"The universe is made of stories, not of atoms."
—Muriel Rukeyser

Broadway Actress Rumi Oyama’s Directorial Debut, “SPIRIT BOX,” Garners Prestigious Accolade at the Oscar Micheaux Film Festival 2023

In a triumphant moment for Broadway actress turned director Rumi Oyama, her debut film, SPIRIT BOX Episode 1: “The Unleashed,” clinched the coveted “Outstanding Dramatic Digital Series” award at the 2023 Oscar Micheaux Film Festival in LA.

Management partner Ken Atchity, CEO of Story Merchant/Atchity Productions (The Meg/Meg 2: The Trench), commented that “The narrative unfolds with such suspense and intrigue, keeping us on the edge of our seats. The unique blend of Japanese spirit boxes, ghosts, and the unraveling of family secrets added layers of complexity that made every second a thrilling discovery.”

Garnering additional nominations for “Outstanding Sci-Fi/Fantasy” and the prestigious “Panavision Award,” SPIRIT BOX is poised to captivate audiences with its compelling narrative and global perspective. Penned and directed by Oyama, the film boasts executive producers Elliott and Cathy Masie of Masie Productions (Kinky Boots, The Prom, Allegiance), as well as a cast and crew comprised of over 50 percent BIPOC or women filmmakers.

In SPIRIT BOX, a troubled teenager, grappling with the mysterious death of his parents, is entrusted with saving New York City from an onslaught of ghosts unleashed from Japanese spirit boxes, leading him to confront his family’s darkest secrets.

Executive Producer Elliott Masie lauded SPIRIT BOX, stating, “It is a compelling story with mystery, history, and a global perspective, powerfully appealing to both younger and mature audiences.”

Rumi Oyama, the Japanese-American writer/director/choreographer of the film, shares her inspiration for SPIRIT BOX, stating, “In a time of upheaval and disconnection, the story aims to help people connect by offering insights into Japanese secrets that can help flourish in today’s increasingly disconnected world.”

The recognition at the Micheaux Film Festival is a testament to SPIRIT BOX’s impact, prompting the team to actively explore various mediums such as TV series, feature films, anime, and stage productions to bring its stories to a broader audience.

To see the SPIRIT BOX trailer, visit Kuma Dakko Productions https://www.kumadakkoproductions.com/films

About Rumi Oyama: Born and raised in Hiroshima, Japan, Rumi Oyama is a versatile talent with a Broadway background and a B.A. in law from Chuo University. Notable for her roles in Running for Grace (film), Allegiance (Broadway), and Sayonara (where she won the Fred and Adele Astaire Award in 2016 for Outstanding Female Dancer Off-Broadway), Oyama founded Kuma Dakko Productions in 2021 to create films with authentic Japanese influences and inspirational messages. KUMA (くま ) means “bear,” and DAKKO (抱っこ) means “hug.” BEAR HUG. The goal is to unite people despite race, gender, class, and sexual orientation. Learn more at Kuma Dakko Productions.

Over 50 percent of the cast and crew are BIPOC or women filmmakers, emphasizing our commitment to diversity and inclusivity in storytelling.

About Micheaux Film Festival: The Micheaux Film Festival is a multicultural and BIPOC-focused event dedicated to showcasing and celebrating diverse representation, gender, and identity parity in the entertainment and media landscape.

About Management Partner, Story Merchant, and Atchity Productions: Story Merchant Books is a facilitator for direct publishing of books (novels, poetry and nonfiction), while its sister company, Story Merchant, represents them to entertainment (web, television, and motion pictures). Story Merchant’s goal is to discover dramatically or widely informative exciting books and help them reach maximum audiences in all media. Story Merchant sister company Atchity Productions (MEG/MEG 2) produces books, published or enroute to publication and supervises their scripting. 

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