A Movie Capital 映画の都 Dir: Toshio Iizuka (1991) [Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival]

A Movie CapitalYIDFF A Movie Capital Case

映画の都ー山形国際ドキュメンタリー映画祭’89 Eiga no Miyako – Yamagata Kokusai Dokyumentari- Eigasai ‘89

Release Date: March 25th, 1991

Duration: 98 mins.

Director: Toshio Iizuka

Writer: N/A

Starring: Hiroshi Teshigahara, Shinsuke Ogawa, Stephen Teo, Peggy Chiao Hsiung-ping, Raquel Gerber, Jon Jost, Katheryn Taverner, Alan Adelson,

Yamagata Site

The Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival (YIDFF) is now a treasured biannual event that brings together filmmakers and audiences in programmes designed to showcase films as well as generate new talents and works. This commitment to cultivating community engagement and individual talent was present in the intentions of organisers and attendees from its inception as seen in A Movie Capital, an informative and enjoyable record of the inaugural YIDFF, Asia’s first documentary film festival.

A Movie Capital

A Movie Capital was Toshio Iizuka’s debut work after being part of pioneering filmmaker Shinsuke Ogawa’s Ogawa Productions for around 20 years and working with the collective on documentaries covering topics like the Sanrizuka Struggle. As Ogawa Productions were working in Yamagata prefecture, they were best placed to help organisers establish and document the inaugural YIDFF in 1989 and Iizuka comes off as the right pick for the job as he marshals the assembled footage to create a film that locates the event’s place in history and its meaning to participants.

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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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Transform!    へんしんっ! Director: Tomoya Ishida [Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival 2021]

Transform!   Henshin! Film Poster 2

へんしんっ! Henshin!

Release Date: June 19th, 2021

Duration: 94 mins.

Director: Tomoya Ishida

Writer: N/A

Starring: Tomoya Ishida, Osamu Jareo, Shizue Sazawa, Megumi Mitsui, Daisuke Suzuki, Miki Koga, Makoto Nozaki, 

Website

Transform! is an enjoyable and informative film that will expand the way you think about how disabled people participate in the arts. The debut work of Tomoya Ishida, who is disabled himself as he requires an electric wheelchair due to muscular dystrophy, this was his graduation project from Rikkyo University. It would go on to become the 2020 Pia Film Festival Grand Prix winning film which granted it the honour of being played at last year’s Tokyo International Film Festival.

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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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Inside the Red Brick Wall 理大圍城 Dirs: Hong Kong Documentary Filmmakers (2020) [Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival 2021]

Inside the Red Brick Wall    Inside the Red Brick Wall Film Poster

理大圍城

Release Date: 2020

Duration: 88 mins.

Director: Hong Kong Documentary Filmmakers

Writer: N/A

Starring: N/A

IMDB

Winner of the 27th Hong Kong Film Critics Society prize for Best Film, Inside the Red Brick Wall is, along with Taking Back the Legislature, part of a diptych of films released by an anonymous collective known as Hong Kong Documentary Filmmakers that chart the civil unrest in Hong Kong in 2019 as people took to the streets throughout the year to protest the erosions of their democratic rights after the government revealed its Extradition Bill. The resulting pushback by the authorities grew in brutality and even lethality as the protests wore on. In one of the most infamous examples late in 2019, police lay siege to protestors who had gathered at Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

For 13 days, protestors who had gathered at the university to support the blockading of the nearby Cross-Harbour Tunnel endured police attacks that turned the environment into a veritable war zone until, amidst dwindling supplies and morale, they had to face the difficult decision of whether to hold out or face the uncertain consequences of surrendering to authorities who had been documented on social media using extreme force when arresting journalists, medics, and university staff who had earlier tried to leave. This action was caught by members of the film collective who were at the university and determined to document the experience at a time when police were preventing journalists from reporting.

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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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