Yamagata Dojor


Table of Contents



◆Mentors and Special Guest

◆Yamagata Documentary Dojo Pre-events

◆Yamagata Documentary Dojo Main Program

 ・Artists-in-Residence (AIR)


◆Photo Gallery


Yamagata Documentary Dojo is a 30-day residency program for Asian filmmakers in a hot spring spa resort in the mountains of Yamagata, Japan, known for the biennial international documentary film festival. For this third edition in the midst of a global pandemic, one filmmaker from Japan stayed in Hijiori Onsen, Ohkura Village, while other filmmakers experienced the program in their respective countries, with regular online correspondence and sharing. The program gave filmmakers with documentary film projects the opportunity to work intensely on their rough cuts, deepen creative ambitions, and to receive mentorship from fellow filmmakers and industry professionals. For a four-day online workshop, the group was joined by mentors and three other Japanese filmmakers with projects. The program was organized in partnership with Yayasan Kino Media and Minikino, Bali.


Yamagata Documentary Dojo 3 took place:

In: Hijiori Onsen, Ohkura Village, Yamagata Prefecture (JAPAN); Denpasar, Bali (INDONESIA); Chiangmai (THAILAND)

Organized by: Documentary Dream Center 

Supported by: The Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan in the fiscal 2020;
The Japan Foundation Asia Center, Grant

Program for Promotion of Cultural Collaboration; Tokyo Docs

With the assistance of: Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival (NPO), Ohkura Village Tourism Association, MASH Denpasar

Residency Partner: Yayasan Kino Media / Minikino (Bali, Indonesia)






Immersed themselves for 30 days in three locations to focus on their film projects, taking part in a 4-day workshop using video conference call (2/6-9), one-on-one online meetings with mentors to renew their perspectives and move their films forward towards completion.



Ananta Thitanat (Gap)

Abhichon Rattanabhayon (Tong)

■Travelled from Bangkok to spend their residency in Chiangmai.

■Project title 「Scala」



Riani Singgih

■Travelled from Jakarta to spend her residency in Bali.

■Project title 「A Sonorous Melody」

Winner Wijaya

■Travelled from Tangerang to spend his residency in Bali.

■Project title 「Greg from Wai Apo」


■Travelled from Yokohama to spend her residency in Hijiori.

■Project title 「Rokyoku Story」





Took part in a 4-day workshop (2/6-9) using video conference all, presented their works-in-progress and took part in active discussion with mentors and AIR participants.



■Based in Matsudo

■Project title「Fallling Awake」


■Based in Kyoto

■Project title 「Batwa」



■Based in Tokyo

■Project title 「Tokyo Undercurrent」






Supported the filmmakers’ progress on their films through the online workshop, lectures, and one-on-one meetings.



Tan Pin Pin



HATA Takeshi

Film editor, producer

Toyonaka, Osaka


Adjunct college professor (Hunter College, NYU), Co-founder of Uno Port Art Films

New York


Programmer Image Forum Festival


ODA Kaori



Fransiska Prihadi

Co-founder of art-house cinema MASH Denpasar, Program Director of Minikino



Took part in online talk sessions during Movie Nights and the workshop event.


Mary Stephen(Paris)

「China Me」

Film screening during workshop, discussion

NAKAMURA Takahiro (Yokohama)

「Zen and Bones」

Movie Night screening, discussion

Bora Li-Kil (Seoul)

「Glittering Hands」

Movie Night screening, discussion

Yaël Bitton (Paris)

Rahul Jain (Berlin)


Movie Night screening, discussion

Kim Dong-ryung (Seoul)

Park Kyoung-tae (Seoul)

「Tour of Duty」

Movie Night screening, discussion



Yamagata Documentary Dojo 3 Team

Fujioka Asako (Director) / 藤岡朝子
Kubota Yuri / 久保田ゆり
Endo Toru / 遠藤徹
Iino Shoji / 飯野昭司
Ho Chien Ying / 何茜穎


Minikino Dream Team

Fransiska Prihadi (program director)
Saffira Nusa Dewi (visual designer)
I Made Suarbawa (all-round supporter)
Edo Wulia (all-round supporter)
Retno Mumpuni (logistic and accounting)
Tynezia Verdina Mariabeth Ataupah (intern, social media)
Stanis Obeth Hollyfield (intern, video & photo documentation)


