Nanakorobi | An Interview with Glenna Burmer

Nanakorobi, is an inspirational story about having the courage and determination to overcome any obstacle in order to do the right thing, which in this case is to save an orphaned friend during a snowstorm.


Glenna Burmer is a successful  Japanese-American composer and artist who produces live concerts, music and dance programs that feature original music, choreography and video.


1.RSTMPA – Above of all, a big congratulation on your victory! How do you feel about winning the RSTMP Award on Animated Films category?

Glenna – It is a great honour to be selected among so many talented film-makers. I am thrilled to participate in this wonderful festival.


2.RSTMPA – Why did you choose Nanakorobi as your title?

Glenna –   Nanankorobi is from the Japanese proverb “Nanakorobi, Ya Oki”, which means seven times you may fall, but get up the eighth. It is about never giving up.


3.RSTMPA – Would you please tell us your story behind making this film?

Glenna – Both my mother and grandmother, who were Japanese, faced terrible times and many challenges growing up in Japan before, during, and after WWII. Despite their difficulties, they raised families, worked as educators and artists, and never gave up. The story is a tribute to their hard work and sacrifice for the family they loved.


4.RSTMPA – Do you think filmmaking or script writing should be learned from some special courses?

Glenna –   No, film-making is all about actualizing and discovering your inner voice in order to tell a story. The technical aspects can be learned, but it is up to each individual artist to find their “voice” and tell their story in a way that moves and connects with others. Finding that voice can’t be taught it is a personal journey of discovery.



5.RSTMPA – How does the passion for cinema grow within? What made you think of selecting cinema as a career?

Glenna –   Cinema was not my first career; I was a medical scientist. But I came from a family of artists and film-makers, and deep down, I was always a story-teller. Cinema is the most complete art form that allows you to tell a story that reaches everyone. It isn’t so much a career, as it is a calling.


6.RSTMPA – To this, what advice would you give aspiring filmmakers?

Glenna –   Never give up; follow your voice; tell your story.


7.RSTMPA – It is very difficult and challenging to be in the epidemic situation and continuing the work. What is your plan to take your efforts forward?

Glenna –   In this situation, it is meaningful to tell stories about persevering and overcoming obstacles. Also, stories that give hope to others are very important. I plan to continue making animations that can inspire others.


8.RSTMPA –  What is your favorite genre? What do you prefer versatility or specialization?

Glenna –    I have chosen animation because it allows me to tell stories about many subjects, real or fantasy, and allows me to explore different worlds, not just the human perspective.


9.RSTMPA –  Any legendary filmmaker whose work motivates you in a special way, or encourages you to do new ventures or writing scripts?

Glenna –    Two film-makers that have influenced me the most are Akira Kurosawa and Hayao Miyazaki.


10.RSTMPA –  What are your upcoming projects that we should be excited for?

Glenna –    I am working on a 2D historical animation about my Japanese family during WWII, and a 3D animation about a robotic AI that takes place in a post-apocalyptic world. Both stories are about finding love and meaning in what may appear to be a hopeless situation.



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