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Friday, Sept. 17, 2010


Festival celebrates 20 years of documentaries

Staff writer

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.

News photo
Intimate look: Mieko Azuma's "Yuri — About Loving" is one of the newer works being screened at Documetary Dream Show — Yamagata in Tokyo 2010.

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

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