2011-05-06 | New Asian Currents accepting entries until May 31st!

Entry Deadlines (postmarked)
New Asian Currents: May 31, 2011

Some courier services to Yamagata have been disrupted, but please note that there will be no change in our submission deadlines.

YIDFF 2011: Entry [It has been closed]


2011-05-06 | Yamagata after March 11th

The core of film festival work is creating and establishing a place for films, and sharing a diverse range of films with as many people as possible.

Two months have passed already since the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster that began on March 11th.

While there is now a visible tendency for people to stay away and move away from northern Japan, we are also aware that there are undoubtedly others who are taking a contrasting approach, actively engaging and interacting with the region exactly because of the current situation.

This includes people in the world of film that we are a part of.

Immediately after the disaster, numerous survivors sought refuge at evacuation centers around Yamagata Prefecture. Although the situation has changed somewhat now, with some transferring to different facilities or temporarily returning to their homes, they still face ongoing difficulties in their daily lives. Together with the Yamagata-ken Eiga Center, we have been holding film screenings at evacuation centers in Yamagata Prefecture since early April, catering to the conditions and requests of each venue. The feeling of being able to share these films with evacuees, and that they are able to enjoy them in a very normal way, gives us a very real sense of joy. While carrying out such activities, we are also gradually expanding the range of films we are able to screen, such as family-friendly works and Japanese classics, provided by various distribution companies.

As well as venues in Yamagata, we will also hold screenings in disaster-hit areas from May. In difficult circumstances, and during times of rebuilding, when does a need for film eventuate? I recently found an answer of a kind by traveling to devastated Ishinomaki and interacting with people there. Films are something to be shared, not forced upon others. We intend to continue to build networks with residents of the affected areas and local volunteers, while creating venues where people can enjoy films, one after another.

Recently, we have received emails of encouragement from people involved in film overseas, as well as proposals from supporters of Japanese film to collaborate on screenings, shooting footage, and holding film festivals in disaster-hit areas. As people working with film, we want to implement these proposals to the best of our abilities, while preserving our concept of sharing films with as many people as possible, especially at such a difficult time.

In northern Japan, where concerns swirl over the still unresolved situation at the Fukushima nuclear power plant and merge with the energy of the many people working to restore the region, the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival will be held in October of this year.

We will further improve the content of the projects that we have so far worked on and continue our efforts to the final development, so that we will be able to share the spirit of this year’s YIDFF with you.

(Takahashi Takuya, Yamagata Office)