Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival

Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival
Location Yūbari, Hokkaidō
Language International
Website http://yubarifanta.com/index_pc.php?ct=main.php&langue=21002

The Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival (ゆうばり国際ファンタスティック映画祭 Yūbari kokusai fantasutikku eiga sai), also sometimes called YIFFF, is held in a resort-like environment in the small town of Yūbari on the northernmost Japanese island of Hokkaidō. From 1990 to 1999, the festival was known as the Yubari International Fantastic Adventure Film Festival.[1]


In 1990, the last coal mine in the Hokkaidō mining town of Yūbari having closed, the city leaders were looking for a way to revitalize the local economy. This was the beginning of the Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival.[2] The festival was divided into two main programs, a prestigious international competition for young directors, and an Off Theatre program for mostly Japanese amateur, independent and first-time directors. The first year in 1990 had as a special guest, actor Jon Voight and his daughter, a young starlet named Angelina Jolie. In 1993, Quentin Tarantino was at the festival and wrote part of the screenplay for Pulp Fiction in his hotel room. Some years later, he paid homage to the town in the name of a character in Kill Bill: Volume 1, "Gogo Yubari".[3] In 1996 the festival also had special guest stars, comedians Steve Martin and Martin Short. In 2004 the festival drew a record audience of 27,000.[2]

The festival had always been sponsored financially by the city of Yubari but the town filed for bankruptcy in 2007 and that year's festival had to be cancelled. However, the people of Yubari with the assistance of a number of sponsors were able to group together to revive the festival in 2008. The international competition section of the festival had to be dropped but the Off Theatre program for young Japanese directors was retained with the Grand Prize bringing 2 million yen (about $20,000) to the winner. The new Governor's Award was presented by the Governor of Hokkaidō. In addition to the competition section, the festival continued to screen a number of international films by promising directors.[3] One of the sponsors for the festival is the giant Japanese satellite broadcasting company SKYPerfecTV! which has also broadcast parts of the program.[4] The scaled down 2008 festival drew more than 8800 fans and attendance increased to over 10,500 in 2009.[5]

Major awards

Award information from:[6]

1990 Awards

Held February 14–18, 1990.

Ofelas – Director: Nils Gaup
Spirits of the Air, Gremlins of the Clouds – Director: Alex Proyas


Takeshita Performance Higei Mito-Komon – Director: Sinya Takesita
Gig – Director: Kosuke Ienaga
Meilin Adventure – Director: Satoshi Imai

1991 Awards

Held February 15–19, 1991.

The Miracle in Valby (Miraklet i Valby) – Director: Åke Sandgren
Windwalker – Director: Kieth Merrill
Miller's Crossing – Director: Joel Coen


Death Express – Director: Hiroyuki Terada
Rice Game – Director: Hideaki Kobayashi

1992 Awards

Held February 14–18, 1992.

The Swordsman in Double Flag Town – Director: He Ping
A Demon in My View – Director: Petra Haffter
Tetsuo II: Body Hammer – Director: Shinya Tsukamoto


Diamonds Moon – Director: Akira Nobi
Kappas – Director: Katsuya Ohsawa

1993 Awards

Held February 19–23, 1993.

Children of Nature – Director: Fridrik Thor Fridriksson
Winds of God – Director: Yoko Narahashi
Reservoir Dogs – Director: Quentin Tarantino


Trash – Director: Naoki Kubo
My Daddy Long Legs – Director: Shin Yasuhara

1994 Awards

Held February 18–22, 1994.

Killing Zoe – Director: Roger Roberts Avary
C'est arrive pres de chez vous – Director: Rémy Belvaux & André Bonzel
Carne – Director: Gaspar Noé
El Mariachi – Director: Robert Rodriguez


Family Time – Director: Ryota Kawaguchi
My Favorite "Skyline" – Director: Shin Yasuhara
Vending Machine and a Girl – Director: Kiyohide Otani

1995 Awards

Held February 17–21, 1995.

Tombés du ciel – Director: Philippe Lioret
The Secret Adventures of Tom Thumb – Director: Dave Borthwick
Wizard of Darkness – Director: Shimako Sato


The Incredible Haniwa Man – Director: Shin Yasuhara
Anatomia Extinction – Director: Yoshihiro Nishimura
A Room Without Wind – Director: Ryuta Miyake

1996 Awards

Held February 18–20, 1996.

