The Yamagata International Documentary Film
Festival is now an NPO!

The incorporated non-profit organization Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival was established on October 21, 2006. One hundred and thirty members joined forces to take on the operation of the film festival in this new organization. The following year, on February 1, 2007, it was approved as an incorporated NPO by Yamagata Prefecture, and on the sixth of that month registration was completed. From April 1 the NPO started its actual operations, taking over the management as well as the ambitions from the earlier Organizing Committee.

The incorporated non-profit organization is a membership organization, relying on the participation of individuals and groups, all of whom duly recognize the value and significance of its activities and intend to foster its possibilities.

The main aim of the change to NPO status is none other than the continuation of the festival and the support of new possibilities through the formation of a richer network. Financially it will no longer solely rely on subsidies from Yamagata City. The film festival itself will be a gathering of active individuals and groups, and, as its concept is refined, its charm will spread from Yamagata to the rest of Japan and to the world. With its own efforts the organization will bring together both people and funds to support it, and as it strives for more diverse encounters than ever before, it will once again forge forces of connection and existence. These are the central themes for the new organization.

Bringing you in touch with the world through
documentary films.

Documentary films appear from the world, at times overcoming difficult conditions while reflecting the ways of that world and the hearts of people. Realizing the joy of being able to encounter the many films brought to Yamagata is the true meaning of holding the film festival.

To us the film festival is not limited to just the festival period. We want to create everyday opportunities to come in touch with a variety of moving images, and, especially together with the people of Yamagata who provide the festival space, turn its presence into a daily certainty. More than ever the festival crew will make their way across towns and villages. They will take films to schools and workplaces. For that is the true task of a festival that connects cinema and people, and in that way the festival will open itself up directly to many people.

The numerous films stored in the Yamagata Documentary Film Library as a result of the festival’s continuation are, we may say, a valuable modern history through images. It is more important than ever that we work to introduce films to people across the country, making them available for rental, as well as to develop academic usage, as befits a collection that has grown since 1989 to include over 7000 works.

Building the Yamagata International Documentary
Film Festival is something we do together.

Clearly Yamagata has unique filmic blood running through it. The film classrooms established immediately after the war, numerous independent screening activities in every region of the prefecture, civic construction of movie theaters, the presence of Ogawa Shinsuke and the Documentary Film Festival, and in more recent years the lively film production within the prefecture, the presence of film students, the birth of the Film Commission, and so on. For several decades there have been, without interruption, these various and repeated efforts surrounding film in Yamagata, and they are not about to end.

By taking the organic connection of those respective movements as a foundation and involving professional human resources versed in film, the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival was conceived with the exquisite mixture of the very best of a local region and an international scale, and has gone on to fulfill the role it was meant to play in global film history.

As we discover the new work and value of the film festival and support our mutual possibilities, we want to bring out a renewed awareness of this lineage of efforts concerning film and images.

—Takahashi Takuya