Rene Duignan

Economist and Independent Filmmaker

Why did an Irish economist working for the EU in Tokyo end up making a powerful and incisive film about suicide in Japan? Simple: a friend and neighbor took her own life, and a deep sense of regret inspired Rene Duignan to attempt a grassroots counterattack against the causes of suicide. For the next three years, suicide prevention became his preoccupation, and the result is a documentary called Saving 10,000—Winning a War on Suicide in Japan. Extensive media coverage led to countless screenings all over Japan. That alerted politicians to the movie, which in March 2013 was screened at the Japanese Parliament. In April 2013, the film won an Award for Excellence at the International Film Festival for Health, Environment and Culture in Indonesia, the Gold Kahuna Award at the Honolulu Film Awards, and was shortlisted for “”Best Asian Documentary”” at the Singapore Endeavours Documentary Film Festival. Saving 10,000 can be viewed in full online at, and Rene will provide DVDs free to any organization willing to raise awareness on this taboo topic.

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