Jurors Publications / index / New Asian Currents

Fukuda Katsuhiko
(Documentary Filmmaker, Japan)

Juror's Statement

It was when I was thinking about agriculture that I first became aware of Asia. The methods of farming developed in Europe and the age-old agricultural ways passed down through the generations in Asia are fundamentally different. By failing to take into account that mutual difference and by bringing in modern agricultural methods, Asian agriculture, even the very soil itself, would be ruined. The destruction of culture is nothing other than the destruction of the soil. When I read a book that made such a claim, I realized that all Asian peoples were caught up in essentially the same problems.The relation between people and nature, the relation between people and the gods, with the relation between people and people as the middle term. Not only documentary but perhaps the "image" itself is always shaking. Now that Asia is beginning to overcome each of the various setbacks that occurred during the 20th century, how should that shaking be shown to the world in Asian images? I can feel my own knees trembling slightly.

Born in Tokyo in 1943. Joined Ogawa Productions after graduating from the Waseda University Faculty of Letters. Worked as an assistant director on all but the first of the Sanrizuka series. Turned freelance in 1978 and directed his own films about Sanrizuka including March of the Earth ("Tsuchi no koshin," 1981) and A Grasscutter 's Tale ("Kusatori zoshi," 1985). Publications include A Grasscutter 's Tale and The Book of Natural Japanese Sake with photographer Kitai Kazuo. Currently writing a book of "stories about the village" based on his experiences in Sanrizuka and teaching a documentary film course at Wako University.

Yu Hui-chen
(Film Festival Coordinator, Taiwan)

Juror's Statement

Documentary has been made since one hundred years ago. Yet what exactly is documentary? In recent years, there are a lot of profound changes challenging our knowledge of the very category in terms of text and form. On the other hand, documentaries made with the simplest and most straightforward ways keep touching the audience a lot.

So, what is essential to documentary? A message the director wishes to carry out? A true story the whole film traces upon? Or anything else? I have no accurate answer to this question. What I do know is that you must prepare yourself for any possible impact while watching documentary. Being an open-minded audience is the best way to encounter documentary works. That is what I am going to do as a juror of New Asian Currents, YIDFF.

It is very cheerful to see so many Asian filmmakers from different cultural backgrounds and different generations making documentary, considering that the distribution systems for documentary are rather weak, funding remains a major problem, and censorship in many areas are scandalously strict. I appreciate that YIDFF offers us access to these valuable works. I am looking forward to any surprises coming up.

Born in 1961 in Taiwan. Graduated from National Tsing-Hua University, Chinese Linguistic & Literature Department. Went to America in 1990, studied in Department of Cinema Studies at New York University, majored in documentary studies, possessed M.A. degree in 1992. After return to Taiwan in 1993, participated in the First Annual "Women Make Waves" Film & Video Festival" as interpreter in 1994, then as program coordinator and organizer since 1995. Joined Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival as project coordinator in 1994, and as Coordinator-in-Chief of International Affairs Dept. since 1995. Teaches Cinema Studies in Dept. of Cinema & Drama at Cultural University since 1995. Published Women & Images--Multi Viewpoints in Interpreting Women's Films (editor and co-author) and translated several books in the field of cinema studies. Now Coordinator-in-Chief, International Affairs of Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival.


Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival Organizing Committee