I watched your trailer and teaser for 2 Criminals. Superb! I am struck by your visual aesthetics and how completely successful you are at weaving complex thematic ideas into such a short piece through synergetic images and sounds.

Dawn W. Ford (M.F.A., Member of the Producers Guild of America, Associate Professor of Digital Media Arts at Huntington University)


“I was quite engrossed in the script and read it through in one sitting. I was drawn in by the strength of the characters and by how quickly we were catapulted into the action.”

Danielle Redford (Acquisitions Manager at Heritage Films International)


“Being a filmmaker and producer myself I know a good project when I see it. If I can assist with anything please let me know!”

Dustin Lowry (Director of International Sales at Acort International)


2 Criminals offers a riveting study of the Unforeseen―the moment where the frenzy of human violence is fully eclipsed by the terrifying power of a natural disaster.

Jonathan R. Eller (Chancellor’s Professor of English, Indiana University School of Liberal Arts)


“Everybody loves a great Gangster movie and the fascination with Japanese pop culture is on the rise. 2 Criminals has all the ingredients for a compelling cinematic experience.”

Mark Joseph (Producer for Tolkien & Lewis, Reagan, Max Rose)


Japanese are fascinated by crime dramas and stories of the yakuza, their version of the mafia. They also are fascinated when they see the evidence of a truly transformed life. 2 Criminals promises to deliver both.

Greg Thompson (Journalist, former IBM executive in Japan, CRASH Japan volunteer)


“I believe 100% in the potential of 2 Criminals… I couldn’t put it more clearly or strongly, to me this film project is a Godsend.”

Hugh Brown (Prison Chaplain in Japan, former terrorist in the Northern Ireland conflict)


I just watched the 2 Criminals teaser… Wow, I am extremely touched. I do look forward for the film to be completed. Some scenes took me right back to 2011 (when Japan’s disaster happened).

Hiroko Shimoda (Served as Operations Chief & Operations Deputy with CRASH Japan)


ドーン・W・フォード 美術学修士 アメリカ西部プロデューサー協会会員 ハンティントン大学デジタルメディアアート準教授


ダニエル・レッドフォード ヘリテージ・フィルムズ・インターナショナル 購入マネージャー




ジョナサン・R・エラー インディアナ大学教養学部英語学教授


マーク・ジョゼフ 文筆家 映画プロデューサー(「マックス・ローズ」、「レーガン」)ハフィントンポスト執筆者


グレッグ・トンプソン ジャーナリスト 元日本駐在IBMエグゼクティブ


「二人の犯罪者」の作品の力を、私は100%信じています。(中略)これ以上明確に、また力強く表現することは私にはできないでしょう。私にとってこの映画プロジェクトは、まさに天の恵みです。ヒュー・ブラウン 日本在住教誨師 元北アイルランド紛争テロリスト今、「二人の犯罪者」の宣伝映像を見たところです。(中略)心底感動しました。この映画の完成をとても楽しみにしています。(日本で大震災が起きた)2011年の記憶がよみがえってきました。
下田伯子(ひろこ) クラッシュジャパン 元オペレーション副責任者及び責任者


Shinada & Doumae Having Dinner together in Tokyo

Shinada & Doumae Having Dinner together in Tokyo

A ruthless hit man and an arrogant thief for the yakuza (Japan’s Mafia) volunteer in Japan’s radioactive disaster zone and find redemption.

A story of finding beauty in the rubble, 2 Criminals is a narrative film inspired by true events. The story is based on interviews with former yakuza members Doumae and Shinada.

2 Criminals is an unusual film in the organized crime genre. It features the tattoos, revenge, and finger-cutting typical of yakuza movies, but it has another facet that sets it apart: redemption.

The earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disasters that ravaged Japan in 2011 affected everyone in the small, island nation – including Doumae and Shinada — and the two former gangsters began serving survivors of the disaster. Interviews with the men formed the basis of 2 Criminals, and the result is a riveting story that proves that any life is capable of being redeemed.

The Backstory (by Producer Paul Nethercott)

I’ve lived in Japan for over 25 years where I serve as a missionary. The core of my mission is to bring hope to the people of the great nation of Japan.

When disaster struck on March 11, 2011, I was living a comfortable life with my wife and daughter in Tokyo. All of a sudden, the news was full of scenes of utter destruction up north. Tokyo was affected too: cell phones didn’t work, there was no food available in stores, no gasoline, and power outages were common. However, the people up north, in Tohoku, were dealing with far greater challenges than we were.

