International Competition
Various prizes are awarded to works in the International Competition, which features fifteen 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 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.


    Community Cinema Award
    This prize is awarded by the Japan Community Cinema Center, which supports efforts to promote a vibrant film culture in local cities and towns through the screening of a diversity of films. The judges are people involved with screening films in these localities, and they will select the film they most want to screen for their audiences. The winning film will receive a prize and assistance in the exhibition of the film in Japan.
  • $3,000


    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 new prize in the hopes of encountering talents that reveal the possibilities of film here and abroad. A jury of five will award the prize.
  • ¥300,000

    Special Screening & Symposium to commemorate the inauguration of the Directors Guild of Japan Award at YIDFF

    Cut! The Rights of Japanese Film Directors

    (“Eiga kantokutte nanda!”)

    JAPAN / 2006 / Japanese / Color / Video / 88 min
    Director, Script: Ito Shunya
    Photography, Lighting: Nagata Yuichi   Music: Uzaki Ryudo
    Producer: Takahashi Banmei, Hayashi Kaizo, Yamamoto Tatsuya

    Some 200 members of the Directors Guild of Japan were mobilized as cast and crew of this feature film on the problem of the director’s copyright to films. The full range of film techniques—from period film and reenactment to interviews and documentary—were utilized to declare, “Copyright to films belongs to the director!”