Eric Dodge and Sam Payne Join Japanese Music Star, Yoshie Sakamoto before the Screening

August 21, 2017 — Saint George, UT — When you think of country music, you probably do not think about Japan. Perhaps you will after you see Far Western, a feature documentary film that tells the phenomenal story of the transplant of American country music to post-World War II Japan. Now more than 70 years later, for a devoted group, the music has become a lifelong obsession. Part music history and part character portrait, Far Western is told through the lives of musicians, fans, and live-music venue owners. Now the DSU DOCUTAH International Documentary Film Festival offers a free evening of rollicking country music and a screening of Far Western in Town Square which will have you tapping your feet and clapping your hands. The fun begins at 6:30 pm on September 5th when two exceptional American country stars and native sons, Eric Dodge and Sam Payne, entertain the audience and are joined by Yoshie Sakamoto, from the Japanese band, The Blues Side of Lonesome, who is featured in the film. Enjoy a long, late Summer evening in Town Square with friends and family.

“What else can we say, but y’all come down,” said Della Lowe, Marketing and PR director for DOCUTAH. “Aside from being a fun film with great music, Far Western is a parable, which demonstrates the ability of human beings to transcend our differences and understand each other through art.”

Through these modern-day portraits, Far Western illuminates this lost chapter of music as the musicians’ journey from Japan to the heart of American music culture. Over seventy years later this American music tradition has been transformed into something distinctly Japanese. Set both in modern Japan and the American South, the film explores the uncanny ability of a simple form of music to cross geographic and language barriers, forming a strange cultural bridge between the two countries. Now, these Japanese musicians have made their own pilgrimages back to America, to the birthplace of the music, playing in honky-tonks and festivals in America.

Take a break listen to great music and have a snack as we wait for night to fall for the screening of FAR WESTERN. Picnic blankets and lawn chairs suggested.

More information about all the films included in this year’s DOCUTAH Festival, special events and ticketing may be found at

DOCUTAH celebrates the art of documentary filmmaking, connecting Dixie State University and the community to the world. DOCUTAH offers a unique, entertaining International Documentary Film Festival and year-round programs providing creative, cultural, and educational engagement. (read more)