From the YIDFF Office

2015-11-24 | To Everybody Who Made YIDFF 2015 Happen

he Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival 2015 closed in success. It is thanks to you—the audience, filmmakers and jurors who gathered from around the world and across Japan to participate, the volunteers and staff leaders who took on the day-to-day operation of running the festival. Without your efforts, the Festival could not have taken place. I extend my sincere gratitude to every person who took part in supporting YIDFF 2015.

This year, the program was fuller, richer, and more varied than ever before. We counted over 24,300 attendees—a record sized audience.

Now over 25 years old, YIDFF has over the years strived to deepen exchange with filmmakers and film professionals in Asia, the Middle East, and recently Latin America in addition to Europe and America. Our local ties with the Yamagata community have also been a key part of our activities. I have a strong sense that the success of our many special programs this year was the fruit borne from years of planting. Taking this sense of accomplishment as a sign, we are determined to continue in our commitment to showcasing the diversity and multiplicity of the world and the arts.

This year we saw a flourishing of extracurricular activities adding to the staple film screenings, thanks to inventive ideas of local partners. In addition to the popular Komian Club and Yamadera tour, there was morning yoga, cocktail meetings, sandwich stands run by people with disabilities, live soba making at the welcome reception, a special concert by the Yamagata Symphony Orchestra and a bicycle tour. Such initiatives allowed visitors to enjoy not just the film festival, but the city and its attractive resources. I believe guests to Yamagata were able to fully enjoy their Yamagata stay, and hope that they will be inspired to return here again.

On December 10, UNESCO will announce the newly designated cities of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, to which the City of Yamagata has applied as City of Film. YIDFF will continue innovation and challenge in its year-round activities so that our small local city will continue to shine, fueled by creativity in film arts and culture.

Our next Festival is 2017. I look forward to meeting you all again here in Yamagata.

Takahashi Takuya (Director, YIDFF Yamagata Office)


2015-11-24 | With Gratitude, YIDFF 2015

To all the participants of Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival 2015, all those who helped and supported us in preparation, in the running, and in the follow-up to the Festival, and all the directors and filmmakers who made the journey to Yamagata with their wonderful films—thank you so very much. I cannot express my appreciation enough.

The young and old, men and women, the wonderful diversity of people from around the world came together to watch our strong group of films with their various angles and viewpoints, to discuss, and to share drink. This year again, I am glad to see that myriad encounters and discoveries were born out of this. I sincerely look forward to seeing you all again in 2017.

Hama Haruka (Director, YIDFF Tokyo Office)