With Special Thanks to
Everyone at Hijiori Onsen, Ohkura Village, Amamoto Rimiko, Aihara Hiromi, Amagi Yukihiko
Inoue Yoko, Tanaka Kenta, Takahashi Takuya, Oki Masaharu, Oka Tatsuya
Fransiska Prihadi, Mary Stephen, Tan Pin Pin, Annie Ohayon, Farid Rezkallah
Hata Takeshi, Tahara Reiko, Oda Kaori, Yamashita Koyo
Takagi Yoshihiko, Nakayama Hiroki, Wakai Makiko, Hama Haruka, Yano Kazuyuki



Yamagata Documentary Dojo Pre-events



A cinema/online screening, talk events archived online
Dates: Dec 4 – 6, 2020
At: Mash Denpasar, Bali / online

 → Event website(https://minikino.org/time-essential/)


Talk events on YouTube:

Day 2


Day 3



Breathing the Same AIR

A live online discussion event with Fransiska Prihadi and Fujioka Asako, featuring video clips introducing Hijiori and Bali villages

Date: Sept. 6, 2020


YouTube archive video:



Yamagata Documentary Dojo Main Program




[1] Supporting Asian Documentary Filmmakers

Five filmmakers: We invited one Japanese filmmaker to Ohkura Village, Yamagata for a 30-day retreat at Hijiori Hot Spring. One team of two Thai filmmakers and two Indonesian filmmakers — a total of four Southeast Asian filmmakers — traveled to locations within their national borders to spend the same 30 days in similarly immersive environments.
Intensive focus: The five filmmakers made creative inroads on their documentary projects through focused time and safe space to review their footage and ideas.
International exchange: The pandemic did not allow for initially proposed community activities like visiting local schools, but online interaction among the filmmakers was surprisingly fruitful, as they offered each other support by sharing experiences, advise, and friendship (and laughs). We used zoom, facebook group, whatsapp, and a blog site to stay connected, and the contrast of deep snow in Yamagata, tropical weather in Bali, cultural environment in Chiangmai broadened our sense of global real-time. We chatted weekday mornings during Sharing Yawns, saw Asian documentaries together and took part in discussions with their directors and sometimes editors every Thursday night for Movie Night, and each team presented progress reports on Friday afternoons.
Food for deeper thinking: The residency kicked off with a 4-day zoom workshop (total hours online: 29), where the filmmakers were joined by filmmaking mentors and industry professionals as advisors, plus three other Japanese filmmakers with projects. Project presentations and discussions were followed by writing sessions to archive the thoughts and ideas that came to mind. These texts, together with the video recordings of the zoom sessions, were shared on a private blog for review, re-examination, and archive.
During the following three weeks, the five AIR filmmakers met with mentors for a total of 32 one-on-one meetings about their projects.
Wrapup: At the end of the 30 days, the AIR filmmakers spoke about their experiences in an online wrapup presentation.




[2] Invigorating local communities

Activities: Due to the pandemic, holding cultural activities with local communities was limited but not impossible.
Yamagata: YIDFF hosted a public screening event in Yamagata City introducing Kawakami Atiqa’s rough cut of her work-in-progress where the audience gave the filmmaker feedback and created opportunity for fruitful exchange. In Hijiori, the local women welcomed Atiqa to take part in a traditional event. She was invited as guest to speak on a community podcast.
Bali: As part of research for her project, Riani met and exchanged with the sign language community in Bali. Visits to villages were canceled due to the pandemic flareup.
Chiangmai: The nature, the environment of culture and arts were enjoyed by filmmakers as they visited temples and art galleries in their free time.
Short films: The filmmakers made short documentaries during their stay as a memento.






Contact: Documentary Dream Center (Fujioka Asako)  
6F Daisan Yamada Bldg. 22 Aizumicho, Shinjuku, Tokyo 160-0005 JAPAN
Email info@ddcenter.org  
https://ddcenter.org  www.facebook.com/docdreamcenter



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