Festivals & Events
The Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival is one of the most distinguished film festivals in Asia, held biennially in Yamagata City in October. The next event is scheduled for 2019.
The Yamagata International Film Festival is held at venues around central Yamagata City, all within 15 minutes' walking distance from one another.
From Tokyo, take the Yamagata Shinkansen to Yamagata Station. The ride takes a little over two hours.
Documentarist Shinsuke Ogawa started the festival in October 1989 to promote a young generation of Asian filmmakers and give filmmakers a platform where they could compete with their Western peers. It has gone on to become one of the longest-running documentary film festivals in the world.
In 2017, over 1,791 films were submitted to the festival. Over the course of a week, 22,089 people attended the 2017 festival, and the prize money amounted to $64,000.
The festival offers special events and programs shedding light on the history and diversity of filmmaking, and is a forum for the production of alternative, independent, non-fiction film and the discussion of documentary as a form of expression.