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Last Call

LAST CALL is a feature-length documentary that goes inside the life of a remarkable Buddhist priest doing suicide prevention work in Japan.

Since the 2008 financial crisis, the global suicide rate has been rising faster than ever. In the developed world, suicide is now the leading cause of death for people ages 15-49. In Japan, which has one of the highest suicide rates of all, a new wave of socially engaged Buddhist priests has emerged, determined to fight this problem.

One of them is Ittetsu Nemoto.

A 42-year-old former punk rocker who used to work at a Tokyo McDonald’s, Nemoto is not your typical Buddhist priest. He loves Prince, his motorcycle, and dancing all night at clubs. LAST CALL follows Nemoto as he works with desperate men and women to inspire them to keep on living.

Having done this work for the last ten years, Nemoto has become known in Japan both for his extraordinarily high success rate, and for his unusual approach to suicide prevention, which includes one-on-one counseling sessions as well as dinners, parties, retreats, camping trips, and wild collaborative art projects. But when a health crisis puts Nemoto at serious risk, can he live by the same advice he gives out?

How can we find happiness? What is the best way to live? And in the most trying times of our lives, how can we gather the strength to carry on? LAST CALL will shine a light on the inspiring work that Nemoto is doing in Japan, with Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike. It will create an opportunity for discussion and education for communities and leaders worldwide who are struggling in the current economic climate. And as seen through the dramatic lens provided by the recent history of Japan, it will provide a sensitive, compassionate, and thought-provoking look at the rising global suicide rate, offering a model for how people can inspire each other to survive.

Funded by Awesome Without Borders (August 2015)