a film by Atsushi Funahashi

Starring: Joe Odagiri, Kavi Raz, Chloe Snyder

2005, 35mm, cinemascope color, 105 min.

World Premiere @
Pusan International Film Festival, New Currents Competition

European Premiere @
Berlin International Film Festival, the International Forum of New Cinema

Producers: Masayuki Mori, Takio Yoshida, Shozo Ichiyama
Co-Producers: Mohammed Naqvi, Alyssa Jo Black
Writers: Atsushi Funahashi, Eric Van Den Brulle
Cinematographer: Eric Van Den Brulle
Editor: Steve Hamilton
Sound Design: Justin Kawashima
Music: Janek Duszynski

Production Company
5-4-14, Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo JAPAN 152-0022


Big River is a road movie where two men and a woman of different nationalities meet and come to a realization, set against the backdrop of the Monument Valley, Arizona. 
Ali, a Muslim man from Pakistan, is searching for his estranged wife, Nadia. He gets lost in the middle of the desert soon after arriving in the US. After meeting up with Teppei, a Japanese traveler hitchhiking his way through America, and Sarah, a beautiful white woman from a local trailer park, Ali and his new friends find Nadia living in Phoenix. To his dismay, he discovers she is living with another man. Ali spends the rest of his stay in the U.S. with his new friends, anxiously wondering where his life is going to.
It is a story about a borderless realm of friendship and its ability to transcend cultural differences.



Big River is the rare case of international co-production: Japan, Pakistan, and the US. The combination reflects the story itself - a borderless friendship among the there nationalities - and we believe the film has achieved its unique quality as the "ubiquitous cinema". When in development stage this project was selected by Berlin Co-Production Market 2004, Pusan Promotion Plna (PPP) 2004, and IFP Project Involve 2004.



Throughout the world, hostility and resentment against the USA on the media has become almost a daily part of life, not only on TV or in newspapers but also in documentaries and narrative films. The unstoppable chain of violence, contradictory social issues, conflicting ideologies, never-ending wars,... these are always spoken in the context of the gaps between races, cultures, and religions. Often it seems that today's works of cinema perpetuate one side of these conflicts rather than explore ways to promote understanding of our differences.

Is there anything else cinema can do besides reaffirming the acrimony of our world on celluloid? Rather than describing human beings in the frame of power politics, cultural clashes, or religious conflicts, there should be films which blur and subvert those superficial gaps and differences.

In Monument Valley, Utah, the traditional homeland of Western movies, three people from Pakistan, Japan, and a local American trailer park meet through mishaps and discover each other's humanity. The beautiful landscape of South West -- an eternal sky spread over solemn & peaceful rock formations -- produces an abstract cosmos in which the three people face each other in the purest manner.

Big River is a metaphor of America. As tiny currents gather together to become the Rio Grande, people feed into America from all over the world. The title also reflects my aspiration to make a profound but simple film as the cannon of Western films used to do.

In the eyes of many across the world, America has reverted to the wild, wild West of its violent past. People throw suspicious gazes at each other, judge by appearance, and eventually attack each other's beliefs. In this dark, hostile era is the only option left for us to live in solitude? Is there something else we can expect? It is my hope that this film opens up a new future for our thinking.



Actor - filmography
(In Production) (2000s)
1 Shinobi (2005) (post-production)
2 Big River (2005) (completed) .... Teppei
3 Mezon do Himiko (2005) .... Haruhiko
4 In za pûru (2005) .... Tetsuya Taguchi
5 Operetta tanuki goten (2005) .... Amechiyo
6 "Fukigen na jiin" (2005) TV Series .... Hayato Katsuta
7 Yume no naka e (2005)
8 Pacchigi! (2004) .... Sakazaki
9 Chi to hone (2004) .... Chan-myung
... aka Blood and Bones (International: English title)
10 Kono yo no sotoe - Club Shinchugun (2004) .... Shozo Ikeshima
... aka Kono yo no sotoe - Club Shinchugun (Japan)
... aka Out of This World (International: English title)
11 "Shinsengumi!" (2004) TV Series .... Saitou Hajime
12 Satoukibi batake no uta (2003) (TV) .... Yoshioka
13 Azumi (2003) .... Bijomaru Mogami
14 Akarui mirai (2003) .... Yûji Nimura
... aka Bright Future (International: English title) (USA)?????Kiyoshi Kurosawa
15 Mokka no koibito (2002)
16 "Hatsu taiken" (2002) TV Series .... Atsushi Koda
17 Puratonikku sekusu (2001) .... Toshimi Iwasaki
... aka Platonic Sex
18 "Kamen Raidaa Kuuga" (2000) TV Series .... Yuusuke Godai/Masked Rider Kuuga
... aka Kamen Rider Kuuga
... aka Masked Rider Kuuga (literal English title)

