Yamagata 2013

There is something fascinating about the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival, YIDFF. It takes place every second year (this year October 10-17), it has several sections like ”New Asian Currents”, ”Japanese Panorama”, a retrospective of Chris Marker, a series called ”Another Side of the ”Arab Spring”” with no further details so far, and a section that puts a focus on Ethics.

Take a look at the website, old-fashioned and pretty boringly designed many would say, but with a serious focus on Documentaries with facts and links, and with a reference to an archive with interviews and a text about the film library that is open the whole year round.

The information about the ”15 outstanding films selected from 1152 films from 117 countries and areas” is already there:

”The Act of Killing” (Joshua Oppenheimer et al.) is there, ”Stories We Tell” (Sarah Polley), ”The Punk Syndrome” (Jukka Kärkkäinen, J-P Passi), “Once I entered a Garden” (Avi Mograbi) to mention films that have all been written about on this blog, the latter not yet watched and reviewed as “Motherland or Death” by Vitaly Mansky (photo) and ”The Other Day” by Chilean Ignacio Agüero, a film that won the main award at Chilean Fidocs festival this summer.

There are also films from the hosting country, and from Korea, Taiwan, India and Thailand.

The Japanese festival has its own profile with no industry activities. It is all about documentaries as an art form. Respect!


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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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