Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival
Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival (YIDFF)
The YIDFF was launched in 1989 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the city and has since been held biennially in October, the most delightful season in Yamagata. It is one of the few film festivals in Asia devoted exclusively to the documentary form. Its scope, however, reaches beyond simply screening recent ground-breaking works in its International Competition. New Asian Currents, the competition program introducing emerging filmmakers from across Asia, has over the years become one of the festival’s vibrant centers of attention as a meeting place of raw energy. By featuring special events and programs shedding light on the history and diversity of filmmaking, the YIDFF has worked hard to create a new hub for producing alternative and independent non-fiction films and documentary discussions as a form of expression. In 2018, the YIDFF was included on the Documentary Feature Qualifying Festival List for the annual Academy Awards®. Grand prize winners of the YIDFF’s two competitive sections, the International Competition and New Asian Currents, become eligible for Oscar consideration in the Documentary Feature category the following year. The 2021 edition was held online for the first time due to COVID-19 pandemic, but Yamagata showed its creativity by providing Yamagata-specific programs online.
Yamagata Documentary Film Library
The Yamagata Documentary Film Library is a film archive to collect and preserve outstanding documentary films, including films submitted to the YIDFF. Yamagata sees these documentary works as a valuable cultural resource for generations to come and provides space for citizens and film lovers to access them for free. The library has a full complement of facilities, including a well-equipped theater room, video booths where individuals can watch videos, and a collection of related books and materials. Organized by the YIDFF office, the library’s monthly screening event, the Friday Theater, screens works from the library collection, provides time for citizens to devote to documentary films and incorporates film into their daily life. As of 2021, more than 19,000 videos and films have been archived for citizens, students, and researchers to visit the film library.