International Competition
Various prizes are awarded to works in the International Competition, which features 15 documentaries selected from around the world. The best work is given the Robert and Frances Flaherty Prize, named for the husband-and-wife team who cultivated and expanded the horizons of documentary film.
  • The Robert and Frances Flaherty Prize (The Grand Prize)
  • ¥2,000,000
  • The Mayor’s Prize
  • ¥1,000,000
  • Two Awards of Excellence
  • ¥300,000 each
  • Special Jury Prize
  • ¥300,000

    New Asian Currents
    New Asian Currents introduces and supports the works of up-and-coming Asian documentaries, without placing restrictions on format or length. The most promising work is awarded the Ogawa Shinsuke Prize, named in honor of the film director who played a key role in the creation of the festival and strove to facilitate exchange between Asian documentarists.
  • Ogawa Shinsuke Prize
  • ¥500,000
  • Two Awards of Excellence  
  • ¥300,000 each

    Citizen’s Prize
    This prize is based on the number of votes by viewers in response to questionnaires distributed during the festival.

    - The Trophies

    Designed for YIDFF by sculptor Azuma Kenjiro, the trophies are modeled after the bright yellow-green stalks of rice plants at harvest time, one of the symbols of Yamagata City and Yamagata Prefecture.

    Grand prize winners of the YIDFF’s two competition sections, International Competition and New Asian Currents, become eligible for Oscar consideration in the Documentary Feature category the following year.


    Directors Guild of Japan Award
    With a history of over 70 years, the Directors Guild of Japan has recognized emerging talents in Japan with a New Directors Award since 1960. It established this prize at YIDFF in the hopes of encountering talents who reveal the possibilities of film here and abroad. The award is given to a film in the New Asian Currents and Perspectives Japan programs, selected from the distinctive perspective of the DGJ. The criteria for selection is a passionate film, completed by overcoming various national conditions and difficulties facing the production, and a director whose future work carries great expectations. The winning director will be presented with the Directors Guild of Japan Award certificate and a trophy.