Kavi Raz - Ali
From the plains of Punjab, India to Hollywood it has been journey of dreams.

Leaving India at a very young age, Kavi grew up in England where he received his early education and a love for sports gaining national prominence as an outstanding field hockey player in the Midlands. Kavi developed his passion for the dramatic arts while attending university in the San Francisco Bay area, leading to the pursuit of his dreams as an actor in Hollywood.

Kavi found early success in his career on the stage as a founder and artistic director of "The Wandering Players Theatre company". In the mid seventies, LA stage audience were introduced to Indian theater through Kavi's efforts, when he began staging several world and U.S. premiers of plays under the aegis of his theater company called The Wandering Players.

Kavi has appeared in over 200 plays, TV shows and films. He became the first South Asian actor to break into Hollywood TV and Film industry, when he was signed on to play one of the star characters on NBC's award winning hit series "St Elsewhere."

In 1983, Actor and Writer Kavi Raz became the first Indian Producer and Director to make a Hindi film directly for the video and TV market. The film "Do Kinare" was shot entirely in the US and released successfully all over the world on the video circuit. Two more features "Naya Savera" and "Durghatna" followed this success.

In 1986, Kavi produced and directed the TV Series "Lehren." Widely shown throughout USA and Canada, this was the first Indian TV series to be shot outside of India.

As an actor he has made over 150 appearances in television and films, in starring roles including such shows as NYPD Blues, L.A. Law, Hardcastle & McCormick, Mash, Hunter, Star Trek, Flight 847, Warning Signs, Terror Squad, Under Seige, and Night Train to Khatmandu among others.

Kavi recently starred in a new pilot for Warner Brothers titled "Perfect Life" and as a guest star in several episodes of the TV series "Mowgli Stories of the Jungle Book" as well as starring in the feature films "Storm in the Afternoon," "Turbans," and “BIG RIVER.”

K.R. Films-Hollywood was founded by actor, writer, producer, director Kavi Raz. The production company was formed in 1978 and since its humble beginning it has come a long way. Today it is well entrenched in films, television programs and specials for the Hindi and English speaking markets; with over 15 productions under its banner, the company is currently in the post-production stage for "Rising Shores."

