What does this mean for Yamagata?
Being a part of the international UNESCO Creative Cities Network means that our city can:
- build a reputation for Yamagata City of Film, giving pride and confidence to the city and a springboard for opportunities
- share best practices with creative cities in Japan and abroad to discover new possibilities while offering learning in exchange
- contribute to the promotion of SDGs, and foster urban sustainable development through the city's grass-roots cultures
What makes Yamagata a City of Film?
Yamagata is host to two international film festivals. Founded in 1989, the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival (YIDFF) is well known for its International Competition progamme, where work submitted from around the world is archived in the Yamagata Documentary Film Library and can be viewed free of charge. The Yamagata International Movie Festival (YMF) offers a scholarship to encourage new filmmakers to submit their work, giving the recipient the opportunity to make a theatre feature film.
Film education is embedded in the film culture of Yamagata. Yamagata was the first city in Japan to screen films in schools after World War II. The Tohoku University of Art and Design, headed by famous Japanese film director, Kichitaro Negishi, has established a film course that has produced many talented filmmakers. The Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival features a strong educational programme running youth initiative projects and educational workshops for secondary school pupils and college students.
Yamagata Film Commission
The Yamagata Film Commission has been a focal point for film and visual content makers, offering logistical support for on-location shooting for movies, TV dramas, and commercial films. Neighbouring districts of Kaminoyama City, Tendo City, Sagae City, Higashine City, Murayama City, Nishikawa Town, and Oishida Town are members of Yamagata Film Commission, bringing areas closer together. The collaborative network helps to provide more efficient support to national and international filmmakers.
"Yamagata Renaissance Project " is a Yamagata City of Film project with a particular cultural role, working to produce a series of films that will share enthusiasm and engagement with Yamagata’s traditional culture. The series looks at how these crafts interest young generations today, seeing the past through new eyes and offering young local film talent a chance to experiment with film and explore traditional culture.
Yamagata City of Film organizes "Creative Café" to open conversation and to encourage engagement from people across the city. People in Yamagata can gather together and exchange opinions. Some Creative Café events invite guest speakers from cultural organisations to speak or host film screenings to introduce works made in Yamagata City.
A message from director, OTOMO Keishi (大友啓史)
Photo: Dick Thomas Johnson (CC BY 2.0 license)
Film is a window to look at the world. Through films, we are able to venture into the unknown places and cultures of the world, perceive complicated emotions, and share our experiences. I fully support and contribute to the development of film culture and the local revitalization and treasure my friendship with Yamagata City.
YAMAGATA, as we are a member of Tohoku, let’s all work together!"
OTOMO Keishi (大友啓史), Director
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