International Competition
Various prizes are awarded to works in the International Competition, which features fifteen documentaries selected from around the world. The work judged to be the best is given the Robert and Frances Flaherty Prize, named for the husband-and-wife team who cultivated and expanded the horizons of documentary film.
  • The Robert and Frances Flaherty Prize (The Grand Prize)
  • ¥2,000,000
  • The Mayor’s Prize
  • ¥1,000,000
  • Two Awards of Excellence
  • ¥300,000 each
  • Special Jury Prize
  • ¥300,000

    New Asian Currents
    New Asian Currents introduces and supports the works of up-and-coming Asian documentarists, without placing restrictions on format or length. The most promising is awarded the Ogawa Shinsuke Prize, named in honor of the filmmaker who played a key role in the creation of the festival and strove to facilitate exchange among Asian documentarists.
  • Ogawa Shinsuke Prize
  • ¥500,000
  • Two Awards of Excellence  
  • ¥300,000 each

    - The Trophies

    Designed for YIDFF by sculptor Azuma Kenjiro (1926–2016), the trophies are modeled after the bright golden stalks of rice plants at harvest time, one of the symbols of Yamagata City and Yamagata Prefecture.Presented for both grand prizes (Robert and Frances Flaherty Prize, Ogawa Shinsuke Prize).

    Kokeshi Trophy

    Those filmmakers honored with the Mayor’s Prize, Awards of Excellence, the Special Jury Prize in the International Competition, and the Awards of Excellence in New Asian Currents will be awarded with a trophy by kokeshi artisan Umeki Naomi, who carries on the tradition of Zao Takayu kokeshi dolls.

    Citizen’s Prize
    Awarded as the result of audience vote during the festival. The prize is presented by the Yamagata Beautiful Commission, a local citizens group.


    Directors Guild of Japan Award
    Works for this award are selected from the New Asian Currents and Perspectives Japan programs for their passion, for surmounting current realities and difficulties in their countries of production, and for showing promise towards the directors’ future work. Each director receives a certificate and trophy. This year's jurors are Adachi Masao, Takebayashi Norio, and Mizutani Toshiyuki.