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by Indiewire
April 2, 2013 10:55 AM
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Project of the Day: From the Japanese Tsunami to the Shores of North America, Objects 'Lost & Found'

Here's your daily dose of an indie film in progress; at the end of the week, you'll have the chance to vote for your favorite.

In the meantime: Is this a movie you’d want to see? Tell us in the comments.

"Lost & Found"

Tweetable Logline:

Come with us on an epic endeavour to reunite objects lost in the Japanese Tsunami that have now been found on the shores of North America.

Elevator Pitch:

Right now an epic endeavour is underway involving 2 continents, 3 countries and the largest body of water on earth. 25 million tonnes of wreckage from Japan’s devastating tsunami drifted into the Pacific Ocean and is washing up on North America’s shores.

The debris, fragments of communities - is evidence of the 15,000 lives lost to the waves. Imagine losing everything entire towns and villages swept away.

Strangers, continents apart, are coming together to salvage the memories amidst the debris. Join us as we travel to Japan to return objects that washed ashore in North America to their rightful owners.

Production Team:

Director - Nicolina Lanni
Director - John Choi
Cinematographer - John Choi
Associate Producer - Lana Gorlitz

About the Production:

"Over a year ago now my partner came to me with the seemingly crazy idea to make a documentary about items lost in the Japanese tsunami that might wash ashore and be able to be retraced to their original owners. I never believed it possible and then a few weeks later the first identifiable object washed ashore.

"I quickly spoke with the person who found the item here in North America and then I spoke with the original owner in Japan. From that moment on we have been following this amazing journey from the front lines."  -- Nicolina Lanni

Current Status:

In production.

For more information and to support this projprect:

Film Website
Crowdfunding Site

Lost & Found - Hot Docs/Doc Ignite social fundraising from John Choi on Vimeo.

If you have an in-the-works project and you'd like to be profiled in an upcoming iW Project of the Day column, submit yourself by filling out this form!


  • Denise LaPrairie | April 8, 2013 9:09 PMReply

    An incredible true story that takes you on a moving journey. Can't wait to see this brilliant work of art. Nicolina Lanni is known for her skills at getting to the heart of the matter.
    I have been out of town and unable to get my vote in on time, I hope my comment may still count as a vote.

  • Anne Marie Hudak | April 8, 2013 7:43 PMReply

    Can't wait to see Lost and Found! I tried to vote earlier but could not find where to vote.
    Please take this note as my vote!
    Anne Marie

  • Bill Brunt | April 8, 2013 5:10 PMReply

    I have been trying to vote for "Lost & Found" but I was unable to find where I was to vote on you web site.

  • Natalie Michael | April 5, 2013 11:05 PMReply

    This looks like a must see doc!! Sounds like an epic journey and inspiring expedition!

  • Dorota Lech | April 5, 2013 6:41 PMReply

    Watching the trailed at The Bloor Cinema was incredibly moving - What a lovely story! What lovely filmmakers! We are so proud to be supporting this film!

    Dorota Lech
    Industry Programs Coordinator at Hot Docs

  • Nanci Lanni | April 5, 2013 11:36 AMReply

    I am really looking forward to seeing this documentary film in its entirety! The cinematography is beautiful, and the idea of the reuniting of the found objects with their owners offers a unique perspective which I believe will be profoundly moving and insightful.

  • Nads | April 5, 2013 12:59 AMReply

    I can't imagine the pain and suffering that those in Japan have experienced. For these victims to be reunited with belongings signifying their loved one would be truly remarkable. Although those lost can't be replaced, may these belongings help bring them peace, hope and closure to such a tragic event. I hope to see this would be a true inspiration.

  • david carrie | April 4, 2013 11:02 PMReply

    make this movie, the trailor was a real tease, i wanna see what happens

  • lucy jefferson | April 4, 2013 9:38 PMReply

    Looking forward to seeing this movie being made!

  • Jenny | April 4, 2013 9:19 PMReply

    I can't wait to see this film made, what an amazing story this will make. For these people to have a piece of their loved ones returned to them is heartwarming,

  • LG | April 4, 2013 12:41 PMReply

    This world of ours isn't as big as it seems. It's projects like these that remind us that we are all connected. I look forward to seeing the finished film! Good luck!
    "Loss makes artists of us all as we weave new patterns in the fabric of our lives." - Greta W. Cosby

  • Jesse | April 3, 2013 11:57 PMReply

    In the face of all the destruction and loss, Lost and Found works to give people back some of what they lost. A plight that would make for an excellent doc. Excited to see the finished product.

