Yamagata Dojor





The Yamagata Documentary Dojo is a 30-day residency program for Asian filmmakers in a hot spring spa resort in the mountains of Yamagata, Japan. The retreat allows teams of filmmakers with documentary film projects the opportunity to work intensely on their rough cuts, deepen creative ambitions, and to network with Japanese and other international filmmakers. The residency is organized in cooperation with the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival.


DATES: Feb. 2 to March 3, 2021 (29 nights)
STAY: Feb. 2 to Feb. 28 in Hijiori Onsen, Yamagata / March 1 to 3 in Tokyo


a) One team of two Southeast-Asia-based filmmakers (director/editor, director/producer, etc)
b) One Southeast-Asia-based filmmaker
c) One Japan-based filmmaker


= Two-way airfare (economy class) between filmmaker’s airport and Tokyo. Transportation between Tokyo and Hijiori Onsen.
= Basic accommodation in a Japanese-style inn (private single room, shared bath/WC) with two local Japanese-style meals a day (breakfast and dinner).
= Simple cooking facilities available.
= Basic work studio provided per team.
= Per diem of 2,000 JPY for 29 days for each person.
= All other incidentals, local travel, living expenses should be covered by the residents.
= Residents are requested to buy their own travel insurance for illness and accidents.
= Residents must have a passport that is at least 6 months valid after the travel dates.
= Residents must be over 21 years old, in good health and have sufficient proficiency in English or Japanese language.


= After a period of settling in, the program kicks off with a 4-day workshop which brings the residents together with 3 Japanese filmmakers and professional mentors. The workshop consists of masterclasses, group discussions, and mentoring.
= During the rest of the residency, the filmmakers will be focusing on their film projects. During this period, the filmmakers will be asked to take part in public film screenings and other activities with local people. The organizers propose that residents make a video portrait (of 1-3 minutes) of a Yamagata person they met during their stay, to share as a gift to the community.
= At the end of their stay, the residents will be required to take part in end-of-residency presentations in Yamagata and Tokyo.


= The hot spring village is the ancient Hijiori Onsen, renowned for baths with natural healing properties and 3-meter snowfall in winter. https://hijiori.jp/en/


= Dojo: A dojo is originally a hall or space for immersive learning in the martial arts or meditation. The term consists of two characters which mean “the Place” and “the Way” in Japanese.


= YIDFF: Yamagata is where the biennial Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival (YIDFF) has taken place since 1989. The oldest documentary film festival in Asia, it has historically served as the site for nurturing and inspiring Asian artists. Its history shows programming committed to representing the diversity of film cultures and serving as a place for meaningful exchange. The next edition is October 2021.


1. Applications must be submitted between 10 Nov to 8 Dec, 2020 through the MINIKINO website: https://minikino.org/air
If you would like to attach a letter of recommendation (max.2) please use this form: https://minikino.org/air-recommend


2. Please upload and send a link of your self-recorded video introducing yourself (less than 3 minutes).


3. Selection is based on portfolio and the film project to be worked on during the residency. Finalists will be invited to online interviews. Early application is highly recommended.


4. Results will be notified in mid-December 2020.


While the spread of COVID-19 around the world poses a serious health risk, we believe that with cooperation of the participants, we will be able to host a physical program safely by making it smaller, adopting online exchange in some part, and taking precautions.


Following the Japanese government and health authorities’ recommendations, we will have strict health and hygiene measures in place and ask participants and staff to follow them during the program to ensure their safety. This includes obtaining negative tests for COVID-19 before arrival (costs covered by program). Given the development of the health situation, we will not hesitate to adopt changes in the program.


If in mid-December when we finalize the selection of participants, any of the below is valid, the program will be switched to an online format for the international participants:
1) Ban to enter Japan is not lifted
2) A designated quarantine period is required after entry into Japan
3) Use of public transportation is restricted
We will discuss with finalists in online interviews whether they would still like to take part if the program goes online.


The possible online residency program will:
1) Require a commitment to focused work during the 30-day program period.
2) Require regular online discussion and collaboration with the team.
3) Provide rental fee for a local studio or work-space (in your home country) during the period.
4) Provide per diem of 2,000 JPY (or equivalent) for 29 days for each person.
* The above does not apply to the Japan-based participants.


Reference links:
Coronavirus advisory information
– JNTO (Japan National Tourism Organization)
– Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan


1. Filmmakers will retain copyright of all works developed or produced during the residency, and will allow Documentary Dream Center the right to screen it for non-commercial purposes in relation to the residency.
2. Documentary Dream Center has the right to use, without payment of any fee, the name, image, and voice in photographs, recordings, and interviews of the filmmakers during the residency.
3. Yamagata Documentary Dojo should be acknowledged in the credits of the work developed or produced during the residency.
4. If the filmmakers do not complete the residency without valid reasons, the organizers reserve the right to recover partial or full costs as provided during the residency.
5. For all unforeseen issues, organizers and filmmakers will work to resolve differences upon mutual consultations in good faith.


For inquiries, contact: air@minikino.org


The residency is organized by:
Documentary Dream Center www.ddcenter.org
Daisan Yamada Bldg. 6F, 22 Aizumi-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0005 JAPAN
Director: FUJIOKA Asako Email info@ddcenter.org phone +81-70 5089 9203


Supported by:
The Japan Foundation’s Asia Center Grant Program for Promotion of Cultural Collaboration
The Agency for Cultural Affairs Government of Japan in the fiscal 2020
and other partners


With the Assistance of:
Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival (NPO) and other partners


Our AIR Partner This Year Is:
Minikino (Yayasan Kino Media) Bali, Indonesia. https://minikino.org/en/
Jalan Pulau Madura no.5, Denpasar, Bali-80113 Indonesia
phone +62-361 4744813
Program Director: PRIHADI Fransiska Email cika@minikino.org


We plan to send a filmmaker from Japan to Bali in summer 2021, with details to be announced in early 2021.



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