|5 Nov (Fri)
|10:00PM （After screening of Storytellers, Free Admission）
|Conducted in English
|House 4, Broadway Cinematheque
|Speaker: Asako Fujioka (curator and member of the YIDFF board of directors)
The brainchild of filmmaker Ogawa Shinsuke, best known for his work about and also alongside student activists and farmers in Japan from the 1960s to the 1990s, the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival has long been considered as one of the most renowned events of its kind. Ever since its inaugural edition in 1989, the bi-annual festival has served as a hub for socially conscious documentarists from around the world to meet and discuss films and politics.
Just as importantly, the festival provided a platform on which young Japanese documentary filmmakers could present their work to an ever-enthusiastic audience; in the process, their work allow audiences — local and international — a glimpse of the joys and traumas of wildly varied protagonists from all walks of Japanese life. Just as much as the festival turns a small and serene city into a bustling hub of cutting-edge films, viewers also are transformed by the people they see there, on and off screen.
The pandemic has sadly forced the festival to opt for a completely online edition this year. But in-person screenings are what make the festival such a vibrant institution — and that’s why the HKAFF has decided to pay tribute to the work of our Japanese friends by showing, in cinemas here, a selection of homegrown documentaries which have graced Yamagata screens during the past 18 years.
This programme follows our collaboration with DMZ International Documentary Film Festival last year, and is the latest installment of our efforts to establish an international, cross-cultural alliance of like-minded festivals from around the world. This is our truth — bring yours.
When the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival (YIDFF) opened its doors to the public in 1989, it was supposed to be part of the centennial celebrations of the Japanese city. Since then, the YIDFF has outgrown its roots to become one of the most important events of its kind in the world, a focal point for filmmakers seeking to address and advocate social justice through their work. In this talk, YIDFF programmers look back on the history of the film festival and reflect on its ongoing relevance in Asia and beyond.