TheYamagata International Movie Festival

Yamagata City

Movie lovers and those interested in Japanese cinema will have a great chance to experience the Japanese movie industry during the annual Yamagata International Movie Festival held at Movie On Yamagata in Yamagata City.  

Hundreds of films from studios of many sizes are submitted each year from across Japan with the opportunity to be judged by some of the biggest names in Japanese cinema.  The top 10 of these films are given special screenings at this festival during the span of its three days with an awards ceremony held on the second day of the event.  

Quick Info:


Date and Time: 

The 2019 event is to be determined.

Admission:  To be determined. 

Location:  Movie On Yamagata

1 Chome-2-2 Shimakita, Yamagata, Yamagata Prefecture 990-0885


The awards ceremony.

The Yamagata International Movie Festival has been held for 14 times and continues to grow in importance for the Japanese film industry. In 2018 there were over 271 films submitted to this festival and this number is set to continue to increase.


Actors from major films make appearances after their films show during the festivaland films like Yukiko San No Ashioto (雪子さんの足音) even made their global debut at this festival.  

Many of Japan's top directors, including Isao Yukisada also made appearances here. 

This in turn has made this event an important chance for many studios and actors from across Japan to gather and network with the movers and shakers of this industry.

Funakoshi Eiichiro, a veteran actor and judge of the 14th Yamagata International Film Festival discussed how many burgeoning directors who have entered this contest in the past have gone on to become incredibly successful.  This includes Shinichirou Ueda, who recently produced One Cut of the Dead  which became one of the biggest box-office hits in 2018.  

Eiichiro discussed with The Hidden Japan how he wants more people to know that this festival is a starting point for some truly incredible talent in the cinema industry.

In addition to all of this, the winners of this movie festival are provided with funding to help advance their careers.

In 2018, this included funding of 100,000,000 yen (approximately one million dollars) for the winning director's next film!  

This makes this film festival a potentially life-changing experience for directors and studios across Japan.  

You can see all of this during the three days and have the chance to meet these famous actors and directors at the after party held after the awards ceremony.  

The 2019 schedule will be posted here as soon as it become available.  In the meantime, please see below for last year's event schedule.

Last Year's Nominated Films and Event Schedule

These films are shown on each of the event dates in Theater 5.  Be sure to check out the awards ceremony on the 10th starting at 6:20pm. The winning film will be shown during an additional special screening at 9:15 in theater 1.  

2018 Event Schedule

Please note that the 2019 schedule is not yet available

The professional films and events were held in Theater 1.  Here is the event schedule for last year's three day festival.  

November 9th (Friday)

オトナルヤマガタ'18 THE MOVIE~僕らの夏、最後のオト~


Special Screening of Jimmy: The True Story of a True Idiot episode 1 and 2

Stage greetings by Jimmy-Oonishi and Akiyoshi Nakao


Opening Event 


A live performance of the theme song of the Yamagata International Movie Festival by UNDER GRAPH


A screening of AKIRA 




November 10th (Saturday)

Special Screening of Jimmy: The True Story of a True Idiot episode 3 and 4

Stage greetings by Jimmy-Oonishi 


Special Screening of The Chrysanthemum and the Guillotine (Kiku to guillotine)

Stage greetings by  Director Zeze Takahisa, Mai Kiryu,Kanichiro, and Ai Nishina


Special Screening of Yukiko San No Ashioto(雪子さんの足音)

Stage greetings by Kazuko Yoshiyuki, Kanichiro, and Nanaha


Yamagata International Festival 2018 Awards ceremony


Reception Party 


Yukiko San No Ashioto

 The Chrysanthemum and the Guillotine (Kiku to guillotine)

November 11th (Sunday)

Special Screening of the competition winning film


Special Screening of Jimmy: The True Story of a True Idiot episodes 5, 6, and 7


Special Screening of Jimmy: The True Story of a True Idiot episodes 8 and 9


Special Screening of Kanojo no jinsei wa machigaijanai

Stage Greetings by Director Ryuichi Hiroki 


Special Screening of River's Edge

Stage greetings by Director Isao Yukisada


A Live Performance by Ikumi Kumagai 




River's Edge

Ikumi Kumagai 

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