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Amy Guggenheim – Filmmaker
Amy Guggenheim is a New York-based writer, director, and producer. She also founded the Global Cinema to promote exchange among filmmakers.
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The list of her works includes stage performances and films that focused on Asian cultures, especially that of Japan. “When I was in the seventh grade, I was fascinated by the simplicity in design and sophisticated culture of Japan. That motivated me to learn more about Japan,” Guggenheim explains. She has visited Japan many times since then. During the course of acquiring more knowledge about the Japanese culture and history, she came across kendo, a Japanese martial art of sword-fighting.
Guggenheim, who has attained the third dan or rank as a kendoist, participated in the Women’s International Kendo Tournament in Tokyo, 2006.
“Kendo starts and ends with a bow. It’s not just a sport. By practicing kendo you have respect as well as sense of appreciation for opponents who fight with all his/her strength. And ultimately, it puts yourself straight. I’ve learned a lot from kendo.”
The film depicts cultural differences between Japan the US through kendo.
The feature film “When Night Turns to Day,” which Guggenheim is currently producing, is based on the spirit and experiences she has learned from kendo. The film is about a Japanese man and an American woman who meet at a kendo class in NYC and later fall in love each other while struggling to fill the gap between two different cultures, which Guggenheim depicts from a woman’s point of view. However, the film is not just about a love story of the two. Guggenheim says that she will also depict young people after the Great East Japan Earthquake, who live with conflicting emotions about life and self-awareness.
Guggenheim is currently preparing for next year’s filming. The film’s premier is scheduled for 2015.