BY Kenneth Harvey
February 24 2010 12:25 PM ET
Have you received donations so far?
Miyazaki: We’ve been going around town in Burbank, mostly, and we got everything donated by local businesses for our bible. We’ve been very fortunate and have decided to make it a bit more artistic. Our presentation package is not just a print, staple, and go. It’s handmade, original work.
What was your childhood like?
Miyazaki: I started singing when I was 11 years old. All my teenage life I did that and I acted and danced. In undergrad I studied fine arts, dance, and music. This film is the ultimate conclusion of everything I did in my past. We’ve been working very hard to find the right editors, the right sound designers, people who understand where I come from, my visual style.
Is the film going to be in English or Japanese?
Miyazaki: The film will be in Japanese. The festivals we’re trying to submit the film to are obviously not going to be Japanese-speaking, but with a lot of Japanese films now, they hardly ever make films with an Osaka accent. Osaka is the second capital of Japan, and we have a very long traditional theater culture not many people know about. As an artist from Osaka I wanted to keep true to the story.
You mentioned Proposition 8 earlier — can you elaborate on your feelings about marriage equality?
Miyazaki: As human beings, we should all have equal rights. I thought California would be the place to set a standard of equality, but it’s really frustrating to see how things have turned out in the end. I’m bisexual, so anything I can do to support, I try to be there.
Peerali: Whether it is the confines of religion or tradition and culture, those are things that restrict love. I’ve noticed those things have to do with somebody else’s idea of how you should be, and that’s why a young adult or teenager dealing with sexuality issues is affected. It’s hard enough to be a minority, let alone have such infrastructures as the church and state or your family imposing on you feeling true to yourself. In this film it’s specifically a certain culture, a time in history — we wanted to show there was a moment where a person could feel truest to themselves despite all that.
What kind of experience is Tsuyako going to give audiences?
Peerali: It’s going to be a sensory experience.
Miyazaki: The structure of where everyone is working is dark, everyone is sweating, and the sound of the machinery is actually going to be a big part of our film. It shows what Tsuyako is feeling as the air compressor spits out air.
What is Tsuyako’s message?
Peerali: It’s hard enough to find true love. Why repress it if it’s going to be with a man, woman, transsexual, or whoever you fancy? If you find that with someone, embrace it.
Miyazaki: This is a love story, and the themes apply to everyone. One of the girls could be a guy and that could be a beautiful love story as well. My film has no boundaries.