Yamagata Citizens’ Film Production Workshop
Encounter Cinema in Yamagata

Remembering the silent voice of Yamagata then—with you, now

This year’s festival features the first film production workshop designed specifically with Yamagata City residents in mind, to be held over the course of four days. Participants were determined in advance after a public announcement of the workshop was made, but on the last day there will be a screening open to the public.

Participants listen to each others’ experiences of certain places and times connected to important events in their lives that they kept locked away in their hearts. This workshop project will treat the whole process as a “film,” which will bring to light the “present” of this town. Creating this film will not be about someone else somewhere, but about us, living here and now, in an effort to make a film / to live.


The workshop is divided into two parts:

The first will be a gathering of several people who will talk one by one in front of the others about a concrete location in this town where he or she had a personal experience—an important incident that has been hidden deep in his or her heart—while the others listen closely.

The second will be visiting the location of the narrated episode all together, and listening to the silent voices buried there, through the participants’ cameras. It is important that everyone rolls their cameras at the same time, so that there is a record that every participant was there, at the same time.

The footage each member shoots during these two stages will be edited and combined without disrupting individual timelines, and while watching and listening closely to the experiences of each participating member, the film will be produced.

The streets that one always just used to get from one place to the next, broken benches by the roadside, the seat in the corner of the lunchroom; and the view that can be seen from each of these—maybe these irreplaceable personal experiences are connected somehow. “Films” are not simply consumable content for capturing things that catch our eye or that invite nostalgia from the “past,” but are for animating the action that makes up our “present” lives, and for creating a place where people and people, or people and places, can encounter each other.

Kawabe Ryota

* Encounter Cinema is a cooperative research project sponsored by Kyoto Seika University. This time will be Yamagata’s turn to host an event previously held in Kyoto and Tokyo.

—What does the English word “encounter” mean? This can be defined either as a verb, meaning to come across, to confront, or become engaged in something; or as a noun, meaning a meeting or confrontation. Additionally, it is also a word linked to “encounter group” (or EG) which is a term used in psychology. EG is a method of counseling developed by American psychologist Carl Rogers, adapting the theory of person-centered therapy for people who don’t otherwise need counseling. The aim is for participants to openly express their feelings.

Event Details

Time: Oct. 6 (Fri)–9 (Mon)
Venue: Yamagata Manabikan
Nishi Koichi (Kyoto Seika University)
Kawabe Ryota (Tokyo Zokei University)
Hashizume Satoshi (Tokyo Zokei University)
Supported by:
Film & Moving Image Major, Department of Design, Faculty of Zokei, Tokyo Zokei University
Video & Media ?Arts ??Course,? Department of ?Media ?Ar??t?s,??? Faculty of Art, Kyoto Seika University

Public screening

Date: Oct. 9 (Mon) 13:30–17:00
Venue: Yamagata Manabikan Koryu Room 7 (Free entry)