New Docs Japan

New Docs Japan is bigger this year with nine new films including those featured at international film festivals overseas and those that contemplate ‘Japan today’. From films actively participating in contemporary Japanese society and changing/unchanging locations, to journalistic documentaries, personal documentaries, and those that pursue lush visuals and realism, this program features a vast array of unique characters and places, themes and styles. Ways of showing films to a wider audience have become more varied. Selling DVDs simultaneously as a film opens; making in-depth information available by publishing books; holding public screenings and talks during the process of completing a film. Individuals or groups organize big and small-sized screenings, not only in the cities but all over Japan; English versions travel the world. In the process of spreading these images/themes to a wider public, these films raise social issues, and become ever more practical and involved documentaries. As we are in the 60th year marking of the end of World War II, we look forward to the prospect of Japanese documentaries that boldly open the way to the Japanese consciousness of this present era.

Hama Haruka, Wakai Makiko