Directed by award-winning director Hirokazu Kore-eda, ‘The Centre Lane’ will be the first of a series of films released under the new content platform SK-II Studios in partnership with a high impact group from WPP, consisting of global talent from Grey and MediaCom.
Premium skincare brand SK-II has unveiled its first film, ‘The Centre Lane’, an empowering documentary plus drama that blends live action and animation shedding spotlight on the story of the Japanese swimming prodigy, Rikako Ikee, the Most Valued Player (MVP) of the 2018 Asian Games and a gold medal candidate for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. She was just 18 when she was diagnosed with leukaemia. Her story of hope and strength touched the heart of the nation, becoming top news on Twitter, LINE and Yahoo in Japan.
Embracing the power of film and storytelling, the film revolves around the idea of tackling the societal pressures impacting women around the globe. Using the backdrop of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 to support women all over the world, the film was co-created by the specially-formed hyper-accelerated creative unit within WPP that was built to develop an exciting and challenging new narrative from SK-II on the pressures around beauty.
Hirokazu Kore-eda, a Japanese film director, producer, screenwriter, and editor who has directed more than a dozen feature films and has gained international fame winning the Palme D’Or for his 2018 feature film ‘Shoplifters’. ‘The Centre Lane’ film utilises his signature style with in-depth interviews and experiences that shed light on Ikee’s inner thoughts, struggles and hopes as she re-enters the pool to train for her competitive comeback. It also marks the first time the director has used animation.
Speaking about the creative approach, Siddika Dehlvi, Executive Creative Business Director, said, “The Centre Lane is a beautiful, emotional film that presents the idea of changing your destiny through the story of Rikako Ikee, and the eyes of Hirokazu Kore-eda. This is the first time Kore-eda has used animation in his filmmaking, so we are honoured that his first foray into this style was with us. Rikako Ikee’s journey shows the power of resilience and determination; something we all can draw inspiration from. SK-II’s partnership with Rikako Ikee is very important to the brand, and we hope that this poignant film will show a side to her and her story that has never been seen before.”
Detailing about the idea behind the film, Sandeep Seth, Chief Executive Officer, Global SK-II, said: “We’re very excited to share this film with the world. As a human brand, we believe in the power of human stories and Rikako Ikee’s journey back to competitive swimming is a beautiful example of this. As well as partnering with WPP agencies on this incredible journey, it’s been an honour to work with Kore-eda on telling this powerful story, and we hope that this first film from SK-II Studio demonstrates our commitment to supporting women who want to #ChangeDestiny”. In the current times, we’re delighted to be releasing an inspiring message of hope”
Graham Drew, Executive Creative Director
Leo Savage, Consulting Executive Creative Director
Stuart Harkness, Creative Consultant
Danni Mohammed, Executive Creative Strategy Director
Siddika Dehlvi, Executive Creative Business Director
San Takashima, Executive Creative Producer
Nihar Das, WPP Team Lead
Katie Mulligan, Creative Strategist/Copywriter
Nathan Wilson, Global Integration Lead
Yukiko Ochiai, Executive Account Director
Shoko Akutagawa, Senior Producer
Ashley Chen, Creative Director
Ken Mitani, Creative Director
Sudhir Pasumarty, Creative Director
Yukika Anan, Copywriter
Erina Uchiyama, Art Director
Angelique Malabanan, Senior Project Director
ChewLing Loke, Project Director
Shane Lester, Creative Director
Iris Gu, Senior Account Executive
Hiroko Matsuo, Planning Director
Sue-Ann De Cruz, Account Director
William Godwin, Business Director
Prajat Khare, Media Director
Hirokazu Kore-eda, Director