The Japanese film industry may be the second-biggest in Asia, but to Hollywood it is still an island unto itself, its inner workings little understood. And the knowledge gap goes the both ways too; Japanese filmmakers may mine Hollywood for ideas and inspiration, but few try to make films — let alone a career — there.

Bruce Nachbar is a rarity. This veteran Hollywood producer, whose credits include the historical drama “Free State of Jones” (2016), the hit TV series “Party of Five” (1994-2000) and the Pixar animation “Monsters, Inc.” (2001), has spent the past eight years working in Japan in various capacities. His current project is “To the North” (“Kita no Ho E”), an indie road movie that he wrote, produced and directed with Japanese actors. With help from crowdfunding, he plans to finish post-production and begin submitting the film to festivals next year.

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