The Short FilmOkinawa Project

The Feature Film

Homesick Blues is a funny, sexy drama about Hiroko, an 18-year-old Japanese girl who runs away to Chicago hell-bent on becoming a blues singer. On the run from immigration agents, Hiroko gets a firsthand education in underground culture from the hustlers and artists she meets on the gritty streets of Chicago. Fighting for her place in the blues scene, a fiery and sensuous voice emerges from Hiroko's cultural confusion. (See The Story.)

Homesick Blues combines a number of elements that position the film for success in the U.S., Japan and international markets: a beautiful young pop singer in the lead role, promising to attract young female and male viewers; a compelling story that combines such proven genres as the coming of age story and the underdog triumph; a distinctive blend of cultural influences that capitalizes on the increasingly international taste of arthouse audiences; and the muscle of an established Japanese production company.

Homesick Blues stars Zoey, a hot young Japanese pop sensation whose debut album was released Jan. 7, 2004 on Columbia Records Japan.

Homesick Blues writer/directors Junko Kajino and Ed M. Koziarski are fixtures in the Chicago independent film scene, having worked in key production positions including director, producer, and production designer on numerous feature films.

Homesick Blues' musical director is Shun Kikuta, a Japanese-born blues guitarist who has risen in the past dozen years to the top ranks of Chicago blues musicians. Kikuta has recorded and performed with such blues luminaries as B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Koko Taylor and Shemekiah Copeland.

Homesick Blues has been awarded Panavision's prestigious New Filmmakers Grant, providing a free top-of-the-line camera package and discounted access to laboratory processing for the production, saving tens of thousands of dollars in rental costs and lab fees. The Homesick Blues script was one of only a few scripts chosen from hundreds of applicants to be featured in the emerging narrative section of Independent Feature Project's IFP Market.