Film Letter to the Future
Program organized in collaboration with the Lussas International Documentary Film Festival

In collaboration with: Institut français du Japon

Talking with Film

To watch a film is, quite simply, to encounter things beyond oneself, to be surprised, and to reflect on the lives of others. The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare impediments to interaction between people and has brought about new social segmentations. Precisely because this is a moment in which the act of “speaking” to one other has been taken from us, we have sought to offer opportunities to listen to the words and voices of others through films, opportunities to open ourselves to people projected on the screen. From September 2020, YIDFF streamed a series of prize-winning films from past festivals under the title “Film Letter to Teens.” This series was targeted at high school and university students, and reactions submitted by these young viewers were published online.

At this year’s festival we present three films, by Claire Simon, Jeong Jae-eun and Nishino Madoka, in addition to a film appreciation workshop for high school and university students. There will also be a symposium on film education that will feature examples of pedagogy in film appreciation from abroad. In selecting the films to be screened, we exchanged ideas with Christophe Postic of the Lussas International Documentary Film Festival, assembling a streaming program that truly explores the theme of people “speaking” to one another as they coexist in the world. Claire Simon’s work was chosen because it speaks to this theme, in its gleaning of the anxious and lonely voices of the young.

The Lussas International Documentary Film Festival and the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival were both established in 1989. In addition to being film festivals rooted in regional communities, both share the mission of bringing people from around the world together through documentary film and of fostering new thought and representation through discussion. Such commonalities have enabled the two festivals to collaborate on this program aimed mainly at young viewers. We hope to continue this exchange into the future with further collaborative efforts.

Through this program, it is our desire that this film letter—the voices from films, along with the responses they elicit—will find recipients somewhere out there in the world.

Tsuchida Tamaki
Program Coordinator


Lussas International Documentary Film Festival
(États généraux du film documentaire)

This non-competitive documentary film festival takes place annually in Lussas, a small village with a population of about a thousand people located in Ardèche in the Auvergne-Rhônes-Alpes region in the southeast of France. Founded in 1989, it has become known, both within France and internationally, for the high quality of its programming. When the festival is in session, the town’s population swells several times over with attendees, including many film professionals and cinephiles. Heralding a mission of “thinking about documentary in its historical, political, and economic aspects,” it has come to function as a site of encounter between many kinds of people. The festival organized an Ogawa Shinsuke program in 2001 and invited film director Sato Makoto as a special guest.

Lussas International Documentary Film Festival web page