Yamagata Film Criticism Workshop

September 25–October 13

Aspiring film critics have the chance to think, read, and write about the world we live in, through the lens of documentary. The established project will be held online this year. Professional critics advise the participants, who write their own articles about films, to be published during the festival.

Docu-Yama Live! website: Yamagata Film Criticism Workshop

[Dates] September 25 (Sat) –October 13 (Wed)
[Place] Online
[Mentors] Chris Fujiwara (English), Kitakoji Takashi (Japanese)


Join the Yamagata Film Criticism Workshop!

Purpose: The purpose of the workshop is to give aspiring film critics practical training in writing reviews of documentary films in the 2021 Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival program, while being mentored by an established film critic.

Overview: This online workshop will focus on key concepts and techniques in writing criticism of documentary films. Participants will watch and discuss films in the YIDFF 2021 program, write short reviews, receive and give feedback on their writing, and prepare their work for publication to the official blog “DOCU-YAMA LIVE!.” In the workshop, we will explore these questions: What makes film criticism effective? What is the role of evaluation in criticism? How should critics address political, social, and ethical issues raised by documentary films?

The workshop is limited to five participants.

Yamagata Film Criticism Workshop overview

[Dates] September 25 (Sat) –October 13 (Wed)
[Place] Online
[To apply for the workshop, you]
  1. Must be able to participate in six two-hour online sessions from September 25 to October 13
  2. Must be able to write and engage in discussions in English
  3. Must write three short reviews (500 to 1,000 words) to be published by YIDFF during the workshop
  4. Must be based in Asia during the workshop period
[To apply]
Send an email including the information and materials requested below to <mail@tokyo.yidff.jp> no later than Sunday, September 12. [Postponed]
  1. Name
  2. Age
  3. Address
  4. Phone number
  5. E-mail address
  6. Self-introduction (education and employment history, with emphasis on your writing experience and your involvement with cinema)
  7. Sample of previous writing
  8. Essay on the theme “Why I Want to Write about Documentary” (approximately 500 words)
[Result Notification]
Applicants will be notified of the result of their application by mid-September.
Mentor: Chris Fujiwara
Chris Fujiwara is an American film critic and programmer based in Japan. He has written and edited several books on cinema, has contributed to many anthologies and journals, and has lectured widely on films and film programming. Formerly artistic director of Edinburgh International Film Festival, he has also developed film programs for many other institutions. He has organized or served as a mentor for film criticism and film programming workshops at Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival, the Berlinale, Singapore International Film Festival, Melbourne International Film Festival, the Japan Foundation Asia Center, and elsewhere.
Send an email to <mail@tokyo.yidff.jp>