From the YIDFF Office

2015-04-10 | Yamagata “Cinema for Children” Filmmaking Workshop

The Yamagata “Cinema for Children” Filmmaking Workshop became the first project co-organized by Yamagata City, Yamagata University, Tohoku University of Art and Design and us, YIDFF. Under the supervision of acclaimed filmmaker Togashi Shin, 32 kids (from 6-year-olds to high school students) took part in experiencing the entire filmmaking process of shooting, editing, creating a poster and screening their own film. Aside from some basic support, parents and staff were allowed only to watch, on the premise that the whole filmmaking process would be done by the children alone.

Togashi announced the theme: love. Breaking up into four groups, the children had to work with mates of different ages who they had met for the first time, exchange ideas about love, and then go on to make their films. One group went out to town and tried to interview passers-by, another pushed their story forward rashly, while others wrote excellent scripts and prepared beautiful stage props . . . The children collected ideas, discussed and discovered their next steps on their own.

When they finally reached the day of screening, they proudly stood on stage and greeted their parents, the workshop staff, and friends from the other groups. It was the happiest time ever for us all!

We are now editing a collection of participants’ impressions on this event. Their essays show us how the children enjoyed this event to the utmost, while parents kept worrying throughout the two days. We thank the parents deeply for encouraging their kids, and hope to meet you all on future occasions that again remind us how amazing our kids are!

Oki Masaharu (YIDFF Yamagata Office)