K.R. Studios was built in 1988 in Granada Hills. Housing several buildings including the main studio, it has state-of-art equipment for film and television productions as well as a multi-track recording facility for post production and recording needs. The studio is now Home to many award winning producers, writers and directors engaged in the production of commercials, TV programs, music videos and films.
Future Films 
Big River - Ali  2005
The Gold Bracelet - Arjun Singh, Director, Producer, Writer (screenplay) 2005  
Past Films & Videos 
Rising Shores - Narayan, Director, Producer, Writer  2003  
Durghatna Director, Producer
Storm in the Afternoon, Actor
Turbans (short) - Actor  2000        
All I Want for Christmas - Cabbie #2  1991    
Pet Sematary - Steve Masterton  1989  
Do Kinare Director, Producer
Naya Savera Director, Producer
Terror Squad - Yassir  1987      
Terminal Entry - Mahadi  1986      
Warning Sign - Dr. Ramesh Kapoor        
Past Television 
Perfect Life (TV Pilot) – Actor 2004
Mowgli Stories of the Jungle Book (TV series) – Actor 2004
Shooter (TV movie) - Actor 1988  
The Night Train to Kathmandu (TV movie) - Prof. Dowan Godbothe  1988
The Taking of Flight 847: The Uli Derickson Story (TV movie) - Pamphlet man 1988
The Three Kings (TV movie) - Actor  1987
Lehren (TV series) Director, Producer 1986
Under Siege (TV movie) - Saman Kadassi  1986  
Murder: By Reason of Insanity (TV movie) - Dr. Honrada 1985
St. Elsewhere (TV series) - Dr. V.J. Kochar (1982-1984) 1982     
TV Guest Appearances
Robbery Homicide Division, episode "2028" (#1.3), 11 October 2002
The Agency playing Omars Handler, episode "The Plague Year" (#1.16), 7 March 2002
Crossing Jordan playing Doctor, episode "Miracles & Wonders" (#1.13), 21 January 2002
NYPD Blue playing Nazim, episode "Jealous Hearts" (#9.10), 15 January 2002
Chicago Hope playing Dr. Primasseri, Sri Lankan Surgeon, episode "The Heart to Heart" (#6.8), 25 November 1999
NYPD Blue playing Rajiv Patel, episode "Travels with Andy" (#2.13), 14 February 1995
Dark Justice playing Naidu, episode "The Doctor Is In" (#3.21), 14 September 1993
L.A. Law playing Rupesh Poondar, episode "Vindaloo in the Villows" (#7.19), 29 April 1993
Home Improvement playing Maitre D', episode "Overactive Glance" (#2.3), 30 September 1992
The Famous Teddy Z, episode "Teddy Gets a Guru" (#1.20)
Hunter playing Surgeon, episode "Death Signs" (#4.18), 12 March 1988
Star Trek: The Next Generation playing Assistant Chief Engineer Singh, episode "Lonely Among Us" (#1.5), 31 October 1987
St. Elsewhere playing Dr. V.J. Kochar, episode "The Idiot and the Odyssey" (#6.2), 23 September 1987
The Colbys playing Prased, episode "Power Plays" (#2.13), 1 January 1987
Our House, episode "Home Again" (#1.1), 11 September 1986
Hardcastle and McCormick playing Rabin Casir, episode "Mirage a Trois" (#3.10), 2 December 1985
The A-Team, episode "Moving Targets" (#3.19), 12 February 1985
M*A*S*H playing Ramurti Lal, episode "U.N., the Night and the Music" (#11.10), 3 January 1983

Chloe Snyder - Sarah
A first time actress. Bio's not available yet.



Office Kitano Inc. / Production Company
Country: Japan
Address: 5-4-14, Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0052
Tel: +81-3-5572-7099
Fax: +81-3-3589-0667

Company Profile:
Office Kitano Inc. was founded in 1988, and started film production in 1991 with“A Scene at the Sea”, directed by Takeshi Kitano. Since then, Office Kitano produced most of Takeshi Kitano’s films, including “Hana-Bi”, which won the Golden Lion in Venice 1997. Since 2000, Office Kitano started co-production with emerging Asian filmmakers, including Jia Zhang-ke, Samira Makhmalbaf and Abolfazl Jalili.

"TAKESHIS'" by Takeshi Kitano (2005)
"Big River" by Atsushi Funahashi (2005)
“The World” by Jia Zhang-ke (2004)
“Zatoichi” by Takeshi Kitano (2003)
“Unknown Pleasures” by Jia Zhang-ke (2002)
“Dolls” by Takeshi Kitano (2002)
“Chicken Heart” by Hiroshi Shimizu (2002)
“Delbaran” by Abolfazl Jalili (2001)
“Platform” by Jia Zhang-ke (2000)
“Brother” by Takeshi Kitano (2000)
“Blackboards” by Samira Makhmalbaf (2000)
“Kikujiro” by Takeshi Kitano (1999)
“Ikinai” by Hiroshi Shimizu (1998)
“Hana-Bi” by Takeshi Kitano (1997)
“Kids Return” by Takeshi Kitano (1996)
“Getting Any?” by Takeshi Kitano (1994)
“A Scene at the Sea” by Takeshi Kitano (1991)

Shozo Ichiyama PRODUCER
Born in 1963, in Yamaguchi prefecture, Ichiyama joined Shochiku Co., Ltd. after graduating from Tokyo University. In 1989 he worked as an assistant producer for "226/FOUR DAYS OF SNOW AND BLOOD" by Hideo Gosha, and participated in the production of "VIOLENT COP" by Takeshi Kitano. In 1991 he produced "NOWHERE MAN" by Naoto Takenaka, which received the FIPRESCI Award at Venice Film Festival, and was highly praised abroad.

