• Golden Globe Awards

Twiceborn (Japan)

Claiming to be “based on true events,” Twiceborn tells the story of Satoru Ichijo, a highly successful businessman who gives up everything to pursue his higher calling.
The protagonist is based on real-life spiritual leader Ryuho Okawa and his rise as the founder and CEO of Happy Science Group, a religious sect that claims eleven million followers in the world. Okawa is also a highly controversial figure in his native Japan, claiming to have authored 2,000 books, as well as performed numerous miracles. After graduating from the University of Tokyo with a law degree, he joined a Tokyo-based trading house. In 1981, he professed faith in the “God of Earth”, known as El Cantare, of whom he claims to be a reincarnation with a mission to bring salvation to all of humankind. Followers of Happy Science believe that the being was first born on Earth 330 million years ago and that it is the same entity that has been worshipped at different times as Elohim, Odin, Thoth, Ophealis, and Shakyamuni Buddha. Happy Science now claims members in over 110 countries across the world.
The film starts with an event in July 1991 where Satoru is lecturing to a massive crowd of more than 50,000 people in Tokyo Dome. The story then flashes back to scenes from his formative years, including the time during his senior year in college when Satoru begins receiving messages from the spiritual world. He is spending all of his leisure time reading spiritual philosophers, recording the messages and insights he is constantly getting from his spirit guides.
Japanese actor and singer Hiroaki Tanaka plays the main character Satoru Ichijo (Ryuho Okawa). The female lead is Yoshiko Sengen, winner of the Best Female Actor award at the Monaco International Film Festival in 2020. Okawa’s daughter Sayaka wrote the screenplay. Hiroshi Akabane is the director. Twiceborn is the winner of the Best Foreign Language Feature Film in the Madrid International Film Festival 2020.
Ryuho Okawa’s is in the Guinness World Records for “the most books written in one year by an individual,” after publishing 52 books in 2010 alone. According to Okawa, his studio has thus far produced 21 motion pictures and he has composed lyrics and music to 250 songs. Okawa has the distinction of having produced two films eligible for Globes consideration this year (Twiceborn and The Real Exorcist) as well as several songs he composed.