One SGI-USA member wrote down the list of sponsors at the end of the film. Can you provide more information about them? Are they members or otherwise connected with SGI?
Angel Capital Corporation
MacDonald & Beckman (Steven MacDonald is a San Francisco-area SGI leader)
Virender Goswami (SF attorney specializing in immigration law)
Rouse & Bahlart (Cheryl Rouse is a leader in San Francisco)
Chuck Texeira (SF attorney)
Also, another SGI-USA member noted that the credits listed the following people: Clarice Robinson (producer), Anthony Andrews (writer), Tim Jones (composer who has done work for SGI before). Are all of these people SGI members?
Please understand that the issue for some SGI-USA members is not about the film's quality or accuracy. It's about the integrity of portraying the film as an independent production, implying that the film was made independent of SGI's editorial control.
Some members find it disheartening that the only scholars, writers and documentarians who have favorable views of the SGI are the ones on the SGI's payroll or membership list. Granted, this may not be the fact in all cases, but it is a widespread perception among members in the US. Perhaps no one has a problem with this kind of thing in Japan. But in the US, it raises questions about the legitimacy and true motives of an organization; in public relations terms, it raises people's suspicion and makes the organization look like it is trying to deceive people somehow.
I truly appreciate that you took the time to clarify some facts about the film. I will post your response on the BuddhaJones website the next time we update it, which will probably be sometime in the coming week.
I agree that it is naive to imagine that SGI should merely maintain a passive and detached stance while negative perceptions and misinformation perpetuate. ;-) After this exchange, promotional materials distributed by SGI-USA about the film made no mention of it being an "independent production."