Double Shadows 3: People Who Transport Films

October 6–10   [Venues] CS Yamagata Citizens’ Hall (Small Hall), YE Yamagin Prefectural Hall Event Square


Following YIDFF 2015 and 2019, this is the third installment of a special program to showcase documentary films about film history or film itself. A film is not complete by itself. For it to be embraced by an audience, there arises a drama of people trying to match-make. Film festivals, cine-clubs, video rental stores, star actors, posters, lobby cards . . . . Their pursuit of affection and attachment to spaces and objects in the movies will become part of our own journey to trace the past, present, and future.

Blueprint of a Pleasure Machine
INDIA / 2023 / 10 min
Director: Amit Dutta

A detective recruited to locate a secret hidden in the back alleys of a lost film city. Little does he know that it is all a set-up—a conspiracy to send him on a mission with no return. Slowly, he is consumed by the quest and the pleasure it generates, never to be seen again. Imagined like a spy thriller, this film follows his journey through the symbols and desires hidden in the debris of film ephemera. Commissioned by the Museum of Art and Photography (MAP), Bengaluru, this film is composed from items found in the museum’s film paraphernalia collection, including posters and lobby cards.

Silent Witnesses
COLOMBIA / 2023 / 78 min
Directors: Jeronimo Atehortua Arteaga, Luis Ospina

An imaginative journey through the turbulent history of Colombia in the first half of the 20th century, using surviving archival footage. The records say that twelve feature films were made in Colombia during the silent era, of which two have been fully preserved, two have been lost, and only fragments of the rest remain. Documentary films are even scarcer, and it is still difficult to know exactly how many were made. This film is a re-editing of all of Colombia’s surviving silent films to create a single fiction film. What begins as a melodrama in which Efrain falls in love with Alicia—the fiancée of the powerful and vengeful Uribe—turns into a contemporary story as it goes deeper into the jungle, where we witness the humiliating conditions of the Southern farmers and the birth of an armed rebellion.

Oct. 6 CS

Young Cinema
FRANCE / 2023 / 72 min
Director: Yves-Marie Mahé

An archival documentary about the legendary film festival held in Hyères, southern France from 1965 to 1983 but largely forgotten today. The title of this film is the name of the festival, in addition to being a reference to the spirit that sustained it. The festival played an important role in France after Cannes, often screening the first and second cutting-edge films of French and foreign filmmakers such as Guy Gilles, Philippe Garrel, Chantal Akerman, Leos Carax, and Werner Schroeter, and etching their names in film history. However, it gradually distanced itself from the public, lost sight of its founding principles, and disappeared abruptly, pushed aside by the Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes. Through footage of filmmakers, journalists, and chaotic audiences who passed through the festival, the film attempts to recount a tale of lost dreams, while weaving threads of history out of oblivion. It confronts our own film festival with a question: What is the future of YIDFF?

Oct. 6 CS

The Film You are About to See
FRANCE / 2023 / 11 min
Director: Maxime Martinot

This film is based on excerpts from the disclaimers and warnings we often see at the beginning of films. Piracy controls, disclaimers about sexist or racist expressions—they demonstrate not only the collusion between art and industry, but also the boundaries that separate cinema from the outside, such as the conflict of interest between free expression and the law. Film is “an illusion” of desire for us but it detests its own disreputability and even imposes restrictions on itself, and reveals its “pure” and “impure” aspects.

IRAN / 2021 / 71 min
Director: Alireza Rasoulinejad

A picture in an old newspaper sends director and film enthusiast Alireza Rasoulinejad on a mission to the Iranian city of Sirjan to find the Hollywood legend Clint Eastwood. Wearing a motorcycle helmet and embarking on his impossible journey like an Iranian Don Quixote, he lets his cinephile dreams be his guide to the dusty desert landscapes, which seem straight out of A Fistful of Dollars—if we didn’t know better. But maybe Clint is actually out there? All the locals are on first name terms with him anyway in Rasoulinejad’s deadpan satire of Hollywood’s cultural dominance, not just in the West, but all the way out in the Iranian villages.

Oct. 7 CS

A Bunch of Amateurs
UK / 2022 / 94 min
Director: Kim Hopkins

Bradford, an industrial city in the north of England, was the first city in the world to be designated as a UNESCO Creative City of Film, in 2009 (Yamagata City was designated in 2017). Founded in 1932, Bradford Movie Makers is one of the oldest amateur filmmaking clubs in this town of independent productions and screenings. Its members gather every Monday to discuss movies over a cup of tea, but their numbers are dwindling due to their increasing age, and it is financially difficult to maintain their club and building. As if things weren’t bad enough, the pandemic strikes. This film quietly and humorously depicts people desperately clinging to both their dreams and their bonds with one another. Won the Audience Award at the Sheffield International Documentary Film Festival 2022.

Oct. 8 YE

Kim’s Video
USA / 2023 / 88 min
Directors: David Redmon, Ashley Sabin

For twenty years, a video rental store called Kim’s Video existed to provide movie fans in New York City with access to a treasure trove of rare and geeky films. The enigmatic Kim Yongman began by running it out of his dry-cleaning store, the video business expanding to five outlets and eventually collecting 55,000 titles. In 2008, faced with a changing industry, Mr. Kim announced that he was giving up his collection. With an eye to revitalizing tourism, the small village of Salemi in Sicily, Italy, came forward to take on his archives. What twists and turns await this legendary collection?

Oct. 9 CS

SPAIN / 2023 / 90 min
Director: Oskar Alegria

link Juror’s Films

Oct. 10 CS