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Lost and Found: Documenting the return of Japanese tsunami objects

Objects large and small were swept into the Pacific Ocean by the tsunami that struck Japan in March, 2011.

The Japanese tsunami of two years ago swept an estimated 25 million tonnes of debris into the Pacific Ocean. Some of it eventually washed up on North American shores, to be recovered by beachcombers who, in many instances, wondered about the back-story behind the running shoes, boat hull or volleyball they'd found.

Enter Canadians Nicolina Lanni and John Choi, who are making a documentary, titled Lost and Found, about the efforts of Canadians and Americans to return these artifacts to their original owners 7,500 kilometres away.

Movies, of course, cost money, which is why on Thursday evening Toronto's Gladstone Hotel, in association with the Hot Docs festival, is hosting a pay-what-you-can event to help raise $30,000 to allow some 15 North Americans to hand-deliver their finds to their Japanese owners.

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The event features tsunami items soon to be returned, including a buoy, soccer ball and scarf, as well as screenings of excerpts from the documentary-in-progress and original works that Toronto textile artist Kathryn Ruppert-Dazai has done for the film.

The fundraising campaign continues online through April 1 at lostandfoundthefilm.ca and hotdocs.ca.

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James More

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