Petaling Jaya – Bread, Sweat and Tears, a human interest documentary co-produced by Media Prima’s production arm, Primeworks Studios, and Japanese production house, TV Man Union is set to air on Japanese television station Fuji Television’s non-fiction programme belt on June 22. This marks the first international collaboration undertaken by Fuji Television in producing non-fiction content.
The one-hour programme follows the ups and downs of entrepreneur Akihisa Haraguchi and his childhood friend Iku Nakayama in running their Japanese-style bakery in Johor Bahru. As Nakayama is able to communicate solely in Japanese, he is faced with the ultimate language barrier when trying to train his Malaysian staff members. The documentary also sheds light on the differences in working styles between the Japanese and Malaysians, and the entrepreneurs’ determined attempts to overcome these differences.
The documentary will also be broadcast in Malaysia later this year as a special episode on Majalah 3, a magazine-documentary series that has been aired since 1985 on TV3 Malaysia.Ooi Beng Cheang, Malaysian Co-Producer of the documentary, shared, “I believe the topic of overcoming cultural barriers to succeed will be well-received as it is a universal theme. Malaysia has seen the rise of Japanese culture in Malaysia and often wonder about the secret to Japan’s economic success. Through this story, viewers will be able to find the answers to this question as the main Japanese and Malaysian characters interact with each other to make their bakery successful.”
Bread, Sweat and Tears is the first of two documentary co-production projects between Fuji Television and Primeworks Studios in 2014. The second project is currently in its conceptual planning stage and is slotted to begin production in October.
“It is indeed a proud moment for us to be given the opportunity to collaborate with such esteemed organisations as Fuji Television and TV Man Union. As storytellers, we at Primeworks Studios are always on the lookout for new perspectives and angles to deliver uniquely Asian stories for the world. We believe fruitful partnerships such as these are highly instrumental in achieving this vision. There are a few more international collaborations coming up for us this year, and we believe that each of these unique stories possess a universal appeal that will relate to a global audience,” said Ahmad Izham Omar, Chief Executive Officer of TV Networks, Media Prima Berhad and Chief Executive Officer of Primeworks Studios.