Since 1994 he started to work with Hou Hsiao-hsien, Taiwanese master filmmaker, and produced "GOOD MEN, GOOD WOMEN" (1995), "GOODBYE SOUTH, GOODBYE" (1996), and "FLOWERS OF SHANGHAI" (1998). From 1992 to 1999, he has been responsible for the section of The Best of Asian Films (later called Cinema Prism) of Tokyo International Film Festival.
In 1998 he left Shochiku and joined T-Mark Inc., an affiliated company of Office Kitano, and started to work with young Asian filmmakers. In 2000, he participated in the production of "BLACKBOARDS" by Samira Makhmalbaf, which won the Jury Prize in Cannes Film Festival, and produced "PLATFORM" by Jia Zhang-ke, which won NETPAC Award in Venice Film Festival, and Grand Prix in Nantes Film Festival.? In the same year, he launched a new film festival, TOKYO FILMeX, which focuses on the films by young Asian filmmakers, and is acting as the program director. In 2001, he produced “DELBARAN” by Abolfazl Jalili, which won the Special Jury Prize in Locarno Film Festival.?In 2002, he produced “UNKNOWN PLEASURES” by Jia Zhang-ke, which was selected in competition of Cannes Film Festival.

In 2003, he moved to the production division of Office Kitano, and continues his work as the producer, as well as the program director of Tokyo Filmex. His latest film is “THE WORLD” by Jia Zhang-ke.

Filmography (as producer)
1989 226/FOUR DAYS OF SNOW AND BLOOD by Hideo Gosha (assistant producer)
VIOLENT COP by Takeshi Kitano
RAFFLES HOTEL by Ryu Murakami
1990 JUMPIN' JAP FLASH by Osamu Murakami (associate producer)
1991 NOWHERE MAN by Naoto Takenaka
1995 GOOD MEN, GOOD WOMEN by Hou Hsiao-hsien
1996 GOODBYE SOUTH, GOODBYE by Hou Hsiao-hsien
1998 FLOWERS OF SHANGHAI by Hou Hsiao-hsien
2000 BLACKBOARDS by Samira Makhmalbaf (associate producer)
PLATFORM by Jia Zhang-ke
2001 DELBARAN by Abolfazl Jalili
2002 UNKNOWN PLEASURES by Jia Zhang-ke
2004 THE WORLD by Jia Zhang-ke
2005 Big River by Atsushi Funahashi


Eric van den Brulle Cinematographer / Co-Writer
Eric has been working as an award winning still photographer for 15 years. In 1998 and 2003 he received the Award of Excellence in Photography, (Publication, Communication Arts "Photography 39" and "Photography 43", California) and has also been published in the acclaimed American Photography 14 and 19, (Publication, New York). His solo exhibitions include Mexico and Guatemala (The Mary Gearhart Gallery, 1998), Tibet (Photonica Gallery, 1995), Journey to Tibet (The National Arts Club, 1994), Tibet (Photonica Gallery), and Portraits (Fox & Fowle Gallery, 1992).

Eric wrote and directed UDITA which was screened at New York Lower East Side Film Festivals 1998. echoes is his first feature film as Director of Photography. He shot
another feature film in Europe called "Germania" (35mm film, color, 90 min) directed by the critically acclaimed German director Mirjam Kubescha.

His video work as cameraman includes various art sources in New York. He has recently art-directed and shot a promotion video for Museum of Modern Art, New York. Other clients he has worked with include Outside Magazine, Forbes, Warner Bros. Records, and Thomas Merton Foundation.

2003 God in the Machine
(Mini DV, Color Feature, 90 minute, non union, USA)
60’s / film culture satire.

2002 MoMA Promotion Video
(60 second spot for Museum of Modern Art New York, On-Air: 7/01/02 - present)
A documentary showcasing the families who lost their loved ones on September 11, 2001.

2002 Germania
(35 mm, Color Feature, Cinemascope, 72 minute, non union, Germany-Greece)
World War II period piece love story.

