ASIA-PACIFIC, FESTIVALS / EVENTS, Japan, Taiwan — 09/16/2011 11:04 PM

Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival: October 6th to 13th, 2011

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“Facing reality, what is to be done?” is the slogan of the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival which will hold YIDFF 2011 from October 6th to 13th, 2011.

Some months after the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11th and the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant crisis, the organizer strongly believe that “it is exactly at times like this that our belief in the documentary film, with its power to observe objectively and express subjectively, and our trust that the invigoration of film culture will give impetus to the world, including the disaster-hit areas, pushes us to go ahead.”

Since April 8th, Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival has been working in conjunction with other organizations to hold film screenings and children’s filmmaking workshops at evacuation centers in Yamagata Prefecture and the afflicted areas.

“Through bringing cinema to the people affected by the disaster, we have encountered the true situation there, seen what the news does not show us, and been crushed by a sense of powerlessness. It feels as if this unprecedented catastrophe is forcing us to contemplate what cinema can do, and the value of capturing the truth on film.”

As explain by its organizers, “the duty of the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival at this point in time is to create a venue for the following purposes: to share the chaotic emotions felt by all those who experienced the disaster; to think about what we can do next; and to search for ways to the next step forward.”

YIDFF 2011 will host a special screening program concerning the Great East Japan Earthquake.

International Competition

Feature-length works were sought from around the world, and from the 1,078 entries emerges a stringent selection of 15 cinematic gems, richly varied and representing the vanguard of world filmmaking.

 Apuda [He Yuan / CHINA / 2010]
Armadillo [Janus Metz / DENMARK / 2010]
The Collaborator and His Family [Ruthie Shatz, Adi Barash / USA, ISRAEL, FRANCE / 2011]
Day is Done [Thomas Imbach / SWITZERLAND / 2011]
Distinguished Flying Cross [Travis Wilkerson / USA / 2011]
The Embrace of the River [Nicolas Rincon Gille / BELGIUM, COLOMBIA / 2010]
Images of a Lost City [Jon Jost / USA, PORTUGAL / 2011]
KANTOKU SHIKKAKU [Hirano Katsuyuki / JAPAN / 2011]
Nenette [Nicolas Philibert / FRANCE / 2010]
Nomad’s Home [Iman Kamel / EGYPT, GERMANY, UAE, KUWAIT / 2010]
Nostalgia for the Light [Patricio Guzmán / FRANCE, GERMANY, CHILE / 2010]
Position Among the Stars [Leonard Retel Helmrich / THE NETHERLANDS / 2010]
Vapor Trail (Clark) [John Gianvito / USA, THE PHILIPPINES / 2010]
What is to be done? [Emmanuelle Demoris / FRANCE / 2010]
The Woman with the 5 Elephants [Vadim Jendreyko / SWITZERLAND, GERMANY / 2009]

Atom Egoyan (CANADA / Dir. Citadel )
Haile Gerima (ETHIOPIA, in USA / Dir. Harvest: 3,000 Years)
Ichioka Yasuko (JAPAN / Japan, Producer of TV documentary and Dir. Kura—Argonauts of the Western Pacific)
Amir Karakulov (KAZAKHSTAN / Dir. Don’t Cry)
Fernando Pérez (CUBA / Dir. Havana Suite)

Full 2011 programme

Among the other events and activities:

. A Reunion of Taiwan and Japanese Filmmakers:
12 Years Later, co-presented by Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Japan

Young documentarians from Japan and Taiwan who came together at New Asian Currents in 1999 return to their ‘hometown’ of Yamagata for the first time in 12 years. This program screens old and new works from the 10 filmmakers, who will also reveal the paths they have each taken over the past 12 years. As well as nostalgic reminiscences, perhaps this reunion will provide another opportunity for them to contemplate their future as filmmakers.

YIDFF ’99 was a monumental year for Taiwanese documentary filmmaking. Close to 30 guests made the journey from Taiwan, an unprecedented number and quality of Taiwanese films were screened, and the country’s momentum left an indelible impression on the documentary film-making world. The Taiwanese documentarians, who had gone through a major 6.8-magnitude earthquake at the center of their country only a month prior to coming to Japan, eagerly participated in discussions with festival attendees about the meaning and value of documenting reality through film. On the final day, Wu Yao-tung’s Swimming on the Highway was awarded the Ogawa Shinsuke Prize, sealing an unforgettable festival for Taiwanese documentary.

Japan Taiwan

. My Television

What is the definition of a television documentary? How are they different to documentary films? From the 1960s to the 1970s when television underwent rapid growth, documentary makers grappled with the new potential that the medium possessed, different in nature to that of pre-existing mass media such as film, radio and newspapers. We present renowned programs produced by these pioneers in this journey back to television’s ardent youth.

Co-presented by Yamagata University, Tohoku University of Art & Design

. Great East Japan Earthquake Recovery Support Screening Project
“Cinema With Us”

March 11th. As our feet, spirits and tongues were paralyzed by a massive earthquake that wrought devastation on an unprecedented scale exceeding even that of war, as well as a sequence of other unforeseen occurrences, we faced each other, and went on living. Some took action, others shot footage, and others remained silent. We are undoubtedly in the eye of a vortex of change that is likely to continue for some time yet. The works that we have received are literally recordings of confusion, passion, and exploration in the midst of this situation. This program will screen over 20 works dealing with the events of March 11th, mostly from Japan, in conjunction with symposiums and activity reports from filmmakers and activists working in the disaster-affected areas.

. Afghanistan

In advance of the theatrical release of “Romances sans Paroles”, we present Wang Bing’s “Man With No Name” from China. The filmmaker will be present. October 7th 2011 will mark the passing of ten years since the United States became involved in the war in Afghanistan. “Far from Afghanistan: October Edition” is an omnibus by six filmmakers opposing the United States’ invasion of the country (including Travis Wilkerson, Jon Jost, and John Gianvito, who are scheduled to attend YIDFF 2011).

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