Welcome to "Cinema at Sea" in Japan!

Lying 400km to the south-west of Okinawa, Ishigaki island has developed its exceptional history and culture over the centuries. As a matter of fact, of all the islands in the south of Okinawa, not one is said to have evolved in the same way; each having created its own individual identity.

“YUGAFU” is an old Okinawan word for “good fortune, peaceful and prosperous time”. Our film festival has the word “ YUGAFU” in its Japanese title as it is one of the festival’s fundamental values. Among all the Okinawan islands with complex history, Ishigaki inherited the most diversity of ethnic identities. It is from this island that we aim to connect the minorities and the culture of islands all over the world.

The theme of Ishigaki International Film Festival is “Cinema at Sea.” From where you stand, you look far and wide into the ocean. Then you would experience your vision and thoughts expanding in your head. Our goal is for you to encounter a similar sensation of broadening your view and knowledge through the experience of cinema.

By watching films, we learn something new, feel fulfilled, or simply enjoy their creations and stories. The 4 philosophical pillars of Ishigaki International Film Festival are the essentials of what we think of “What is cinema?”. In this fast-changing modern world of the 21st century, we will keep perusing the meaning of “What is cinema?” through this film festival.

In competition, "Cinema at Sea - Ishigaki Island International Film Festival" makes the following awards:
"Golden Chrysalis Award" - for the Best Film.
"Jury Prize" - for the jury special prize.
"Best Director" - for artistic contribution of documentary filmmaking.

Out of official prizes, the Festival makes the following awards:
- Audience Award for feature film.
- Youth Jury Award, with jury representation from high schools in Ishigaki Island.

About "Golden Chrysalis Award": The biggest butterfly in Japan "Idea leuconoe", its chrysalis is in beautiful golden color. In Japan, this species only inhabit in Okinawa region, and it's also the "Butterfly of the City" of Ishigaki Island. We hope to award the Best Film with talented creativity, and brave courage of documentary filmmaking just like the growth of butterfly.

**NOTIFICATION: We're going to postpone our 1st edition due to the COVID-19 situation. After we set up our new dates of the 1st edition, we'll officially release as soon as possible!

Submission Regulation

We're looking for films that faces the changes of the world, with a cinematic and artistic way in documentary filmmaking.
Category: documentary, or films that are close to the idea of "reality".
Premiere Condition: Japan Premiere (in Nov 2020).
Length: feature film at least 70 minutes of length.
Production Year: Films completed after January 1st 2019.
Notification date: Before 10th August.
Screening format: Blueray with English subtitles. The selected films should provide English subtitle files to the festival for making Japanese subtitles for screening.

* After pre-selection, the selection committee will select 10~15 films of maximum in competition. We'll invite one representative to attend "Cinema at Sea" during festival period. (with the limitation of travel support to Ishigaki Island)
* The composition of jury members will be 5 members of international guests and also well-known filmmakers/ experts in the industry. The awards will be decided by jury members during the festival period.

* There is no screening fee for the films selected for the Competition Programme.
* No film may be withdrawn from the festival programme after its selection.