Online Komian Club

Loved by cineastes the world over as the YIDFF night-time watering hole for all festival guests and audiences, Komian Club will be held online this year. Sadly, the memorable place was torn down with the closure of the pickle shop Maruchachi Yatarazuke in 2020. We remain grateful for the organizers’ thirty-year support for YIDFF and promise to carry on its legacy.

The Online Komian Club will launch on the night of Thursday, Oct. 7, after the festival’s opening film Pickles and Komian Club makes its world premiere -- the film documents the final year of the 135-year-old establishment. Every night for seven days of the festival period, a virtual space will be open for everyone worldwide, admission free.

Opening Hours (Japan Time = UTC+9)
Oct 7(Thurs)
After the Opening Film about Komian
21:00 - 22:30
Oct 8 (Fri) to 12 (Tues)22:30 - 24:30
Oct 13 (Wed)
After the Awards Ceremony


SpatialChat is the online communication tool for YIDFF 2021’s Online Komian Club. On this platform, you will be able to enter a virtual space where you can move around freely, and talk with whoever you may meet.

Online Komian Club consists of an Entrance and 7 rooms. Among the seven rooms are a cinema hall where you can watch films about past Yamagata Film Festivals, a PR room where you can promote your own activities, and a room welcoming newcomers to YIDFF.

As you click and move your avatar around the space, you will find that you can hear people’s voices closer or farther, depending on your distance from them.
You need to get close in order to talk to people.

Before you enter the space

(1) It’s better to use a computer to have access to all the functions.
(2) Google Chrome is the best browser to use. For others, check here.
(3) It’s advised to use a microphone and headphones if you are sharing a room with others.

Please keep in mind
  • No video or sound recording or screen capturing if you are not an administrator.
  • Komian Club is Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival's official hangout. We ask you to help keep this place a safe and inclusive space of dialog.
    Please participate with empathy, openness to listen, and good behavior.
    Aggressive, harassing or demeaning remarks and behavior on the grounds of identity or physical differences will not be condoned. If there is anyone who does not respect these values, the organizer will ask them to leave.

* If the space is full to capacity, you will not be able to enter. Try again later.
* If you need help, write to yidff.komian2021@gmail.com.

Before you enter the site

(1) Type your name (preferably your real name) and a short self-introduction and click continue.

(2) Check your camera and mike and click join space. Turn both ON.

(3) You’ll see a simple instruction pop-up on your first time to enter. Check how you can move your avatar.
Once you enter the space, click on How to use this site and read the instructions.

How to use the site

1. Here you can zoom in or out to change the size of your view.
2. Here you can see who is in the site and in which room they are. When you click on a name, you will be transported near them. When you click on a room, you will be transported there.
3. Click this and you can edit your profile.
4. Here you can switch to a Chat board. You can text to all participants or directly to specific people. 5. Express yourself through emoji and simple reactions.
6. Settings. If you are having trouble with your camera or mic, check here.
7. Check the basics of how to navigate the site, such as how to move your avatar.
8. This is the EXIT BUTTON. Please click this when you are leaving. The system might not recognize that you left if you don’t use this button.

In the PR Room, you can put up images and videos of your activities. Some functions don’t work with smart phone users. (Administrators may choose to move your materials.)

Need help?

Send a text to a manager through Chat, or send an email to yidff.komian2021@gmail.com

Whoever has a small yellow badge on the avatar is a manager.
You can also check SpatialChat’s FAQ here.

Some solutions:

If you want to hide your background, try snap camera.
If you can’t find your avatar, click on someone or another room in the righside column and you will see yourself. You can also zoom out and look for where you are.
If you can’t turn your camera on, maybe you have another online tool like Zoom turned on. If you can’t figure out why you can’t use your camera or mic, just exit the space and re-enter.


* If the space is full to capacity, you will not be able to enter. Try again later.