2006-10-26 | Report on the Inaugural General Meeting

The Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival (YIDFF) was started in 1989 as an event to celebrate the centennial of Yamagata’s incorporation as a municipality. Since then, the festival has been held every two years under the joint auspices of Yamagata City and the YIDFF Organizing Committee. From April 1, 2006, the Organizing Committee became independent from Yamagata City, which until then had served as the management body for the festival, and preparations are underway to form an NPO (Non Profit Organization) next April.

On October 21 (Saturday), the inaugural general meeting was held at Yamagata City’s General Welfare Center. In attendance were 58 of the 122 organizations/individuals who serve as official members (members who support the festival from within), including past supporters of the festival and people from the business world. The officers, articles, plan and budget for the new organization were discussed, and all of items on the agenda were approved.

The following statement on the inaugural aims was read at the general meeting.

Statement on the inaugural aims

In 1989, the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival was established as an event commemorating the centennial of Yamagata’s incorporation as a municipality. Several factors made this possible. First, at the time Yamagata saw the creation of a movie theater with funds from local residents, and the city possessed a relatively good environment for viewing films. Second, a movement was underway in Europe and North America to reconsider documentary films. Third, the local government administration and local residents worked together to make the international film festival a success.

Also important was the presence of the late director Ogawa Shinsuke, who at the time was working toward fostering young filmmakers throughout Asia and dedicated himself to the creation and management of the festival.

Documentaries play a critical role in enabling people to understand history and the world situation. Our primary goal has been to communicate the appeal of and get people interested in documentary films, and until now we have screened and introduced many kinds of films, and have created a place for communication between filmmakers, and between filmmakers and viewers. We are creating the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival with the mission to continue the film festival in Yamagata as a place where people encounter films.

After creating the NPO, we will work hand in hand with the public sector and citizens to proactively engage in community building, spread visual culture and nurture the next generation, and also enhance the screenings held throughout the year, while of course continuing the festival as before. We will also contribute to international exchange and community development through the festival, and strengthen ties with related organizations in order to further the creation of an information network geared for people within Japan and abroad, and utilize the festival as a resource for tourism.

(End of the statement on the inaugural aims)

We are working to complete the procedure for forming an NPO in Yamagata Prefecture, and plan to begin activities as an NPO from April 1, 2007. We look forward to continuing working together, and will provide updates on our progress.

(YIDFF Office)