Other Screenings

Special Invitation Films

Memories of Agano by Sato Makoto, who inspired many Asian filmmakers during his life; Spring: The Story of Hsu Chin-Yu, depicting the life of a woman who survived the White Terror in Taiwan; Yasukuni, which caused an uproar when it was released in 2008; and Material & Memories, a triple-screen projection in 8mm by the incomparable Hara Masato. In Agrarian Utopia, young director Uruphong Raksasad’s unique style mixes in fiction to depict a small farming family in northern Thailand. Kotsunagi—Iriai, Commons in Japan completes a long-term project by late Kikuchi Shu—cinematographer for filmmaker Kamei Fumio—and follows a court battle over access rights to a mountain in a poor village in Tohoku. Ogawa Production’s A Japanese Village—Furuyashikimura will be screened in commemoration of the Japan-China Cinema Dojo, to be held immediately after the festival in a picturesque mountain village. The festival will come to a close with Tsuchimoto Noriaki’s Minamata Diary.

Venues: Yamagata Central Public Hall 6F, Yamagata Citizens’ Hall (Small Hall), Solaris 1


YIDFF Network Special Screenings

The YIDFF Network is a volunteer group that was brought together for the inaugural YIDFF in 1989, as an initiative of Ogawa Shinsuke. Since that time, the group has continued to be active on a wide range of levels. YIDFF Network Special Screenings are organized for each Festival, with the intention of presenting films from the volunteers’ original perspectives.

Venues: Yamagata Citizens’ Hall (Large Hall), Forum 5

Hijiori, Cure Resort
Dir: Watanabe Satoshi / JAPAN / 2009 / Video / 76 min Oct. 14 CL

Dir: Kato Itaru, Kano Shiho, Maeda Shinjiro, Inagaki Kanako, Okuno Kunitoshi, Oki Hiroyuki / JAPAN / 2009 / Video / 95 min Oct. 13 F5


Packed with Seminars and Symposiums

Following its introduction in 2007, three J-Pitch seminars will be presented by J-Pitch, a support program that promotes international co-productions of Japanese films. Guest speakers will discuss themes pertinent to the international development of documentaries: “Translating Films” (Abé Mark Nornes), “Legal Systems and Customs Regarding Film Subjects” (Carmen Cobos, Yamagami Tetsujiro), and “Co-pros, Despite It All” (Kotani Ryota). And don’t miss “Masters of Image” lectures by Asia Network of Documentary (AND). At every turn you’ll find talk events featuring filmmakers from each program, all aiming to connect you with the world!

J-Pitch Seminars “Traveling Cinema: Issues in International Documentary”

Presented by: Ministry of Trade and Industry / UniJapan J-Pitch
With assistance of: Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival

J-Pitch, a support program that promotes international co-productions of Japanese films will present a series of seminars at the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival 2009. Guest speakers will speak on contemporary themes relevant to documentary filmmaking and presentation that cross borders.

Venue: Yamagata Citizens’ Hall (Small Hall)   Admission: Free

Oct. 9 (Fri) 10:00-12:00
DAY 1 “Co-pros, Despite It All”
Kotani Ryota (Producer, NHK)

There was once a time when co-pros meant simple financial investment. But this year’s Yamagata Film Festival program includes three films produced by Mr. Kotani, who travels around the world’s documentary pitching forums developing projects to broadcast ten titles per year. Taking YIDFF International Competition title Japan: A Story of Love and Hate (Director: Sean Mcallister) as example, he will speak about the troubles he encountered in co-producing a Japanese project with a non-Japanese director, as well as of course the joys of collaborating internationally “despite it all.” (Japan: A Story of Love and Hate, Chronicle of an Amnesiac, Spiral Staircase of Harbin)

Oct. 11 (Sun) 10:00-12:00
DAY 2 “Translating Movies”
Abé Mark Nornes (Professor, University of Michigan)

Most filmmakers feel their film is unfinished until it has crossed national and linguistic borders. This crossing, as well as co-production itself, is only possible thanks to the translator. Through interpretation, subtitling and dubbing, the translator becomes an unacknowledged co-producer and co-author: a shadow director. Despite this decisively creative role, the translator’s remarkable power over filmmaking is largely ignored (and thus poorly paid). Professor Nornes will share historical cases of co-production interpretation and post-production subtitling, including the vexing challenge of (abusively!) subtitling the heavy Niigata dialect for the Opening Film Memories of Agano (Dir: Sato Makoto). (Memories of Agano Oct. 8 A6)

Oct. 13 (Tue)10:00-12:00
DAY 3 “Legal Systems and Customs Regarding Film Subjects”
Carmen Cobos (Director of Photography) & Yamagami Tetsujiro (Producer, Siglo)

Recent years have seen a rise in Japanese filmmakers filming overseas, and vice versa. How do relations between filmmaker and subject, the importance of the right to one’s portrait, and rules of obtaining shooting permission differ from culture to culture? What are the possible misunderstandings and disputes that may occur even by approaching subjects with a sincere attitude? Two producers from Europe and Japan, well experienced in co-pros, will speak from first-hand wisdom. YASUKUNI (Dir: Li Ying), which became focus of discussion at its release, will be a good case study to discuss. (YASUKUNI Oct. 13 S1)


AND presents: Image and Documentary

With the cooperation of: Documentary Dream Center

One-person video filmmaking, from shooting to post-production, is now the norm for independent directors, and a world made possible only through personalized filmmaking has opened up. But compared to the days when filmmaking was forced to be a considerable team operation, contemporary documentarists working alone suffer from solitude. This master class series, started with YIDFF 2007, allows the filmmaker to learn from senior professionals working in specialized fields—the director’s most intimate “Other”. This year’s focus is on cinematography.

Venue: Forum 3

Oct. 13 (Tue) 13:30-15:30
Masters of Image: Lecture 1
Speaker: Nurith Aviv (Director of Photography, Filmmaker)
Moderator: Osanai Terutaro (Coordinator)

Considered the first female director of photography of fiction films in France, Nurith Aviv has shot over a hundred fiction and documentary films, with directors such as Agnes Varda, Amos Gitai, Rene Allio, and Jacques Doillon. Working in a crew “is like playing music together,” she says. “I never work alone.” She will speak about the joys of her career as a D.O.P. on films like Agnès Varda’s Daguerreotypes, René Feret’s Histoire de Paul (Prix Jean Vigo 1974), René Allio’s Moi, Pierre Rivière . . ., Amos Gitai’s Journal de campagne, and Nurith Aviv’s Allenby, passage (a 5-minute film).

Oct. 13 (Tue) 16:30-18:30
Masters of Image: Lecture 2
Speaker: Otsu Koshiro (Cinematographer)

Starting his career at Iwanami Productions and going on to work with the most important figures of Japanese documentary—Ogawa Shinsuke, Tsuchimoto Noriaki, Sato Makoto, and others—it is no exaggeration to say that Otsu Koshiro behind his camera lenses has made the course of Japanese documentary. This year’s YIDFF program includes Fence (Dir. Fujiwara Toshi) and Dolce (Dir. Alexander Sokurov), both filmed by him. Using footage from Tsuchimoto’s Minamata—The Victims and their World and Shiranui Sea, and Sato Makoto’s Hanako, he will speak to the filmmakers of the digital generation about the intensity of a cinema “knead together through multiple eyes” of the film crew, and the weight of “being tested by the documentary subject.”