2001 echoes
(16mm, B&W Feature, 72 min, Non union, USA-Japan.) Theatrical release in USA & Japan

AWARD & Film Festival
Annonay International Film Festival 2003 (France)
Special Jury Prize, Audience Award,
Special Jury Prize of All Time
FILMFEST MUNICH 2001 (Germany)
Tokyo International Film Festival 2001 (Japan)
Independent Feature Film Market 2000 (New York)
New Filmmakers Series 2001 (New York)
1999 UDITA
(Super 8 mm, B&W Short, 10 min, Non union, USA)

Film Festival
New York Lower East Side Short Film Festival 1999 (USA)


Steve Hamilton began working with Hal Hartley in 1990 providing editing and sound design for SIMPLE MEN, AMATEUR, HENRY FOOL, THE BOOK OF LIFE, and NO SUCH THING in addition to many of Hartley's shorts and music videos. In 1993 Hamilton founded Spin Cycle Post where he was involved in dozens of independent feature films including works by Ang Lee, Michael Almereyda and Rea Tajiri. In 1995 he provided the sound for Matthew Barney's first CREMASTER film and since then has collaborated extensively within the art world with Barney and Burt Barr, and on the stage with Choreographers Trisha Brown and Cathy Weis, and theater director Travis Preston.

Hamilton left Spin Cycle to start Mad Mad Judy in 1999. This new facility is primarily involved with commericial editorial. At that time he also formed Sontext, a sound-art collaboration which just in the two years of its existence yielded a number of publicly displayed works at museums, galleries and public spaces in New York and throughout the world. In 2001, Hamilton created the first of a series of short video documents, The Aesthetics of Industrial Scale (screened at the Nantucket Film Festival). The second of these videos, My Left Arm, was selected for the opening night program at The Arizona Int'l Film Festival. For the past two years Hamilton has been working on a large-scale multi-media installation titled The Last Year of My Youth and several components of the piece were shown at The Triangle Project Space in San Antonio, Texas in November and December of 2003.

1. Big River (2005) (completed)
2 The Girl From Monday (2005)
3 Summer of the Serpent (2004)
4 No Such Thing (2001)
5 The Château (2001)
6 Trance (1998)
... aka The Eternal (USA: video title)
... aka The Eternal: Kiss of the Mummy (USA: video box title)
7 The Book of Life (1998)
8 Henry Fool (1997)
9 "Remember WENN" (1996) TV Series
10 Flirt (1995/I)
11 The Hardly Boys in Hardly Gold (1995)
12 Amateur (1994)
13 "The Adventures of Pete & Pete" (1993) TV Series
... aka Pete and Pete (USA: short title)
14 Simple Men (1992)
... aka Uomini semplici (Italy)


Mohammed Naqvi Co-Producer
Pakistani Native, Mohammed Naqvi, describes himself as a socially conscious filmmaker. He is the recent, and youngest, winner of the prestigious Overseas Press Club of America-Carl Spielvogel Award (best international reporting in the broadcast medium showing a concern for the human condition) for his work on “Terror’s Children”. “Terror’s Children”, commissioned by The New York Times, premiered on March 25th, 2003 on the launch night of Discovery-Times, a joint venture between The New York Times and the Discovery Communications Group. The documentary has since been broadcasted internationally and has been shown in film festivals the world over. Mohammed was also an invited guest lecturer at the United Nations Youth Initiative for Peace summit. In 2003, the summit, which was held in Karachi and had participants from all over South Asia, focused on addressing the conflicts between India and Pakistan. Mohammed worked with participants to collaborate on “Bus”, a digital short film profiling the India/ Pakistan conflict. Mohammed is currently a SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) Award nominee for his work on “Bus”. Mohammed is also an Independent Feature Project (IFP) Project Involve Honoree and winner of the Greenestreet Films/ IFP New York Narrative Pitch Award 2004. His current project, Shame was one of the thirty projects invited to participate in the Talent Project Market at the Berlin Film Festival 2004, and is an official selection of the Pusan Promotional Plan, Pusan International Film Festival 2005. Mohammed is also the first Pakistani to be accepted as Berlinale Talent Campus invitee (2004). In addition, Mohammed is the founder of B.L.A.H Productions, an off Broadway theatre arts company in New York, in January of 2002. He has produced three shows and acted in the most recent stage production, “Olleanna”, by David Mamet. Mohammed is also currently producing another project that was the official selection at the Berlin Market 2004, entitled, “Big River”, directed by award-winning Japanese filmmaker Atsushi Funahashi. In addition, Mohammed is also producing and directing a documentary, entitled, “American Jihad”, a profile of madrasas based in America. Mohammed is also part of the IFP Director’s Lab 2005 with Scott Macauly.

