“Weaving Shibusa,” a story of Japanese craftsmanship and dedication shown through the love and fascination of denim, will be released on Vimeo on Aug. 1. Previously, the documentary was only available through live screenings. “Weaving Shibusa” originally premiered to a sold-out theater in San Francisco last August and has debuted in select cities and countries worldwide including New York, London, Thailand, Sweden, Melbourne, Manila, Mexico, and Berlin.
Filmed on RED Dragon cameras, creators Devin Leisher, Erik Motta, and Medhi Ahmadi reveal the story behind the rare, handcrafted tradition of Japanese denim through stunning visuals and an in-depth exploration of old mills, vintage stores, and interviews with Japanese denim legends, including Yutaka Fujihara and Mikiharu Tsujita.
After the premiere, Leisher, the director, producer, and editor, was inundated with requests from brands and shops looking to hold screenings. Although an online version of “Weaving Shibusa” was heavily sought after, Leisher wanted to maintain the same human spirit and intrinsic desire for quality present in the film by holding live screenings for enthusiasts to connect with one another.
When exploring distribution services and platform options, Leisher looked into “almost every possible solution,” including video pay-to-play platforms, video hosting and selling platforms, iTunes, and Amazon. “Most options had, what I felt was, a glaring mistake on how to sell independent films – either no DRM, no money, poor quality, etc.,” he said.
Ultimately, Leisher, Motta, and Ahmadi, chose Vimeo as their exclusive hosting platform.
“Vimeo is truly the only platform with the filmmaker in mind,” explained Leisher. “[It] was the only service we could find that played on a variety of devices, protected our film through DRM, and retained the quality of the product. [It] also gave a fair amount of the sales back to us, which would enable us to create more content.”
Beyond Vimeo, Leisher explained that he in talks with Netflix and Amazon, and revealed that a special edition physical copy will be released in limited quantities later this year.
To watch “Weaving Shibusa,” please visit www.WeavingShibusa.com.