Made in Japan, Yamagata 1989 – 2021 – 10 Films from the History of the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival

Starting on today, 10 films from Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival will be available to stream for 3 weeks from January 17 to February 06, 2022 and THE FIRST WEEK IS FREE!

These films will be available worldwide (excluding Japan) on DAFilms, the webpage for DOC ALLIANCE, an organisation that aims to push forward the best in documentary films. It’s a subscription service that gives low-cost access for festival films and it’s updated regularly. 

Here’s a trailer for the Yamagata selection:

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Japanese Films at Tokyo FILMeX 2021 (October 30th to November 07th)

Tokyo Filmex 2021 PosterTokyo FILMeX 2021 runs from October 30th to November 07th. It launches on the same day as the Tokyo International Film Festival but it is dedicated to showcasing arthouse films. This will be both an in-person in-theatre experience –  at Yurakacho Asahi Hall and Human Trust Cinema Yurakucho SCR2 – as well as an online one.

Anyway, the festival has quite a few titles from Japan or set in Japan that are worth checking out.

Words and images adapted from the fest. Click on a title to be taken to the festival page:

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A Glimpse at the Films at the Tokyo Student Film Festival 2021

The 32nd Tokyo Student Film Festival runs from October 19th to October 23rd in Shibuya Eurospace and 25 films have been selected for audiences to enjoy. The line-up consists of indie and feature films, all produced by students. You will notice familiar names in the line-up. This is because the festival programmers have worked with experienced directors like Kaori Oda (Toward a Common Tenderness, Cenote) and Rikiya Imaizumi (Over the Town) to some of their early career-defining works in each of the sections.

Here are the films with information pulled from the festival site which is a great resource and very well laid out so click on the links to find out more!

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Afternoon Landscape Dir: Sohn Koo-yong (2020) South Korea [Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival 2021]

Afternoon Landscape

Release Date: N/A

Duration: 73 mins.

Director: Sohn Koo-yong

Writer: N/A

Starring: Noh Seung-hyun

Website 

Featured in Yamagata International Film Festival’s New Asian Currents program, a section dedicated to works that invite you “… to worlds captured and imagined by the filmmakers”, Sohn Koo-yong’s Afternoon Landscape draws us into scenes of a town in Seoul on a balmy summer’s day that feel they are drawn from memory.

Life moves at a quiet pace in these scenes, the settings of which feel like a suburban place as we see sleepy sun-dappled streets, riversides, small clothing stores, and more. Mountains form a backdrop for some places and there is a sense that these areas are where the city and countryside meet. The soundscape of cicadas, passing traffic, flowing water, and leaves that rustle together with every gust of wind add to the atmosphere of these slice-of-life moments which feel rife with nostalgia.

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Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival 2021: Online from October 7–14

The 2021 edition of the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival kicks off in an hour’s time and it is online. You can watch the opening ceremony wherever you are in the world via the YouTube video below.

Most of the films are region-locked for Japan only but there are plenty of events and talks that are available globally. Here’s a preview post I put together for V-Cinema last week

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Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival 2021 (October 07 – 14)

The Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival 2021 (YIDFF) runs from October 07 to the 14 and it is an online event due to the coronavirus pandemic. A lot of planning has been put into keeping audiences safe and also connected with films, with filmmakers, and with each other,  as the YIDFF community takes to an online space which will be available all across Japan.

Keeping in line with the very best of international festivals, the expert team of progammers have ensured that this edition of YIDFF will have the very latest and best in documentaries, filmmaker Q&As, symposiums, and various exchange programmes that participants of the festival can enjoy sharing together from the comfort of their homes.

Tickets go on sale today at 19:00 (JST) and prices are very, very good(!) with one programme coming to 1,300 yen. With limited availability on tickets, best to nab them before they sell out.

Here’s the trailer:

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Japanese Films at the BFI London Film Festival 2021

BFI London Film Festival Logo

This year’s London Film Festival runs from October 06th to the 17th and it is partially online, partially in-theatre. Viewers across the UK will be able to access a selection of films in some regional cinemas which have partnered with the fest to screen some of the films.

After last year’s London Film Festival having a paltry single Japanese title in its line-up – this when 2020 was the year that the BFI was going all in on its Japanese movie coverage – 2021 looks a lot better. While they don’t get the Tokyo Olympics bounce, they have re-initiated their Japan Season and cherrypicked a handful of key titles that have already.

Here’s what is programmed (click on the title to be taken to the corresponding festival page):

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A Preview of the Kanazawa Film Festival 2021 in Kanazawa’s 21st Century Museum of Art (September 18-20)

The Kanazawa Film Festival 2021 will take place this year from September 18th (Saturday) to the 20th (Monday) at 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Theatre 21. There are different sections but the one I am focussing on is dedicated to New Directors.

In the New Directors section, there are 11 films which were selected from 83 submissions. Each of the films is new and so they were done during the Coronavirus pandemic. The winner of the Grand Prix “Promising New Director Award” will receive 2 million yen to support his or her next film.

 I hope you and I get some use out of this information and from the images, all of which have been taken from the film festival’s website:

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