Accumulator 1 – Director: Jan Svěrák
Manneken Pis – Director: Frank Van Passel
Secret Waltz – Director: Akira Nobi


Brain Holiday – Director: Hineki Mito
Blood Red Girls – Director: Daisuke Yamanouchi
Rest Room – Director: Muneyoshi Murakami
To Be or Not to Be – Director: Tomoko Matsunashi

1997 Awards

Held February 14–18, 1997.

Closing Time – Director: Masahiro Kobayashi
Little Sister – Director: Robert Jan Westdijk
Drive – Director: Steve Wang


Party – Director: Mayumi Uchiumi
L&D – Director: Hideki Kimura

1998 Awards

Held February 13–17, 1998.

Bernie – Director: Albert Dupontel
Detective Riko – Director: Satoshi Isaka
The Ground – Director: Atsushi Muroga
Illtown – Director: Nick Gomez


Midnight Three – Director: Yasushi Koshizaka
Variation for Movements – Director: Yoshinao Sato
Kurushime Girl – Director: Noboru Iguchi

1999 Awards

Held February 19–23, 1999.

Bandits – Director: Katja von Garnier
Moonlight Whispers – Director: Akihiko Shiota


Tel-Club – Director: Kenji Murakami
Kiadoryoku REAL – Director: Katsushi Boda

2000 Awards

Held February 18–22, 2000.

Across a Gold Prairie – Director: Isshin Inudou
Pups – Director: Ash
Jin-Roh – Director: Hiroyuki Okiura


Hazy Life – Director: Nobuhiro Yamashita
Let's Go Strawberry Girl – Director: Shinobu Kuribayashi

2001 Awards

Held February 15–19, 2001.

New Year's Day – Director: Suri Krishnamma
Animals – Director: Michael Di Jiacomo
Siam Sunset – Director: John Polson


Tokyo A Go Go – Director: Ryuichi Honda
L'Ilya – Director: Tomoya Sato

2002 Awards

Held February 14–18, 2002.

My Sassy Girl – Director: Kwak Jae-yong


Run! Yamazaki! Run! – Director: Naoko Johnori
Nuts – Director: Yoko Chukira / Tomokazu / Shu Kageyama

2003 Awards

Held February 13–17, 2003.

Battlefield Baseball (Jigoku Koushien) – Director: Yūdai Yamaguchi


Bijo-can – Director: Masaya Kakei
Ski Jumping Pairs – Director: Riichiro Mashima

2004 Awards

Held February 19–23, 2004.

Mokpo, Gangster's Paradise – Director: Kim Ji-hoon
Robot Stories – Director: Greg Pak
Better Than Sex – Director: Su Chao-pin & Lee Feng-bor


The Far East Apartment – Director: Tetsuya Mariko
Utsu-musume SAYURI – Director: Takashi Kimura

2005 Awards

Held February 24–28, 2005.

My Mother, the Mermaid – Director: Park Heung-sik
Innocence – Director: Lucile Hadžihalilović
The Neighbor No. Thirteen – Director: Yasuo Inoue


Mariko's 30 Pirates – Director: Tetsuya Mariko
Be the World for Her – Director: Daisuke Hosaka

2006 Awards

Held February 23–27, 2006.

Blood Rain – Director: Kim Dae-seung
Never Belongs to Me – Director: Nam Ki-woong
Citizen Dog – Director: Wisit Sasanatieng


Raw Summer (Nama-natsu) – Director: Keisuke Yoshida
Hakko – Director: Madoka Kumagai

2007 Awards

No awards - festival cancelled.

2008 Awards

Held March 19–23, 2008.


A Woman Who Is Beating the Earth (大地を叩く女 Daichi o tataku onna) – Director: Tsuki Inoue
Coming with My Brother (お姉ちゃん、弟といく One-chan, otōto to iku) – Director: Kouta Yoshida
Seikilos and I (セイキロスさんとわたしく Seikilos-san to Watashi) – Director: Kenji Itoso & Hiroshi Kamebuchi

2009 Awards

Held February 26-March 2, 2009.


8000 Miles (SR サイタマノラッパー SR: Saitama no rappā) – Director: Yū Irie
Big Gun (大拳銃 Dai kenjū) – Director: Ōhata Hajime
Night Games (夜のゲーム Yoru no geemu) – Director: Choi Uian (チェ・ウィアン)

2010 Awards

Held February 25-March 1, 2010.


Hot as Hell: The Deadbeat March (青春墓場~明日と一緒に歩くのだ~ Seishun Hakaba Ashita to Issho ni Aruku no da) – Director: Yōsuke Okuda
Footed Tadpoles (脚の生えたおたまじゃくし Ashi no maeta otamajakushi) – Director: Tomoya Maeno
Wall ( Kabe) – Director: ヒョン・スルウ
Footed Tadpoles (脚の生えたおたまじゃくし Ashi no maeta otamajakushi) – Director: Tomoya Maeno

2011 Awards

Held February 24–28, 2011.


