Future is MINE

Story Outline

The story is about an Ainu oral historian, Rie Kayano, a resident of Hokkaido’s Nibutani Village, embarking on a personal journey of empowerment. Rie was born in Lake Akan, Hokkaido, renowned for its Ainu cultural roots, where she was exposed from a young age to Ainu song and dance. Having experienced discrimination, she grew up self-conscious and hating her Ainu roots. After graduating from high-school she met friends that helped her renew her interest in Ainu culture. But after marriage, and the birth of her daughter, she found herself, feeling again out of touch with her passion for Ainu culture. It was then that the opportunity to visit the indigenous Seminole tribe of Florida. What did she feel and learn from her experience with the Seminoles…

“Future is MINE”

Future is MINE is a women’s empowerment documentary series. It depicts women in their personal journey of envisioning a future, and taking a brave step towards its realization. Women in many societies face hurdles in self-empowerment, unable to realize their potential and dreams. Future is MINE series are created with the aim encourage women to take a seat at the table, and be the drivers of their own future fulfillment.


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Story Elements

In this chapter, “Ainu My Voice”, we meet Rie Kayano of Ainu heritage. A culture that wasn’t even officially recognized as native Japanese until 2019. Needless to say it wasn’t an easy road, and at times in her youth Rie wanted to distance herself from her heritage because of the negative stigma. Now with a daughter of her own, she has embraced her Ainu roots and seeks inspiration for how she can help protect her culture and help her community grow.
Introducing to Rie and the Ainu
Meeting the American Seminole tribe
Returning home with clear purpose


When filming, we intially only planned to air the film on STV, the largest network in Japan's northern island of Hokkaido and post it on YouTube. After airing and achieving over 1 million YouTube views, the film was selected to screen at several film festivals, and ultimately even began streaming on Hulu Japan.

English Trailer

Future is MINE - Ainu My Voice

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