The Japan Council of the University of Pittsburgh and SCREENSHOT: Asia are excited to announce the third biennial University of Pittsburgh Japan Documentary Film Award. Inspired by the work of Soda Kazuhiro, the award celebrates contemporary films that explore Japanese culture in Japan and around the world. Films should focus on the geographic region of Japan, although topics could include contemporary or historical cultural or social phenomena, practices, or events. The award is available to films 45 minutes or longer, from all countries, and in all languages. One film will be selected as the winning entry and screened as part of a larger event.

The filmmaker of the winning documentary will receive a cash award of $5000 plus roundtrip airfare and hotel for the event, scheduled for September 2022. The selected film will be screened as part of a larger event at the University of Pittsburgh.

1. Films must have been completed after Jan 1, 2020.

2. Submissions can be in any language but must include English subtitles. 

3. Submissions must include a 1-page supplementary statement describing how the film promotes the understanding of Japanese culture. 

4. To receive the award, the winner(s) must be present at the celebratory screening in September 2022. Airfare and accommodations will be provided. 

5. The University of Pittsburgh must be afforded the rights to screen the film for the public during the awards ceremony (September 2022).

6.  Submission gives University of Pittsburgh rights to publish stills from submitted films for promotional materials only. Films/artists will be credited.

Overall Rating
  • Mizuko Yamaoka

    It was a great honor to participate in this film festival. The people who founded and run this award in Pittsburgh are experts in Japanese cultural studies and are genuinely concerned about Japanese culture and society through their documentaries. It was a pleasure to meet them. I have come to love Pittsburgh.

    October 2022