their roots from the past to the present and into the future.

And it is the real-life location tour that will bring a lot of tourists into Saga to revitalize the local activities. We hope that this film becomes one of the ways to show off stunning and extraordinary Saga to the rest of the world and attracts the eyes of tourists.


"Tsu" means scab in the Saga dialect. “TSU”is a coming-of-age story centered on Yuki, a high school student living in rural Japan. As his graduation date looms, expectations transform into frustrations. As the pressure from his challenging university entrance exams and complicated relationship with his family reaches a breaking point, he runs away from it all into the mountains where he finds an independent collective of people who have been living off of the grid for years.

As Yuki sheds the trappings of his old life and gains wild new experiences, he learns a valuable lesson: it is only after you have lost everything that you are free to do anything. By emptying himself of the expectations others have placed upon him, Yuki is able to take his first steps into a new life.

Unlike similar stories, Yuki doesn't win anything. He doesn't have a magnificent triumph. He runs away, gets hurt, and loses more and more until there is nothing left to lose. It is at that moment that he finds true independence. It is at his lowest point that he opens himself up to the greatest change. He can do anything and become anyone.



Ü Inose


Ü is a Tokyo-based film director who has over ten years of experience working on international productions. After studying film production at California State University, Northbridge, Ü started his career as an intern at Anonymous Content, working under Alejandro González Iñárritu.

He has always taken pride in broadening his horizons by exploring new cultures and meeting new people from around the world. These experiences have played a major part in his creative thinking process and visual diversity. The experience of working on countless projects from all over the world and seeing situations through different people’s eyes has given him a special ability to achieve a perfect balance between logistical efficiency and an artistic approach. His goal as a visual storyteller is to deliver films that linger in the minds of the viewers.

Toru Kasahara

Chief Producer

Director of Halenohi Co., Ltd. After moving to Saga Prefecture, in 2015 he opened a photo studio, Halenohi Yanagimachi Photo Studio, in a renovated 100-year-old traditional house.

In Japan and overseas Toru photographs weddings, family photos, advertisements, etc. His idea is to make the world happy by what a small photo studio can create, based on the idea that, "both the countryside and the city have their own identity" and "everyone and every family has value”. The origin of the photo studio is to document the history of the people who live in the town through photographs. At the same time, the studio will also work as a medium to widely disseminate the charm of the city and people to the world through visual production of photos and videos. His publications include, “Doing Creative Work In Local Areas”. and feature film “SAGA LAND”.


Banki Yamashita

Sena Nishitani

Yuzuki Yamada

Seitaro Ishibashi

Tetsu Hasegawa

Sayo Otsubo

Shunsaku Mayama

Seishiro Takaoka

Yamato Kamiyama

Mieku Aohana

Devkota Bishnu

Syuei Aoyagi

Naoya Tsukiyama


Kai Koga

Yuri Ide

Sota Katafuchi



"Why did we make this film now?" I think this film came about because of the changes in our lives during the pandemic. Doing things remotely, staying home, social distancing.... It was a time when we had the opportunity to reevaluate what had been "normal", and we had to take a step back and remove ourselves from obsessing over the continuous economical growth, which had been adding stress to our lives for so long.

I believe that many people made new discoveries in themselves during this abnormal time. People found things that did not seem necessary but were actually good for them, changed jobs, and recognized who were really important to them. It seems to me that the pandemic was a time when "realizations" that were not possible in the midst of countless clutter and time has slowed down for people to think in more refined way.

In that sense, this film is a product of the pandemic. The film itself is also a work of detachment - a clumsy but straightforward piece of work, filled with the pathos (passion) of youth with minimal words. I did not use any fancy techniques, but rather I stayed close to the main character and with the backdrop of Saga landscape that was appropriate for him. Moving and working in the city like Tokyo is not necessary - local production for local consumption which people also realized during the pandemic. Doesn't this idea apply for films as well?

Entering the new era, we are plunged into a world of contradiction and chaos, where the balance of what is normal has been disrupted by the pandemic, and we are thrown into the fray. It is okay to be wounded, defeated, and become empty. Because that is where it all begins again. Defeat is an end, but also a beginning. As long as there is passion, there is no beginning and no end. I would like young people to see this work because it contains this important message. This film is scattered with hints for "what to do from now on?" I hope it will help you take that first step.


Ü Inose