Yamagata Documentary Dojo 2018 

  • The Grant Program for Promotion of Cultural Collaboration
Grant Year
Fiscal Year 2018
Grant Amount
JPY 1,922,146
Country of Activity

The first artist-in-residence program in Japan for Asian documentary filmmakers with projects in roughcut stage took place in Yamagata, Japan. Six filmmakers from two projects stayed at the Zao Onsen hot spring resort, which provided a retreat for filmmakers to focus and open their minds to review their work from new perspectives. Yamagata Documentary Library and its archives offered inspiration. The program included a 4-day workshop with five Japanese filmmakers and international professional mentors and extended advisory sessions with experienced filmmakers. There were activities with Yamagata citizens, such as public screenings, visiting local elementary and middle schools, and exchange with local artists. The filmmakers made short video works from their impressions of Yamagata. At the end of the four weeks, filmmakers Heni Matalalang, Dian Herdiany, Greg Arya, Nova Goh, and Ryan Ong took part in public wrap-up presentations in Yamagata and Tokyo. The project will follow-up until their films are finalized.

Achievements of FY 2019 https://grant-fellowship-db.jfac.jp/en/grant/cc1904/
Achievements of FY 2014 https://grant-fellowship-db.jfac.jp/en/grant/pp1417/
Achievements of FY 2016 https://grant-fellowship-db.jfac.jp/en/fellow/fs1608/

From the Organizer

Filmmakers who participated in this project spoke about how the retreat to a quiet environment surrounded by nature and spending time away from the daily grind allowed them to focus on the creative process and aim for higher artistic goals for their documentaries. Living together fostered exchange among participants from where friendships and a community spirit were borne. Filmmakers learned from and were inspired by the film culture in Yamagata. Thanks to the Japan Foundation Asia Center grant, we were able to launch Yamagata Documentary Dojo, and are eager to continue on, to make Yamagata a cradle for emerging Asian documentaries.

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