The “Visual Documentary project” was started in 2012 by the Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS), Kyoto University. The project aims to promote documentary filmmaking in Southeast Asia to complement the growing literature that exists on the region. From 2014, the Japan Foundation Asia Center (JFAC) is a co-organizer and helps widely promote the richness of Southeast Asian cultures to people in Japan. The project has linked up with numerous film schools in Southeast Asia to help strengthen the documentary filmmaking networks in the region. To date the project has received over 1000 documentaries over an nine year period.

Each year we have a theme and this year's is Love in Southeast Asia

Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, this year's event will be held online.

Requirements to submit documentaries are as follows:[Deadline: Aug., 31st, 2021]
1. Applicants MUST BE from Southeast Asia or Japan.
2. Documentaries should be no longer than 30 minutes.
3. Applicants should make sure they have permission from any subjects that appear in the movies.
4. Documentaries should include English subtitles. Translation and subtitling is also the responsibility of applicants. For documentaries selected for screening we require film (without subtitles) and subtitle data to be submitted by requested dates to meet translation embedding schedules.
*Selected documentaries will be screened in their original languages with both Japanese and English subtitles. However, documentaries that are in English will only have Japanese subtitles added and vice versa.

Invitation to Japan
Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic a physical screening will not be held in Japan. However, an international selection committee will select successful documentaries, and a screening will be held online.

1. Please upload online a copy of the production onto YouTube or Vimeo with subtitles in English. Applicants should also submit a C.V by attachment. Apply via FilmFreeway.

Conditions for uploading films

(a) Films must be submitted in a format supported by YouTube or Vimeo.
– Suggested format: frame size 1920×1080, file format MPEG, frame rate 23.98
(b) Films must be produced in accordance with their purposes and not defame the Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS).
(c) Films that are uploaded should not infringe upon the rights or interests of personal or organizational copyright holders.
– Any background music (BGM) included in films must be copyright free or have the prior permission of copyright holders to use in said films.
– For any images from cartoons, literature, television or films, applicants must make sure that copyright has been transferred from those that own them.

2. The organizers will announce the finalist results in mid- October 2021.
3. Selected documentaries will be subtitled into Japanese and uploaded to a website for public viewing.

1. Documentaries will be archived (with the permission of the director(s)) on-line on the CSEAS’s website. These may be used for seminars.
2. Copyright remains with the original copyright holders of the documentary at all times.
3. The organizers will not fund any requests for production funds, the purchase of recording equipment or editing software.

Data protection
The information provided will be used for the purpose of film selections as decided by the organizer (CSEAS). Applicants personal details will not be disclosed to third parties for commercial or another other reasons.

For any inquiries please contact vdp[@]

Overall Rating
  • We have been collaborating with VDP again and again in the past 9 years since its inception and have been happy to show our films. Mario Ivan Lopez and the entire festival team is always wonderful and we look forward to being able to participate at VDP in the future again. Thank you very much for supporting our films and showing it to audiences in Japan and abroad VDP!

    January 2022