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Big in Japan

USA | 2014 | 100 minutes | John Jeffcoat

Real-life Seattle band Tennis Pro play semi-fictionalized characters of themselves as they travel to Japan in a dramatic, final effort to make it big. The lighthearted plot mixed with Jeffcoat’s guerilla filmmaking style breezily guides you through the band’s comic misadventures in Tokyo.

June 5, 2014
SIFF Cinema Egyptian  
7:00 PM Date has passed

Director John Jeffcoat, producer Jannat Gargi, band Tennis Pro scheduled to attend

June 7, 2014
SIFF Cinema Uptown Festival  
12:30 PM Date has passed

Director John Jeffcoat, producer Jannat Gargi, band Tennis Pro scheduled to attend

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“The only way that you are gonna make it here is if you make it somewhere else first.” That’s the advice given to a struggling Seattle-based surf-rock trio by a mysterious, and somewhat dubious, band promoter. So begins a rollicking overseas journey by the band Tennis Pro as they attempt to live the ultimate rock cliché of becoming “big in Japan” before catapulting to global success. With seemingly no other option, the three desperate musicians sell their van to scrape together just enough for a plane ticket to ply the neon-lit maze of Tokyo’s nightclub districts. Along the way, they endure crappy venues, lost luggage, cramped hotel rooms, and exotic intoxicants, but also feel a renewed burst of artistic creativity. But this is no “mockumentary”—Tennis Pro is a real Seattle band, played by the real-life musicians: John Drury, Sean Lowry, and perhaps heart and soul of the band, Philip Peterson, who sports Coke-bottle glasses, a David Crosby-esque hairdo, and boundless goofy enthusiasm. This fictionalized version of sort-of-true Tennis Pro events is guided by director John Jeffcoat (Outsourced, Golden Space Needle Audience Award at SIFF 2007), who amps up the laughs as the band navigates smarmy label execs, tests of loyalty, jealous girlfriends back home, and even plate tectonics. Big in Japan, featuring a bouncy soundtrack of original Tennis Pro songs, is a hilarious, trippy delight that may inspire you to get that high-school garage band back together.

Director Biography

Director, writer, and producer John Jeffcoat, originally from New York, is one of the bright lights in the Seattle filmmaking community. After his debut feature, Bingo! The Documentary in 1999, he scored his biggest hit with Outsourced in 2006, which won the SIFF Golden Space Needle Audience Award in 2007 and was the basis for a 2010-11 TV series on NBC. This year he returns with his third feature, Big in Japan. 

Sponsored by 4Culture, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, Washington State Arts Commission, National Endowment for the Arts, Black Rapid Media, CityArts, EMP Museum, KEXP 90.3 FM

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Big in Japan Screening and Concert by Tennis Pro
June 5 | 7:00 PM | Egyptian Theatre

$20 | Buy Now
Ticket price includes the screening and a post-film concert at Chop Suey featuring Tennis Pro, Hearts are Thugs, and Ex's with Benefits. Concert doors at 8:00PM. Availability is limited.

Chop Suey is located at
1325 E Madison Street

Director: John Jeffcoat
Principal Cast: David Drury, Philip A. Peterson, Sean Lowry, Alex Vincent, Adam Powers
Country: USA, Japan
Year: 2014
Running Time: 100 minutes
Producer: Jannat Gargi, John Jeffcoat
Screenplay: John Jeffcoat
Cinematographers: John Jeffcoat, Ryan McMackin
Editors: Michele Witten, John Jeffcoat
Music: Tennis Pro, Phillip A.Peterson
Website: Official Film Website
Filmography: Outsourced (2006); Bingo! The Documentary (Doc, 1999)
Language: Engish
Format: DCP
US Distributor: Outsider Pictures
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