The Japan and International Motion Picture Copyright Association (JIMCA) partnered with the Embassy of the United States of America, Japan Association of Theatre Owners and Warner Bros. Pictures Japan to host the “Summer Cinema Workshop 2016” for over a hundred intellectual property rights (IPR) and film studies undergraduates.

In the morning, a special preview screening of feature film “Suicide Squad” (scheduled to be released in Japan on September 10 by Warner Bros. Pictures Japan) was held for the participants at the TOHO Cinemas Roppongi. In the afternoon, participants attended lectures on a range of intellectual property rights (IPR), film distribution and marketing topics at the Roppongi Hills Club.

Using “TOM” – a PR mascot of the U.S. Embassy as an example, Mr. Dale G. Kreisher, Cultural Affairs Officer, Embassy of the United States of America and Ms. Kay Itoi, Digital Media Coordinator, Public Affairs Section, Embassy of the United States of America spoke about how the embassy has implemented a social media strategy to engage audiences effectively.

Mr. Tetsuya Imamura, Associate Professor, School of Information and Communication, Meiji University said, “In the movie industry, it is important to protect IP rights. Offences such as illegally uploading to video distribution sites bring tremendous losses to the movie industry. Through this workshop, I hope that everyone could once again affirm the significance of copyright which safeguards our important movie industry.”

Mr. Ryo Kosugi, Director of Product Management, Warner Bros. Pictures Japan shared with participants that “Suicide Squad” had hit USD 135.1million at the box office in the U.S. alone on its release and 46% of cinema attendance for the first day was female according to media reports. Also, teenagers and people in their twenties make up the largest percentage of moviegoers for superhero movies based on American comics. He emphasized the importance of knowing your target audience and how to engage them.

Following the lectures, the participants tried their hand at creating their own IPR messages for “Suicide Squad” and shared them on social media platforms via a web system “KAKUSAN” – the publicity platform for the movie. Mr. Seiji Okuda, General Producer, Nippon Television Network Corporation, served as the main adviser, and other movie publicity professionals such as Mr. Ryo Kosugi, Director of Product Management, Warner Bros. Pictures Japan; Mr. Takaharu Mizutari, Supervisor of Product Management, Warner Bros. Pictures Japan; Mr. Yosuke Kanno, President of Manhattan people, Inc. (a movie advertising company); Mr. Masakazu Kondo, COO of GAIE Inc. (a Web advertising company for movies); and Mr. Akihiro Koyama, Promotion Planner of GAIE Inc. took part as advisers.

The participants’ social networking service (SNS) followers numbered more than 50,000 people in total and the activity was amplified to more than 17,500 followers within 20 minutes after the uploading commenced.

Mr. Seiji Okuda from Nippon Television Network Corporation said, “Movies are one of the most enjoyable cultures for all the people. Promotion is very important because customers wouldn’t come if publicity is poor no matter how good the film is. It was great to meet young students today. I would definitely like everyone to join the film industry.”

A third year university student enrolled in the School of Law, Meiji University said, “I am pleased to learn about how governments and enterprises around the world have been utilizing SNS for their PR activities. I have also deepened my understanding on copyright industries especially the film sector.”