Friday, March 18, 2011

New People to Screen "Hula Girls" for Japanese Tsunami Relief


Award Winning Film Set in Fukushima Prefecture Plays On March 26th And Offers A Heartwarming Story That Is A Testament To The Enduring Human Spirit

NEW PEOPLE, the nation’s only entertainment complex dedicated to Japanese popular culture, will present a special screening of director Lee Sang-il’s celebrated film, HULA GIRLS, to raise funds for Japanese earthquake and tsunami relief. HULA GIRLS will screen on Saturday, March 26th at 2:00pm, 4:30pm and 7:00pm. Suggested donations are $10.00 or more per person. NEW PEOPLE is located in the heart of San Francisco’s Japantown at 1746 Post St.

Proceeds from the screenings will be donated to the Northern Japan Earthquake Relief Fund, administered by JCCCNC and Union Bank in San Francisco’s Japantown. More information on the screenings and the work of this relief organization is available at:

A heartwarming film, HULA GIRLS is set in Fukushima prefecture, site of the Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant that was heavily damaged during the recent earthquake and tsunami on March 11th. HULA GIRLS was Japan’s official entry to the 2007 Academy Awards Best Foreign Film category and also won four Japanese Academy Awards the same year including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress.

“The world was stunned by the damage and tragic loss of life from the recent earthquake and we invite audiences to donate to the recovery efforts and attend the screening of this uplifting film that is set in the area of Japan that was affected by the disaster,” says Seiji Horibuchi, president of NEW PEOPLE, Inc. “HULA GIRLS is a moving testament to the indomitable human spirit and we hope its story inspires audiences to contribute to the ongoing relief efforts that are now underway.”

Based on a true story set in 1965, the desolate and declining mining town of Iwaki, located in Fukushima prefecture in Northern Japan, tries to revive itself by building a Hawaiian-themed resort. The featured attraction is to be a hula show, but in this isolated place far from the tropical bliss of Hawaii there are no palm trees or hula dancers. In fact, no one knows how to do the dance or even knows what the hula is! The town leaders invite a dance instructor from Tokyo to teach the local minors' daughters how to hula, but conservative townspeople are initially resistant to the provocative dance. The skepticism and conservatism of the locals is gradually overcome as their daughters fall under the spell of the talented and determined dance instructor from Tokyo.

Once a leading performer, the instructor at first looks down on the coal miners and their amateurish daughters, but the girls’ sincere dedication gradually rekindles a passion in her. Each dealing with their own harsh lives, the local girls find a new lease on life and, for the first time, support in their friendships as they absorb the essence of hula dancing. The film has been praised as an enchanting story of women who take once-in-a-lifetime chances to escape their monotonous lives, only to become unwitting heroes to their depressed mining town as well as the whole of Japan.

About NEW PEOPLE, Inc.
Based in San Francisco, California, NEW PEOPLE, Inc. ( offers the latest films, art, fashion and retail brands from Japan through its unique entertainment destination as well as through licensing and distribution of selective Japanese films. NEW PEOPLE Entertainment (, a film division of NEW PEOPLE, Inc. strives to offer the most entertaining motion pictures straight from the "Kingdom of Pop" for audiences of all ages, especially the manga and anime generation, in North America. Some titles include DEATH NOTE, GANTZ, KAMIKAZE GIRLS, and THE TASTE OF TEA.

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