Food, folks and film: Yamagata festival dives deep into documentaries

Once an obscure corner of a film world dominated by the fantasies of Hollywood, documentaries are now drawing more attention from both paying audiences and wider society. And the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival, whose 15th edition unspools from Oct. 5 to 12 in Yamagata, has long been broadening awareness of the form in Japan and Asia.

Launched in 1989 and held biannually, the festival was not the most obvious candidate to become Asia’s most important documentary event. Located on the Sea of Japan side of the northern Tohoku region, Yamagata is hardly a filmmaking hub. But a core of dedicated professionals has made YIDFF not only a showcase for the latest documentaries from Japan, Asia and around the world, but also a venue for fans, scholars and filmmakers that generates discussions, publications — and new films.

Read more at The Japan Times: