Currently screening at film festivals around the world, the documentary film Boys for Sale, is showcasing audiences with a unique view of the Tokyo underworld. Located at Shinjuku 2-chome, young men called urisens offer themselves for sex.
For me, this is the first time that I’ve seen a documentary that delves deeply and comprehensively into a subject that may be considered ‘taboo’ among some Asian viewers. In retrospect, it was the South Korean filmmaker Lee Song Hee-Il – 이송희일 who made his gay trilogy starting with No Regret, about a young man who works at a gay bar. But even before that, it was Japanese filmmaker Hashiguchi Ryosuke – 橋口亮輔 who offered us his gay coming of age movie A Touch of Fever back in 1993. But both films are based on fictional characters.
Thus Ian Thomas Ash and Adrian “Uchujin” Storey come into the picture, as Executive Producer and Producer/Director of Photography of this documentary film.
In this interview we ask both about the filmmaking process, and why the boys at Shinjuku 2-chome need to be heard.