Roger Pulvers Visits Seattle for US Premiere of his Film Star Sand

On Friday, January 17, internationally renowned author, playwright, director, and translator Mr. Roger Pulvers, joined by Mr. James Taylor, Director of the Seattle Wine and Film Festival, met with Consul General Yamada. Mr. Pulvers was on a special visit to Seattle for the US premiere of his Japanese film, Star Sand, which headlined the Festival (January 18 & 19) hosted at the Hengst Art Gallery, located in the historic Old Rainier Brewery.

Left to Right: Mr. James Taylor, Consul General Yamada, Mr. Roger Pulvers
(Photo courtesy of John Cornicello)

On Saturday, January 18, representatives from the Consulate attended a special black-tie gala. Attendees enjoyed wine, hors d’oeuvres, a concert by classical guitarist Matt Palmer and a private screening of Star Sand.  An engaging Q&A session with Mr. Pulvers followed the film. Star Sand is based on his original novel of the same title, and Mr. Pulvers also wrote the screenplay and directed the movie. Through his film and commentary, Mr. Pulvers shared his profound insight on the culture of Japan and Okinawa, where the story is set.

Classical guitarist Matt Palmer performing at the black-tie gala
(Photo courtesy of John Cornicello)

Post-screening Q&A with Mr. Pulvers
(Photo courtesy of John Cornicello)

On Sunday, January 19, Consul General Yamada attended the festival for both another screening of Star Sand and an equally interesting Q&A session by Mr. Pulvers following the film (See our Facebook post).

Consul General Yamada & Mr. Pulvers at the US premiere of Star Sand

An added bonus during Mr. Pulvers’ brief visit to Seattle was a lecture on January 21 at the Japanese Cultural & Community Center of Washington State, where he shared his thoughts on “Why the World Needs Japan More Than Ever.” He placed a strong emphasis on the potentially significant roles Japan can play in the world from both cultural and geopolitical perspectives.

Sr. Consul Takeshi Murazawa (Left) & Mr. Roger Pulvers (Right) at JCCCW on January 21

Mr. Pulvers’ ties to and strongfeelings for Japan run deep.  He is a prolific writer in both English and Japanese and has had an expansive career spanning across literature, live theater, documentaries, feature films, radio, and television.  He is perhaps most widely recognized for his work on the film Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence as an assistant to the well-known Japanese director Nagisa Oshima.  In the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011, Mr. Pulvers lent his talent to writing the English lyrics to the symbolic song “Flowers Will Bloom,” which was produced to build public support for the recovery efforts and has become an anthem of hope for the survivors of that tragedy.  In 2018 he was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon for his contribution to foreign language education in Japan and to promoting students’ understanding of science and technology.

Actual star sand* from Okinawa
*Star sand is not really “sand” but is instead pointy remnants of millions of tiny Foraminifera protists
(Photo courtesy of John Cornicello)