Yamagata Int. Documentary Film Festival/ 3

A couple of months ago filmkommentaren posted three texts about the prestigious Japanese film festival (link 1, link 2, link 3). One text started like this:

”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. Respect!”

The festival stops tomorrow but the award recipients have already been announced. The Grand Prize given by a jury headed by Canadian director Atom Egoyan – the so-called Robert and Frances Flaherty Prize – was given to Israeli director couple Ruthie Shatz and Adi Barash for their ”The Collaborator and His Family” (will be reviewed on filmkommentaren in some days). The Mayor’s Prize went to Patricio Guzman for his masterpiece ”Nostalgia for the Light”. The film by Vadim Jendreyko, ”The Woman with the 5 Elephants” had two prizes, one being a Citizen Prize, which was also given to ”Iranian Cookbook” by Mohammad Shirvani.

In the Asian category ”Yuguo and His Mother” by Chinese Gu Tao received the main prize. Several other Asian films were awarded – regret to say that I do not know them, but read about them on the site below.



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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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