Yamagata Int. Documentary Film Festival/ 1

”Facing reality, what is to be done?” is the headline of the introductory text of the site of the bi-annual, reputed documentary film festival in Yamagata, Japan. In March this year the earth quake in Japan followed by the Fukushima nuclear power accident became top stories all over the world as well as its tragic consequences. Yamagata is a couple of hundred kilometers away from the epicenter of the earth quake. The festival organisers report here what they did. Respect!:

The Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival will hold YIDFF 2011 as previously scheduled, from October 6th to 13th, 2011.

We have of course been concerned whether guests from overseas would join us or not, in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11th and the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant crisis. But it is exactly at times like this that our belief in the documentary film, with its power to observe objectively and express subjectively, and our trust that the invigoration of film culture will give impetus to the world, including the disaster-hit areas, pushes us to go ahead. We are proceeding with preparations to hold our festival according to schedule.

Meanwhile, since April 8th, we have been working in conjunction with other organizations to hold film screenings and children’s filmmaking workshops at evacuation centers in Yamagata Prefecture and the afflicted areas. Through bringing cinema to the people affected by the disaster, we have encountered the true situation there, seen what the news does not show us, and been crushed by a sense of powerlessness. It feels as if this unprecedented catastrophe is forcing us to contemplate what cinema can do, and the value of capturing the truth on film.

We believe that the duty of the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival at this point in time is to create a venue for the following purposes: to share the chaotic emotions felt by all those who experienced the disaster; to think about what we can do next; and to search for ways to the next step forward.

At YIDFF 2011, we will host a special screening program concerning the Great East Japan Earthquake. We hope to present a program that brings viewers into contact and with the victims of the disaster, with discussions that were shared, the raw emotions that emerged when we made films with the children, and all which came out of it. We look forward to receiving your continued support.

Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival


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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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