The annual Trails In Motion Film Festival world tour has announced an expansion of the already successful tour of Japan to include 16 events in 2016.
Since 2014, when the festival was first presented to the international trail running community, longstanding host Kensuke Tanaka of Japanese adventure company staticbloom Inc. believed that the investment made in growing the tour among the Japanese running community is a worthwhile endeavor to encourage the growth of the sport in the country.
"In Japan almost all trail runners participate in the sport mainly through racing," says Tanaka. "It is great to compete and travel to join trail races, but trail running is not necessary all about racing. To expand the community's view of the sport we believe it's important for people to see these films in order for them to see how others get involved, how they commit to the sport outside of racing and how they evaluate their own running."
Photo | Kamoshika Sports
With a healthy trail and ultra running community already existing in Japan, coupled with a handful of internationally renowned events, the expansion of the local film festival tour seeks to cater for a combination of both the avid trail runner as well as the new comer to the sport.
"Although the Japanese trail and ultra running community is growing, the growth is slow," continues Tanaka. "There is a core group of enthusiasts that would like to see more trail running content translated into Japanese, however there is a shortage of this. Because we offer Japanese subtitles on all the Trails In Motion Film Festival films, we believe it's a unique opportunity to attract new audiences and further expand the tour in years to come, offering an entertaining outlet for those passionate about the sport as well as for those in other regions of the country looking to start out."
Photo | Kamoshika Sports
Trails In Motion Film Festival tour director James Hallett elaborates on the current structure of the tour in Japan and why Tanaka’s role has been so effective:
"staticbloom INC. have been extremely vigilant in seeking venues that are rooted in trail running communities all around Japan. Local retailers make up the majority of these venues which offers not only a great community building exercise but also an additional experience to runners seeking advice on gear, training etc. And with the Nanashigure Mountain Trail Festival in both Iwate and Morioka, as well a screening hosted by popular media platform Mountain Sports Network forming part of the itinerary, Kensuke and his team will get to present this year's film line up across a broad spectrum of locations."
Cities included in the 2016 Japanes tour include Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya, Fujiyoshida, Iwate, Morioka, Hachinohe, Kofu, Matsuyama,Yokkaichi and Osaka. For more information visit www.staticbloom.co.jp/trailsinmotion.