Invasion of Alien Bikini (겨울냄새) – Director: Oh Young-Doo
Pink Subaru (ピンク・スバル Pinku Subaru) – Director: Kazuya Ogawa
Violence PM (バイオレンスPM Baiorensu PM) – Director: Takayuki Ishihara
Pink Subaru (ピンク・スバル Pinku Subaru) – Director: Kazuya Ogawa

2012 Awards

Held February 23–27, 2012 with a total attendance at 12,500.


Osaka Violence (大阪外道 Ōsaka gedō) – Director: Takahiro Ishihara
The Brat! (くそガキの告白 Kusogaki no kokuhaku) – Director: Taichi Suzuki
The Beatles (ビートルズ Bītoruzu) – Director: Yuichiro Sakashita
The Brat! (くそガキの告白 Kusogaki no kokuhaku) – Director: Taichi Suzuki
Nahana for Toilet and Women (どんずまり便器 Donzumari Benki)
Hiroki Konno for The Brat! (くそガキの告白 Kusogaki no kokuhaku)
Ultraman Saga (ウルトラマンサーガ Urutoramansāga) - Director: Hideki Oka
Namba Kinyu-den Minami no Teio Toichi no Manda Ginjiro - Director: Takaaki Haginiwa
Puss in Boots (長ぐつをはいたネコ Nagagutsu o Haita Neko)
The Brat! (くそガキの告白 Kusogaki no kokuhaku) – Director: Taichi Suzuki

2013 Awards

Held February 21–25, 2013. Attendance was about 12,500.[8][9]


There Is Light - Director: Yukihiro Toda
A Case of Eggs - Director: Yuri Kanchiku
Winter Alpaca - Director: Yuji Harada
There Is Light - Director: Yukihiro Toda

2014 Awards

Announced March 2, 2014[10]


The Pinkie - Director: Lisa Takeba
Gun Woman - Director: Mitsutake Kurando
School Girls' Gestation - Director: Ueda Atsushi
The Pinkie - Director: Lisa Takeba
Old Men Never Die - Director: Wang Cheol-min (South Korea)

2015 Awards

Announced on February 24, 2015[11]


Makeup Room - Director: Kei Morikawa
The Limit of Sleeping Beauty - Director: Ninomiya Ken
Haman - Director: Tetsuya Okabe
Mizo - Director: Nam Ki Woong (South Korea)
Luv ya Hun! - Director: Daigo Matsui


  1. "Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival Information". yubarifanta.com. Archived from the original on 2012-02-23. Retrieved 2009-09-17. External link in |publisher= (help)
  2. 1 2 "ACTING LOCAL". web-japan.org. January 13, 2005. Retrieved 2009-09-18. External link in |publisher= (help)
  3. 1 2 Mes, Tom (June 17, 2008). "Go! Go! Yubari". Midnight Eye. Retrieved 2009-09-17. External link in |publisher= (help)
  4. "SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation News Release" (PDF). http://www.sptvjsat.com/en/ www.sptvjsat.com/en. January 14, 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-18. External link in |publisher= (help)
  5. "Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival". UniJapan. Archived from the original on 2012-03-12. Retrieved 2015-11-09. External link in |publisher= (help)
  6. "Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival Archive". yubarifanta.com. Retrieved 2009-09-17. External link in |publisher= (help)
  7. "YUBARI INTERNATIONAL FANTASTIC FILM FESTIVAL". yubarifanta.com. Archived from the original on 2011-07-18. Retrieved 2015-11-09. External link in |publisher= (help)
  8. "「ゆうばり映画祭2013」グランプリは『暗闇から手をのばせ』" (in Japanese). cinema.pia.co.jp. Retrieved 2015-02-26.
  9. "【ゆうばり国際映画祭】さよならビュッフェと「いってらっしゃい!」でお別れ" (in Japanese). CinemaCafe. Retrieved 2015-02-26.
  10. Marsh, James (March 4, 2014). "Yubari 2014: THE PINKIE Takes Grand Prix In Fantastic Off Theater Competition". Twitch Film. Retrieved 2015-02-25.
  11. O'Keeffe, Christopher (February 25, 2015). "Yubari 2015: MAKEUP ROOM Takes Top Award In Fantastic Off Theatre Competition". Twitch Film. Retrieved 2015-02-25.


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