*2005 Breaking Stock. Docu-Narrative TV Special: Producer- Director
DV/ Post- Production, NHK Japan

*2003 Hide. Digital Short: Producer- Director
DV Color/ TRT: 1 minute

*2003 Terror’s Children. Documentary: Producer-Director
DV Color / TRT: 51 minutes
Produced by New York Times Television- Discovery Times Channel

*2001 The Spells. Experimental Play: Writer- Director- Actor
Produced by Intuitions

*1999 Class. Short- Director
8mm/ TRT: 6min

*1999 Motion Study. Short – Director
8mm/ TRT: 11min

*2005 Big River. Feature Drama: Producer.
35mm/ Office Kitano. Completed

*2004 I Will Avenge You Iago: Line Producer, Production Manager
HD/ Iago Films, LLC. Completed

*2004 The Cat Came Back. Romantic Comedy: Associate Producer- Art Director. HD Color/ TRT: (In edit)
Produced by Tuck Productions Canada

*2003 Olleanna. Play: Executive Producer- Producer- Actor
Produced by B.L.A.H Productions

*2003 Cowboy Mouth. One Act Play: Producer
Produced by B.L.A.H Productions

*2002 True West. Play: Executive Producer- Producer
Produced by B.L.A.H Productions

*2002 Sylvia. Play: Executive Producer- Producer
Produced by B.L.A.H Productions

*2000 Midnight Live. Weekly Local Show Philadelphia. Producer- DP
Produced by UTV13


Alyssa Jo Black Co-Producer
ALYSSA is an independent producer and casting director from New York City and Boca Raton, FL.
As owner of Lure Talent & Model Group in NYC for over a decade, she was a SAG agent representing actors and models for print, film, television and theater. In 1999 she began her production career, fulfilling her longtime dream of being a filmmaker.

Ms. Black has raised millions of dollars on behalf of several charity groups, serving as the Chair of the Board of Directors of both Alyn Hospital (1992-1994) and American Friends of Tel Aviv University's New Leadership (1988-1990 & 1999-2001) divisions, she produced numerous gala fundraising events. She loves to travel, is an avid reader, and enjoys spending time with her family.

Ms. Black has contributed to many outstanding features. She currently has several features in development. A selected filmography is below.

2005 Trust the Men
In development. Production scheduled Summer 2005. Alan Cumming, Robert John Burke attached.

2005 Big River (35mm anamorphic/non union/Office Kitano, Tokyo)

2004 I Will Avenge you, Iago! (DV cam Feature/ SAG limited EX budget/Iago Films)

2004 Lobster Farm (S16mm Feature/SAG limited EX budget/Red Claw Productions & Moe Greene)

2003 Mineville (35mm Feature/SAG modified low budget) 

2003 The Passing (Multi-cam DV/Feature/SAG) 

2003  Wolves of Wall Street (35mm Anamorphic Feature/ Regent Prod’s L.L.C.)

2002  On_Line (DV Feature/AFTRA/Internet Stories Productions )AWARDS & Film Festivals
Sundance Film Festival 2002
Berlin International Film Festival 2002

2001  Little Magician (35mm 3-D Feature/Non union/Apple Productions) 

2001 SMOKING HERB (DV Feature/SAG Experimental/SR2 Productions)

2001 echoes  (16mm/ B&W Feature/non union/Village Productions)
AWARDS & Film Festivals 
Annonay International Film Festival 2003 (France)
Special Jury Prize, Audience Award,
Special Jury Prize of All TimeFILMFEST MUNICH 2001 (Germany)
Tokyo International Film Festival2001 (Japan)
Independent Feature Film Market 2000 (New York)
New Filmmakers Series 2001 (New York)

2000 TOWN DIARY (35MM Feature/SAG modified low budget/Town Diary Productions)

1999  Whiskey River  (35 mm Feature/non union/Rattlesnake Pictures)


Contact: +1-646-420-1580___ email:

©2006 Atsushi Funahashi All Rights Reserved