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February 1, 2023

Ji and Ryuji will participate in Yamagata documentary workshop DOJO5 as mentors.


Yamagata Documentary Dojo 5
Dates: Feb. 1 – March 1, 2023 (29 days) 

Workshop took place Feb. 3 – 6 (4 days)
Locations: Hijiori Onsen (Okura Village, Yamagata Prefecture) / Yamagata Creative City Center Q1 (Yamagata City) / Anchorstar MPR (Tokyo)
Organized by: Documentary Dream Center
Supported by: Fondation Franco-Japonaise Sasakawa, Tokyo Docs, and other partners
With the assistance of: Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival (NPO), Hijiori
District, Ohkura Village Tourism Association, Hijiori Onsen Ryokan Union, Anchorstar, KICKSTARTER
Our partner institution was: Taiwan Film and Audiovisual Institute

Artist-in-residence fellows (2 teams):
Filmmakers worked on their films during a month’s stay in Yamagata. 
● The program opened with a four-day workshop with mentors and Japanese filmmakers, packed with presentations, Q&As, discussions, masterclasses, and film screenings. 
● This was followed by two days of one-on-one meetings with mentors to talk intently and organize thoughts. 
● In the second half of the stay, filmmakers worked on their films with renewed eyes, energized by the natural hot springs and exchanges with the local community. 
● YIDFF organized a screening of the filmmakers’ previous films with discussion with the audience in Yamagata City. The filmmakers visited the Yamagata Documentary Film Library.
“After the Snowmelt”
One close friend died and another barely survived after 47 days in a cave when a mountain trekking expedition in Nepal went wrong. The film deals with the journey of the filmmaker and the survivor, whose young lives were drastically changed because of their loss. In Hijiori, a mountain valley with heavy snowfall, the director reviewed her personal story with fresh eyes and full bodily experience.
Director: LO Yi-Shan, Producer: CHEN Yung-Shuang
“Lost in the Dream Spi”
After eight years in the making, the filmmaker is ready to complete her film about her deceased grandfather and their community ― the Tayal indigenous people from central Taiwan. Traveling away from her land and working with an editor from France, her time in Hijiori was a way to find distance and a fresh view on her material.
Director: Sayun SIMUNG, Editor: LIN I-Chu, Producer: HUANG Hui-Chen (workshop only)

Workshop only participants (3 filmmakers):
The Japan-based filmmakers presented their documentary projects and held group discussions during the 4-day workshop.

Ohba Takeo
“Scenes from a Classroom”
Kudo Masa
“Tracing for Traces”
Takefuji Kayo
“Grandpa’s Three Swords”
Five mentors supported the progress of the film projects through workshop discussion, masterclasses, and one-on-one meetings.

Mary Stephen (Paris / Film editor)
Hata Takeshi (Toyonaka / Film editor, producer)
Huang Ji (Kawasaki / Filmmaker)
Otsuka Ryuji (Kawasaki / Cinematographer, Filmmaker)
Kawase Naomi (Nara / Filmmaker)

Written by Documentary Dream Center web-site (

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