  • Aidan | April 3, 2013 6:10 PMReply

    This film shows we are all affected by another's tragedy in some way. It also documents humanity's ability to show resilience, hope and compassion in the face of such destruction. This film is documenting an event that is ongoing and unprecedented. We will be dealing with this for generations to come. I'm sure this will just be one film of many in a series by these talented folks documenting this story.

  • sean | April 3, 2013 5:21 PMReply

    Such an awesome story of human connection. These artifacts are such powerful symbols of natural destruction, but also can take on new meaning of hope and the forging of new unlikely friendships if this project comes to fruition.... really hope to see the finished doc!

  • Kevin | April 3, 2013 3:38 PMReply

    Looks incredible, beautiful and inspiring! Can't wait to see it!

  • P | April 3, 2013 3:20 PMReply

    Very much looking forward to the final product.

  • Chloe | April 3, 2013 3:00 PMReply

    I think this is an incredible, universal story that will connect audiences on a global level. In this fragmented world we live in- this touches on the core of humanity and shared experience. I can't wait to see the final film! Project of the week I say!

  • Elizabeth | April 3, 2013 2:34 PMReply

    Can't wait to watch the film. Such a heart-warming endeavor.

  • BOGDAN | April 3, 2013 1:15 PMReply

    This is an amazing and heart-warming project! Thumbs up!

  • Danny | April 3, 2013 12:36 PMReply

    This is an amazing idea and can't wait to see it. So much of the story that needs to be told can be found in these everyday objects set adrift like the lives of those affected.

  • Celeste | April 3, 2013 12:33 PMReply

    What a story... I couldn't imagine what it must feel like to loose everything in a disaster like this... This film endeavors to bring a small piece of what these people lost back to their lives and perhaps provide some closure or comfort... knowing that their treasured possessions survived and will now return home once again... WOW I can't wait to see the journey!

  • Dee | April 3, 2013 12:28 PMReply

    What an inspirational story!! Can't wait to see these items reunited and the connections created between people from opposite ends of the earth.

  • Tara | April 3, 2013 11:17 AMReply

    I think these filmmakers are doing something absolutely incredible here. I am so excited to see how the final product turns out

  • Anderson | April 3, 2013 11:15 AMReply

    How's this all going to play out? I can't wait to see the final project.

  • Andy | April 3, 2013 11:13 AMReply

    This is quite possibly the most exciting project I've seen come thru here in a while. A Heart warming Mystery..

    Can't wait to see how it all plays out.

  • MA | April 3, 2013 11:01 AMReply

    What a great project! I'm keeping my eye out for the finished doc!

  • Ian | April 3, 2013 10:11 AMReply

    This is an inspiring story that is being told with great integrity. All the best with the project as it moves forward.

  • JB | April 3, 2013 9:51 AMReply

    Looks great so far! Curious to know how it will all come together!

  • Carmen | April 3, 2013 9:16 AMReply

    Yes, I'm very interested in this project. I would really like to see the objects re-united with the rightful owners!

  • NJL | April 3, 2013 8:55 AMReply

    Looks interesting! How are they going to trace all the items back?

  • Shaz | April 3, 2013 8:50 AMReply

    What an interesting idea! I'm curious and excited to see what you come up with!

  • Lori | April 3, 2013 8:50 AMReply

    Fascinating! Can't wait to see the finished project!

  • jnc | April 3, 2013 8:29 AMReply

    Very interesting!! Really looking forward to this!

  • larissa travis | April 3, 2013 12:08 AMReply

    im excited to see this movie! i love japan, treasure hunts and happy endings. good stuff

  • Chantelly | April 2, 2013 11:46 PMReply

    I'm sure the footage will be quite moving. Great idea to capture it all.

  • kat | April 2, 2013 11:32 PMReply


  • Nico | April 2, 2013 11:12 PMReply

    An amazing initiative and compelling storyline!

  • Marilyn | April 2, 2013 4:45 PMReply

    Absolutely, can't wait! What a journey, waiting on the conclusion!