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Friday, Sept. 17, 2010
Festival celebrates 20 years of documentaries
By MARK JARNES
Once an independent film leaves cinemas, it can sometimes be difficult to track down at your local Tsutaya video store. Well, a film festival from Yamagata Prefecture is about to give indie fans a second shot at seeing some real gems.
For 20 years, the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival has been bringing social and political issues from around the world to theaters in Japan. This year, a monthlong program will revisit its best work from the last two decades.
The proceedings will showcase a multifaceted lineup including Richard Brouillette's film "Encirclement — Neo-Liberalism Ensnares Democracy," which is a sharp critique of educational systems and winner of the festival's 2009 Grand Prize.
The event is also a springboard for new talent. Up-and-coming Japanese directors make a strong showing through artistic contributions by Mieko Azuma, with the intimate "Yuri — About Loving," and Leo Sato's "Nagai Park Elegy."
This year's festival is dubbed the "Documentary Dream Show — Yamagata in Tokyo 2010," and coordinator Haruka Hama says the title reflects the organizers' hopes to portray the filmmakers' own dreams for a better future.
The Documentary Dream Show / Yamagata in Tokyo 2010 runs from Sept. 18 till Oct. 29 at Eurospace in Shibuya and Pole Pole in Higashi Nakano. Advance tickets cost ¥1,500 and a three-ticket package costs ¥4,200. A pass that admits you to all screenings is ¥16,000. For more information, call (03) 5362-0671 or visit www.cinematrix.jp/dds2010