Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival 2017, October 5 to October 12, Yamagata, Japan

Publish Date: Feb 19, 2016

Deadline: Dec 15, 2016

YIDFF 2017 Schedule

The fifteenth Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival will be held on:

October 5 (Thu) –12 (Thu), 2017

Call for entries for two competitions of the YIDFF 2017 just opened! We greatly look forward to receiving your creative works.

Entry Deadlines (postmarked)

International Competition:

  • First Deadline: December 15, 2016 (for works completed by October 31, 2016)
  • Second Deadline: April 15, 2017 (for works completed after November 1, 2016)
  • New Asian Currents: May 15, 2017


  • International Competition: 15 outstanding films selected from entries from around the world.
  • New Asian Currents: Introducing up-and-coming Asian documentary filmmakers.
  • Special Programs

Entry Submission:

A. Entry fee: Free
B. Pre-selection: Entrants are required to submit the following material:

     1. 2 DVDs (Online links, digital files (i.e. mp4), Blu-ray discs are NOT acceptable)

  • Please do not use any labeling sticker on your DVD. Simply write the following information directly on the face of the disc.
  • film’s title
  • entry number

     2. Completed online entry form

Entrants may also submit the materials listed below online, if available.
     3. Press kit (English or Japanese)
     4. Film stills (up to 3 different images)

C. Shipping expenses and liability for loss:
The entrant is responsible for the cost of shipping DVDs as part of their entry, as well as all insurance and any other expenses incurred. YIDFF takes no responsibility in case of accidental damage or loss, except in cases where the entries are in the possession of the Festival Office.
D. Return of DVDs:

DVDs submitted to YIDFF 2017 will not be returned to entrants. They will be retained by the YAMAGATA Documentary Film Library for research and educational purposes.
E. Mailing address for entries:

  • Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival
  • #201, 9-52 Kinomi-cho, Yamagata City 990-0044 JAPAN
  • phone: 81-23-666-4480

Entry Conditions

The entrant is responsible for all necessary copyright clearances for material used in their submitted works. The YIDFF will not be held responsible for damage resulting from copyright infringement lawsuits from other parties, which are entirely the responsibility of the entrant.

International Competition

1. Outline - Open competition

2. Eligibility

Everyone is welcome to submit their work, provided that the following conditions are met:

  • Producers intend that the work is a documentary.
  • The final form of the work is 16mm or 35mm film print, or video/digital format (DCP, Blu-ray, video files etc).
  • The work has not been released publicly in Japan (screenings in theaters or TV broadcast) prior to being presented at YIDFF 2017. Japanese films are exempt from this rule.
  • The work is produced after April 1, 2015.
  • Shorts will not be accepted.

Call for entries begins on September 1, 2016.

3. Entry deadlines

First deadline: postmarked by December 15, 2016 (for works completed before October 31, 2016)
Second deadline: postmarked by April 15, 2017 (for works completed after November 1, 2016)

4. Selection

Selection process: Approximately 15 works will be selected based on agreement by the Festival Office and selection committee.
Notification: Entrants will be officially notified shortly after the selection.

5. About screenings

A. Works to be screened:

Screening copy: The Festival organizers may convert selected works to different screening formats at their discretion, with respect to the original.
The Festival organizers will produce English or Japanese subtitles for works screened, as deemed necessary.
Costs incurred in making a Japanese- or English-language version of the work and shipping screening copies to and from the Festival will be covered by the YIDFF.

B. Required items for selected works:

Screening copies of the selected works must reach the address designated by the YIDFF by July 15, 2017. (English subtitles are required for non-English and non-Japanese language films.) Complete dialogue list in original language with an English or Japanese translation also required if the original is in any other language.

C. Invitations

One director for each selected film will be invited to the Festival, with the expenses covered by the YIDFF.

6. Publicity

Entrants whose work is selected authorize broadcast of segments for Festival promotion on television in Japan and abroad (3 minutes or less), the internet (30 seconds or less), and other media.
They also authorize the use of still photographs in the Official Catalog, YIDFF website, and other publicity materials.

7. Screening copies after the Festival

Screening copies with Japanese or English subtitles will be preserved and used for research and educational purposes at the YAMAGATA Documentary Film Library. All subsequent public screenings using this screening copy will require an agreement between the rights owner and YIDFF.

8. Jury

An International Competition jury will be assigned, composed of individuals selected by the Festival.


  • The jury will award the following prizes with remuneration to the directors:
  • The Robert and Frances Flaherty Prize (The Grand Prize): 2,000,000 yen
  • The Mayor’s Prize: 1,000,000 yen
  • Two Awards of Excellence: 300,000 yen each
  • Special Prize: 300,000 yen

For more information click "Further official information" below.

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