Hirokazu Koreeda and some other Japanese directors said Tuesday they have established a group to push for the creation of an organization to improve the working environment in the domestic film industry amid increasing cases of harassment allegations.
The group is seeking to establish a specialized organization similar to France's National Centre for Cinema and the Moving Image, which provides various types of support to the industry by collecting a portion of revenue from box-office sales and distribution rights.
"I believe that the industry should work as one to create a mutual support system before moving toward partnership with the public sector," Koreeda told a press conference at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan in Tokyo.
The directors plan to approach relevant government ministries and industry bodies with the proposal to establish a Japanese version of France's CNC or South Korea's Korean Film Council.
The group also revealed draft guidelines aimed at preventing harassment in the industry such as not allowing directors to work with actors alone, including for auditions, and establishing that both directors and actors are on equal footing when filming scenes involving violence or sexual acts.
"We understand that we have allowed harassment and violence by directors, producers and other power structures within the industry to go unaddressed," said director Atsushi Funahashi at the press conference. "This should change throughout the industry."
Fellow director Yukiko Sode said that "the film industry is a man's world and there are no women in decision-making positions because we cannot work while raising children," adding that she could not continue working after she gave birth to her first child.
"When I gave birth to my second child, I did not tell anyone (about it) until I found a nursery school six months later," Sode said.
The group has been discussing such issues since 2020.
"It's impossible to envision a future for those working long hours in low-paying film production sites," another member Nobuhiro Suwa said. "While some film companies are benefitting, others continue to be dealt with lower budgets."