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The Center Lane
The Center Lane
10:51 / Japan / Beauty, Health & Personal Care / 2021
Production:BLUE ONE inc / ENNET inc

This is the story of a human who’s real life story of determination and resilience transcended any script. The Centre Lane is a documentary film directed by Palme D’Or winning director, Hirokazu Kore-eda, utilising his signature filmmaking style; gentle, raw, contemplative. Following the journey of Rikako Ikee, a Japanese swimmer and Olympic favourite whose leukemia diagnosis put her entire life and future on hold. Shot over a period of months, Ikee’s recovery story took a dramatic turn that confounded all expectation – especially her own – and captured the imagination of an entire country. In competitive swimming the ‘Centre Lane’ is the physical position given to the swimmer with the best qualifying time – it’s the equivalent of Pole Position in F1. It is this position that Ikee had made her own in her record-breaking career, one that made a fitting metaphor for her battle to return to what she loves no matter what. The events of Ikee’s real life journey surpasses any dramatic script, more importantly it was crucial that we retained the authenticity of her voice. So we approached Hirokazu Koreeda who was able to lend a uniquely vivid and thoughtful articulation of modern Japanese life. Having such a distinctive storyteller was additionally important as other brands were also making documentaries on Ikee. Ours had to be different; not just a retelling of events, but something deeper.
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