International Competition

October 6–10   [Venues] YC Yamagata Central Public Hall 6F, CL Yamagata Citizens’ Hall (Large Hall)

A program that began with the very first YIDFF. Feature-length works were sought from around the world, and from the 1,132 entries emerges a stringent selection of 15 cinematic gems, richly varied and representing the vanguard of world filmmaking.

Oskar Alegria (Filmmaker)   • Zinzindurrunkarratz
Erika Balsom (Film critic)
Chen Chieh-Jen (Artist, Filmmaker)   • Worn Away
Yang Yonghi (Filmmaker)   • The Swaying Spirit   • Sona, The Other Myself
Zhang Lu (Filmmaker)   • The Shadowless Tower

- Anhell69
Director: Theo Montoya

With friends from the queer community of his generation, the director had planned a B-movie production in his hometown of Medellín. As death looms near, the film becomes a testimony of survivors, as they recall dreams, fears, and the dilemmas of filmmaking.

Oct. 7 YC | Oct. 8 CL

- The Bus Station
ARGENTINA / 2023 / 62 min
Director: Gustavo Fontán

People coming and going at a bus station. Various textures of light and darkness. Voices reminiscing about past loves are superimposed over the film’s images, as stories of encounters and partings are born.

Oct. 6 CL | Oct. 9 YC

- Crossing Voices
FRANCE, GERMANY, MALI / 2023 / 123 min
Directors: Raphaël Grisey, Bouba Touré

Somankidi Coura is a radical agricultural cooperative formed in 1977 by Mali immigrant workers in Paris. Photographs, video, and audio recordings taken by founding members powerfully recount this revolutionary return-to-the-homeland movement of resistance.

Oct. 7 YC | Oct. 8 CL

- Eastern Front
Directors: Vitaly Mansky, Yevhen Titarenko

The film paints a stark picture of the Russian invasion of Ukraine since February 2022, following six months with members of a medical battalion at the front as they go through gruesome experiences and enjoy brief respite with family during leave.

Oct. 8 YC | Oct. 9 CL

- “hibi” AUG
JAPAN / 2022 / 120 min
Director: Maeda Shinjiro

This feature-length film follows a strict production rule set by the director himself: The footage was shot “15 seconds x 31 days” every August over 15 years. Using sound to disrupt the metrical image, the viewers’ memory is served a jolt.

Oct. 8 CL | Oct. 9 YC

- The Island
FRANCE / 2023 / 73 min
Director: Damien Manivel

The night before her departure to Montreal, Rosa and her friends decide to go on with the last party of their summer around a rock they call “the island.”

Oct. 8 YC | Oct. 9 CL

- Knit’s Island
FRANCE / 2023 / 98 min
Directors: Ekiem Barbier, Guilhem Causse, Quentin L’helgoualc'h

A film crew infiltrates a community of anonymous users who gather in the online game “DayZ.” The film explores the meaning of the duality of living inside a virtual space and living in the real world.

Oct. 7 CL | Oct. 9 YC

- A Night of Knowing Nothing
INDIA, FRANCE / 2021 / 100 min
Director: Payal Kapadia

Love letters found at a film school written by student L reveal the story of her breakup and the caste system that tore it apart, as the groundswell of real-life anti-government protests are juxtaposed in monochrome.

Oct. 6 CL | Oct. 10 YC

- Notes for a Film
CHILE, FRANCE / 2022 / 104 min
Director: Ignacio Agüero

In the 19th century, a Belgian railroad engineer is assigned to Araucania, the land of the Mapuche. Loosely based on his memoirs, the film creates a cinematic space that plays with time while also confronting the reality of social oppression that continues to this day.

Oct. 6 CL | Oct. 7 YC

- Self-Portrait: 47 KM 2020
CHINA / 2023 / 190 min
Director: Zhang Mengqi

This is the newest addition to the film series shot in the homeland of the director’s father; a village called “47KM” in a mountainous region of China. In 2020, despite the onset of the COVID pandemic, farmwork continues across four seasons as it does each year.

Oct. 8 YC | Oct. 9 CL

- Tales of the Purple House
LEBANON, IRAQ, FRANCE / 2022 / 184 min
Director: Abbas Fahdel

A filmmaker and his wife, a painter, live in a purple house in southern Lebanon. We follow their life during the COVID pandemic, seeing through their eyes the symptoms of a collapsing world: the tragic explosion, economic and political crises, and the onset of war.

Oct. 6 CL | Oct. 10 YC

- Three Women
GERMANY / 2022 / 85 min
Director: Maksym Melnyk

In the Ukrainian village of Stuzhytsia, nestled at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains, women form the large part of the population while work takes the men elsewhere. The director accompanies and is drawn into the lives of three dynamic women over the course of a year.

Oct. 9 YC | Oct. 10 CL

- The Unstable Object II
USA / 2022 / 204 min
Director: Daniel Eisenberg

The manufacturing procedure at a prosthetic limb factory in Germany, a high-end leather glove workshop in southern France, and a denim jeans factory in Turkey . . . . Each is the subject of this experimental observational film.

Oct. 6 YC | Oct. 7 CL

- The Visit and a Secret Garden
SPAIN, PORTUGAL / 2022 / 65 min
Director: Irene M. Borrego

Once a celebrated painter, Isabel Santaló disappeared from the public eye, choosing instead a secluded life. Why did she stop presenting her work to the world?

Oct. 6 YC | Oct. 8 CL

- What About China?
USA, CHINA / 2022 / 135 min
Director: Trinh T. Minh-ha

Hi8 video footage shot in southeastern China in 1993 and 1994 is reassembled by the artist herself after 30 years, posing questions about the past and present of Chinese society, as diverse voices of multiple “selves” echo throughout.

Oct. 6 YC | Oct. 7 CL