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Little Stranger Films

An award winning film production company making films and connections between strangers.

  • Of Love & Law (formerly ‘Lawyers’) wins BEST PICTURE at Tokyo International Film Festival 2017

    What a ride it has been… 3 years in the making, Of Love & Law had its premier at 30th Tokyo International Film Festival on 28th October 2017. With an amazing response from both audience and industry, we were awarded Best Picture award in Japanese Cinema Splash category, showcasing new talent from Japanese independent cinema. The whole crew and cast is stunned and humbled at the honor of receiving such a recognition. The film has been the labour of love and passion for all involved, so we hope the award will help propel our continued efforts to spread the film and its message far and wide!...

  • ‘Lawyers’ is selected as one of the projects supported by Chicken and Egg Pictures’ Accelerator Lab!

      2015 was an exciting year for the ‘Lawyers’ team! We received the great news that the film was selected to be part of Chicken and Egg’s Accelerator Lab. ‘The Accelerator Lab is focused on identifying and supporting a diverse group of women non-fiction directors who are first and second-time filmmakers. This program brings together five first-time and five second-time filmmakers, with a special focus on underrepresented voices.’ You can see that we are in great company and are very excited about working with the great folks at Chicken and Egg Pictures. First assignment: February workshop in New York with other filmmakers to develop our stories. We’ll be posting more on the workshops so watch this space!...

  • Lawyers is Selected for MeetMarket at Sheffield Doc Fest!

    We are proud to announce that we have been chosen as one of the 65 projects from 19 countries worldwide for the MeetMarket where we will be meeting and marketing out Lawyers. “Covering the wide spectrum of factual media, these projects thrilled us with their innovative and progressive take on documentary storytelling.” Sheffield Doc/Fest Selected MeetMarket Projects 2015...

  • Lawyers Production Starts

    Lawyers production starts in Osaka!...

  • Lawyers Wins Best Pitch Award

    Lawyers wins Best Pitch Award at Tokyo Docs. TokyoDocs...


Fumi and Kazu are partners in love and law; they run the first law firm in Japan set up by an openly gay couple. As lawyers driven by their own experience of being ​outsiders​, they attract a range of clients who reveal the ​hidden diversity of a country that prides itself for collective obedience, politeness and conformity. Tired of being silenced and made to feel invisible, ​the lawyers and their misfit clients expose and challenge the archaic status quo that deems them second-class citizens.

OF LOVE & LAW follows the two lawyers as they enter into the lives of their clients; we meet Rokudenashiko, an artist arrested for breaking the obscenity law with her vagina themed art works; Ms. Tsujitani dismissed from her teaching position for not singing the national anthem at a graduation ceremony; Anonymous individuals who have no official legal status in Japan for being born outside of the traditional family structure.

In a country where being a ​family​ is the ultimate social status, the lawyers ​dream of becoming dads – but adoption is not even an option. But one day, Kazu and Fumi find themselves taking in a boy who has suddenly been made homeless, and their world start to change…

Lawyers Team

Director: Hikaru Toda is self-shooting Director/Editor based in London and Osaka working in long and short format documentaries. Her films have screened on BBC Storyville, France Televisions, NHK, The Guardian and major international film festivals including Hot Docs, CPH DOX and Melbourne International Film Festival. Hikaru moved to Japan for the first time in 22 years to make Of Love & Law.
Producer: Recently awarded the prestigious BFI Vision Awards for the UK’s most exciting emerging producers, Elhum Shakerifar is a BAFTA nominated producer with an interest in the intersection between the personal and the political. She recently produced multi award-winning BFI/BBC supported A Syrian Love Story (Sean McAllister, 2015), which has also screened in both UK and European Parliaments. Elhum is an advisor for London Film Festival and film curator of Shubbak, festival of contemporary Arab culture.  

Co-Producer Estelle Robin You of the French company Les Films du Balibari is based in Nantes. Her productions have been selected in festivals worldwide including Visions du Réel – Nyon, Planet Doc Review – Warsaw, Cinéma du Réel – Paris, Dei Popoli – Florence, IDFA Amsterdam, Hot Docs, Toronto and New Horizons – Wroclaw. In 2010, she was also nominated for the Procirep Best Producer award. Les Films Du Balibari

DoP Jason Brooks is a London-based cinematographer and camera operator specialising in documentary work in unfamiliar cultural contexts. Having trained in visual anthropology at Princeton University and Goldsmiths College, he has worked on several feature-length documentaries including Peace Vs. Justice (Klaartje Quirijns, 2012, Uganda); Addicted in Afghanistan (Jawed Taiman, 2009, Kabul); Uspomene 677 (2011, Mirko Pincelli, Bosnia) and; The Mouse That Roared (Judith Ehrlich, In Production, Iceland). Opticalism

Editor & Associate Producer: Takeshi Hata is an award-winning editor based in Osaka, Japan. He has recently worked on Kazuo Hara’s first feature length documentary in 10 years.

Lawyers Contact

Director: Hikaru Toda | hikaru@littlestrangerfilms.com

Producer: Elhum Shakerifar |  elhum@hakawati.co.uk