This Year’s Festival

The five jury members for this year’s International Competition are: Filipino director Kidlat Tahimik, who participated in every film festival between the first festival in 1989 and the 1995 festival, was practically the face of the festival during its early years, and has shared with us his increasing repertoire of films and performances; critic Hasumi Shigehiko, who has been an ardent supporter of the festival since its inception; Portuguese director Pedro Costa, who created a splash with In Vanda’s Room; Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul, who won applause for Mysterious Object at Noon; and Canadian Alanis Obomsawin, whose work was screened at the “Indigenous Peoples’ Film & Video Festival” at YIDFF ’93. The films before the panel include new works from directors who have won the Grand Prize at previous festivals, such as Ron Havilio with Fragments—Jerusalem, Rithy Panh with The Land of the Wandering Souls, and Wang Bing with Tie Xi Qu: West of Tracks. New Asian Currents has a selection of unique works from Korea, China, and other Asian countries, and will be judged by Byun Young-joo, who won the Ogawa Shinsuke Prize in 1995 for Murmuring and is now one of the leading directors in Korea and Nakazato Isao, who coordinated the “Okinawa—Nexus of Borders: Ryukyu Reflections” special program in 2003. This year’s festival, the tenth YIDFF, strongly reflects the festival’s history to this point.

“Facing the Past—German Documentaries” shows how documentary filmmakers approach the past and present in Germany, a country that has undergone postwar division followed by reunification. Germany promises be a source of various insights to compare with the Japanese experience. “New Docs Japan” also features works that cover issues relating directly to Japan’s scars of war. “Dramatic Science! Yamagata Science Theater” features some of the science films that Japan does so well—films that tend to be overlooked in the field of documentary history—in addition to works by Frenchman Jean Painlevé and UFA works from prewar Germany. Lastly, at “Films about Yamagata,” which offers a new perspective on Yamagata, we will see a great many rarely-screened films relating to Yamagata, including works from Tsukamoto Koji.

Not to mention all of the other surprising activities at this year’s festival! We trust that as we reflect the realities of the world and take another look at the path the festival has taken together with its audiences and filmmakers, this festival will also be an exciting chance to look forward to the future.

—Yano Kazuyuki