Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival

The Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival is highly acclaimed as one of the top film festivals for documentary in the world.
Praised and trusted by world renowned filmmakers, its quarter of a century history shows programming that upholds the diversity of film cultures and festivities that strive to become a place for meaningful exchange. This film festival, giving rise to international exchange and networking, is one of the centerpieces of Yamagata as an international city of culture and arts.

Scene of stage in the film festival

Yamagata Documentary Film Library

With each edition of the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival, documentaries from the world are accumulated here in this library. At present, more than 13,000 documentaries are preserved. The importance of such a rare collection is increasingly rising with the years – it can be called world heritage class as an audiovisual record of contemporary world history. Moreover, a part of the archives is available for rental, video viewing on site, and screenings.

Scene of watching movie

〈Academic research using archives〉Yamagata University scholars have been utilizing the stored films of the Documentary Film Library as academic resources for writing and publishing papers and books. Further, film professionals and researchers from around Japan and beyond also visit the Library to view the precious collection of films.

The Yamagata Film Commission (Promoting locations for filmmaking, contributing to tourism and cultural promotion)

provides support to movies, TV programs, commercials, and all other filmmaking production in the region. In ten years the office has assisted around 480 teams coming to Yamagata locations to film.

  • Film: “Rurouni Kenshin : Kyoto Inferno / The Legend Ends” Shooting location: Bun sho kan Hall, Chitose kan Hall
  • Commercial: “SK-II Discovery” Shooting location: Yamadera Temple
  • Film: “Samurai Hustle” Shooting location: Kajo kouen Park
  • Film: “Ogawa no Hotori”
  • The Yamagata Film Commission1
  • The Yamagata Film Commission2

Tohoku University of Art and Design

Tohoku University of Art and Design trains the next generation of professionals who shoulder the future of culture and arts. Alumni are active in Japan and internationally in the film field. Since 2014, the university hosts the Yamagata Biennale: Art Festival of Michi no Oku, transforming Yamagata into a town of art.

Building of the university of Art and Design

Voluntary Screening Activities by Citizens

  • voluntary screening1
  • voluntary screening2

Film Workshop for Children

Film workshops are held regularly for students from elementary school to senior high school ages. Children’s eyes shine brightly as they encounter the joys of “watching,” “making,” and “expressing” that is not offered within the school curriculum.

  • the scene of workshop1
  • the scene of workshop2
  • the scene of workshop3
  • the scene of workshop4

Free Screenings in the Disaster Areas of the 2011 Earthquake

 In 2013, screenings were organized by Yamagata volunteers in the following cities:

  • Fukushima PrefectureFukushima City, Souma City, Minami Souma City, Date City, Iizaka Town, Miharu Town
  • Miyagi Prefecture Ishinomaki City
  • Yamagata PrefectureNanyo City, etc.

Screenings: Total 33
Total number of audience: 2,413 persons

Scene of screening

311 Documentary Film Archive

An archive of documentaries and information about the disaster of March 11,2011 is being compiled, in order to allow the next generation and the world to learn about them. (Activity of Yamagata Documentary Film Library)