A screening of the practically finished version of the “From the Shadows” documentary film about child abduction in Japan took place on November 7 at the Capitol Visitor Center Theater in Washington, D.C.  The screening was sponsored by Congressman Chris Smith’s office and invitees consisted largely of left-behind parents and their family members

“From the Shadows” is a hard hitting, superbly made documentary film that has been years in the making.  It documents the heartbreaking attempts of left-behind parents to see their children in Japan and accurately exposes how the system facilitates child abductions in Japan.  In addition to featuring a Japanese mother whose child was taken by her Japanese husband, the film also focuses in depth on four international cases:  Canadian father Murray Wood, U.S. fathers Paul Toland and Paul Wong, and U.S. mother Regan Haight.

The film is directed and produced by Matt Antell and David Hearn.  Although David Hearn was unable to attend the screening, Matt Antell was present and also participated in a panel afterwards with Paul Toland and Murray Wood, which can be viewed at the following link:


In his remarks, Matt Antell noted that the producers are hoping that the film will be shown at the Berlin International Film Festival and also possibly the Sundance film festival in 2012.

To learn more about the film and how you can help, please visit the following link:


David Hearn and Matt Antell are two film makers who have been working on a documentary film for several years now about the international child abduction issue in Japan.  They have interviewed dozens of left-behind parents for this documentary.  The film is called “From the Shadows” and will be screened  at the Cardozo Law School in New York City next week.  This will be the first audience that hasn’t either been well aware of the situation before viewing or are not persons from the world of film and TV. There will also be a Q and A session and reception afterward.
David and Matt are also applying for the following five film festivals to be held later this year:
1. Los Angeles Film Festival – Submission: Feb. 24th, 2011, – Event June 16-26th, 2011, – Los Angeles
2. Silver Docs (Documentary festival) – Submission: March 4, 2011, – Event June 20-26th, 2011, – Silver Springs MD.
3. Cannes Film Festival – Submission: March 11th, 2011, – Event May 11-22nd, 2011, – Cannes, France
4. Toronto Film Festival – Submission: April 1st, 2011, –  Event Early Sept 8-18. 2011, – Toronto, Canada
5. Telluride Film Festival – Submission: Mid-April, 2011, –  Event Early Sept. 2011, – Telluride, Colorado

To learn more about this project and when the film might be screened in your area, visit the website:

Thank you, David Hearn, for this clip.  David Hearn, together with Matt Antell, is filming the upcoming “From the Shadows” documentary about the Japanese child abduction problem.


embassy rally

On Saturday, October 3, 2009, Children’s Rights Council of Japan organized a “Free Christopher Savoie” Rally in front of the Japanese Embassy in Washington, D.C., demanding that the Japanese government immediately release Christopher Savoie and reunite him with his children, and also acknowledge and resolve all other cases of child abductions in Japan. Speakers included CRC of Japan co-founder Walter Benda, U.S. Navy Commander Paul Toland, Amy Savoie (Christopher Savoie’s wife), Kay Kephart (an American grandmother imprisoned while trying to find her grandchildren), David Levy (head of the national Children’s Rights Council nonprofit organization), and 2 U.S. left-behind fathers, Randy Collins and Lance Litwiller. Media included CNN, NBC, CBS, NHK, FUJI TELEVISION NETWORK NEWS, TV TOKYO, KYODO NEWS, and documentary film maker Matt Antell, fromtheshadowsmovie.com. A candlelight vigil was held that evening in front of the White House.

Link to Video Slideshow of Oct. Rally and Vigil for Christopher Savoie (Music sample:  Trabryu “Road”)

Click the one titled American jailed in Japan over custody battle.