Skip to content

The Creator-Led Za-Koenji Documentary Festival: Crossing Boundaries Of Film, Television, And Theater



Serving as programme director of ZA-KOENJI Documentary Film Festival, veteran cinematographer Yamazaki Yukata emphasizes the relationship between the festival and Chinese independent cinema as he recounts the establishment (2010) and growth of ZA-KOENJI. According to Yamazaki, the festival develops three disparate selections to revisit and showcase documentaries in different themes and arenas, which also embody the core tenet of the festival to promote documentary cinema. The festival in turn also enriches and broadens the definition of the documentary genre, which extends to include TV documentaries, and it has also somewhat inspired the curatorial practices of other Japanese film festivals. Since the 6th event (2015), many independent films by directors such as Hu Jie, Yu Guangyi, Du Haibin, Ju Anqi, and Zhang Mengqi have been shown, with many Japanese scholars and film professionals incorporated into the screenings and panel discussions.