Paul Nethercott interviewing Mr. Shinada

Paul Nethercott interviewing Mr. Shinada

Very quickly, the situation at the nuclear power plant in Fukushima became dire. The Internet was flooded with reports claiming that large portions of Japan would be a nuclear wasteland. The area around the nuclear power plant was evacuated. Many foreigners packed up and left Japan. My family and I had to decide, “do we stay, or do we go?” After researching on the Internet and seeking professional advice, we decided to stay. And I am so glad we did.

I wanted to help so three days after the giant quake, I began volunteering with CRASH Japan. I did so in response to a call put out by CRASH Japan’s founder, Jonathan Wilson. CRASH became my platform and my passion. Doing disaster relief work was a way of finding meaning in the mess.

My work for CRASH lasted for most of two years. I got to meet a lot of great people at CRASH including veteran missionaries, Japanese pastors, and many amazing young adults. In Tokyo and up north in the disaster zone, hundreds of people did all that they could to help. The dedication of the workers was amazing. And through working together, united by a powerful vision, we accomplished far more than I dreamed we could.

My role at CRASH early on was primarily in fundraising, but later — as chief of public relations — I was in charge of both fundraising and producing public media. We needed a capable filmmaker, so I asked Matthew T. Burns to join my team. Three weeks later, Matthew came to Japan to work with CRASH. Just three days after he arrived in Japan,  Matthew was on his first trip to the disaster zone.

Shinada & Mathew Burns

Shinada & Mathew Burns

Over the next fourteen months Matthew and I made many trips north to report on the work of CRASH Japan. Matthew was a joy to work with and did a stellar job of directing, shooting, and editing our videos. CRASH One Year Anniversary and “Serving Through Tradition” are two of my favorites.

A year after the disaster, I made a collaborative trip to the disaster zone with a film crew from 7Media. It was during this trip, in the city of Iwaki, which is only a few miles south of the stricken nuclear power plant, that we met and interviewed former Yakuza members Doumae and Shinada. Hearing their amazing stories motivated Matthew and me to begin work on a film inspired by their lives.

I’ve produced numerous short films and videos but 2 Criminals is my first feature-length film. The journey is proving to be a grand adventure with rich rewards and many difficult challenges to overcome. The Lord of the Rings story comes to mind often because the journey of Frodo and his band mirrors my journey. Frodo had a mission.

A mission that he really didn’t know how he was going to accomplish. Through providence, faith, and with the help of many friends he eventually reached his goal.

2 Criminals Film Poster

2 Criminals Film Poster

Almost two years of incredibly difficult disaster relief work was valuable for learning how to take problems in stride and find a way to keep moving forward.

Following in the revered footsteps of storytellers like C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, Flannery O’Connor and Japan’s Ayako Miura, the 2 Criminals film team aims to tell an entertaining story that is so compelling that it impacts the nation of Japan.

We can’t make this film without your help! Be part of making this film happen, please make a donation now.

DONATE ONLINE HERE (Donations are tax-deductible)

VOLUNTEER: We need volunteers skilled in filmmaking, graphic design, writing, translation, marketing, and fundraising.  If you are interested, please get in touch with me. I’d love to hear from you on Facebook, or you can use the contact form on this site. Thanks very much for your interest.

Warmly, Paul








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Contact us:

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ベントン アンドリュー(インターン) Website

バーンズ マシュー(演出/脚本)Website

キム クリスタル(インターン)

ブレナー ジョシュア(ウェブマスター)

ネザーコット ナンシー(クラフト)Website

ネザーコット ポール(プロデューサー)Website


バンダー ミューレン デビン E  2世(グラフィックデザイン)Website

ヨモア エスター(総務)


Andrew Benton – Intern  Website

Matthew T. Burns – Director/Writer  Website

Joshua Brenner –  Webmaster

Todd Fong – Photographer/Storyteller  Website

Crystal Kim – Intern

Nancy Nethercott – Craft Services  Website

Paul Nethercott – Producer  Website

Atsuko Tateishi – Communication/Networking

E. Devin Vander Meulen II – Graphic Design  Website

Esther Yomoah – Accounting/Administration


Donations for 2 Criminals go to TEAM (NPO based in Wheaten, IL) and are tax deductible.

Secure ONLINE option: 2 Criminals project on the TEAM website

CHECK:    (Please write “For 2 Criminals” in the memo line)

PO Box 969
Wheaton, IL  60187

WIRE TRANSFER: Please use the contact form to ask us for details on how to send large donations.

We anticipate using Kickstarter or a similar crowdsourcing site to help fund post-production of the film.


口座番号: 00190-2-572185
名義: 2Criminals






Coming Soon

Thank you for visiting the 2 Criminals site!  We plan to officially launch this site on November 14, 2013.  Feel free to write to us at 2criminalsmovie (at) gmail (dot) com