Believe Story

It is snowing in Nagano as the Believe film crew heads towards the Special Olympics opening ceremony. Kawaguchi, the group's self-proclaimed leader advises the others to, “... set up where we won't get in the way.” as they prepare to film inside the arena. After the many national teams make their entrance, the games will begin. In the press center, Ryota interviews Eunice Shriver, founder of the Special Olympics, who explains why she was moved to create the organization.

Six months before the games, the crew had begun training. At their first retreat they concentrate on relieving anxieties towards new experiences and new people. As they spend time in the beautiful natural surroundings, the individual members seem to cohere as a group. They're all eager to learn.

They practice by interviewing each other. An offhand remark by Nobuaki infuriates Hiroki and tension fills the room. Together, the group manages to resolve the conflict.

As the fall colors change, the crew films the 5 millionperson torch relay, bound for Nagano. After the torch relay, the crew interviews Kanai Kenji, one of the torch runners. He works for a company that launders“clean room” suits, where 60 percent of the employees are disabled.

The crew visits a facility for young children with intellectual disabilities where Iwasaki Kyoko, a Barcelona Olympics Gold medalist joins them. The crew decides what to film and how. Yuto explains what it felt like to be hospitalized as a baby to the mother of a similarly disabled toddler.

The crew have assembled in Nagano for a winter retreat to practice filming on snow. Ushiyama Naomi joins them with several of her professional snowboarding friends. The crew, initially timid about snowboarding, gradually get the hang of it under Ushiyama and her friends' patient but demanding tutelage.

That night, the crew assembles at the foot of the ski area for a meeting to discuss how to approach shooting the next day. The next morning, the crew help each other film on the snowy slopes.

The Olympic torch arrives from Athens. As part of the ceremonial welcome, the crew visits the Prime Minister's residence, where Nobuaki proudly interviews the leader of Japan.

Several days before the Special Olympics begin, the crew goes to Nagano. As athletes from around the world begin to assemble, the crew films the town that is designated host town for the American team.

Finally, the games begin. The crew starts by filming the Olympic torch on its way to the arena and then on to the Floor of the Hockey rink. Although the audio cable is plugged in, they aren't getting any sound. As they check connections, they miss the first game entirely.

Several members of the crew volunteer to film the snowy vistas of Nagano from a hot air balloon, waking up at the crack of dawn to float up into the skies.

The crew interviews Konishiki, the retired sumo wrestler, who is also a Special Olympics supporter. Ryota and Nobuaki enjoy bantering with the retired sumo champion and his wife.

The last day brings a figure skating competition. Erica, Koji and Ryota all look through their viewfinders, while Kawaguchi extends the boom. They are all confident. On the ice, the figure skaters work hard to perform at their best. Off the ice, the crew films their efforts while Gen, unable to keep up, falls into a deep sleep…

Three months later, the crew films rice planting on a Nagano farm. As the crewmembers go about their business it's clear they have relaxed into their respective roles. The film ends with the hope that the crew will continue filming.

In epilogue, each crewmember articulates a dream for the future.