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Held annually from 1990, save for 2007 when its host town was facing financial difficulties, the Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival has become a little corner of Hokkaido where for four days in March the cinematically weird and wonderful can flourish.

I had long wanted to go to the Yubari festival, which nearly everyone who had been there raved about (some more for the parties than the films), but work commitments kept me from trekking to this former coal-mining town, now nationally famous for its melons.

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