For documentary filmmakers in Japan and elsewhere in Asia, YIDFF is the ideal place to learn, and getting their work to appear on the YIDFF screen is their dream. It is an exceptional festival for me too, with which I have a deep association. I visited when my work Memory of the Soil screened in the New Asian Currents program as I do when other films I am involved with are featured; even during years when I have no involvement in anything showing, I make every effort to attend the festival as an audience member; and since I teach at a university, I have also invited directors from abroad who are guests of the festival to come to our school and interact with the students.
The New Asian Currents program provides a brimming treasure trove of Asian films rarely available on television in Japan, rough-hewn but eloquent in bringing to us the very air and breath of the places and people they depict. I often find myself completely overwhelmed by the power of what the director is saying, beyond the limits of shared language. I want you too to experience this chaos. And don’t miss the post-screening talks, through which you learn even more vividly about what is going on in the country in question.
If you crave even more, go to Komian in the evenings, where you might even be able to chat with the filmmakers over a drink or two! YIDFF’s allure is how close the audience is to the filmmakers, which is also why documentary filmmakers from around the world are drawn to Yamagata—the city of documentary! This year, the festival has granted me the honor of making me a juror, for which I am grateful—and I look forward to encountering many wonderful films.
Born in Japan, she graduated with a degree in Craft Design from Musashino Art University. After working as a director of television programs, she went on a scholarship program to the Documentary Department of the National Film and Television School in the UK. Her graduation work Memory of the Soil (1996) received favorable reviews when it showed in documentary film festivals overseas and it was also screened in New Asian Currents at YIDFF in 1997. Other films she directed include Captain Singh (1996), shot in 16mm, about an Indian resident of London who fought for the United Kingdom against the Japanese Army and became a prisoner of war. She presently teaches at J.F. Oberlin University in Tokyo, and collaborates with documentary directors in Japan and abroad.
Memory of the Soil(Tsuchi no kioku)
UK / 1996 / Japanese / Color / 16mm / 47 min
Director, Producer: Shiozaki Toshiko
Photography, Sound: Lynne Ramsay, Shiozaki Toshiko
Editing: Sotira Kyriacou
Sound Design: Gagik Karagheuzian
Source: National Film and Television School, UK
World Sales: Shiozaki Toshiko
Gathering together memories of soil and stone, artist couple Kurita Koichi and Kazuko create their works. An art documentary gently put onto film, bringing us the sensations of the air and the soil of life in Kofu.
Children of the Hakkyo School Project(Edagawa hakkyo no kodomotachi project)
JAPAN / 2017 / Japanese, Korean / Color / Video / 35 min (work in progress)
Director, Photography: Shiozaki Toshiko
Photography: Fujii Ryosuke, Takeno Hiroko, Akashi Kaoru
The Tokyo Korean Primary School 2, known for the Edagawa Trial, was established in 1946 in the Edagawa area of Tokyo’s Koto district. Filming commenced here in 2010, as a school building fallen into disrepair was being rebuilt. We watch the children in this work-in-progress as they grow, through footage taken over time of their unassuming facial expressions.