The Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival (YIFFF) will reopen under its original name and mandate in late February 2008.

The announcement was made by the non-profit organisation (NPO) Yubari Fanta which is the nickname of the festival. The NPO was set up by the citizens of the financially troubled city last November to revive the popular film event. YIFFF was forced to suspend operations last July due to the state of bankruptcy in the tiny Hokkaido town of the festival's namesake.

The event reopened in February this year, under the name Yubari Support Film Festival (Yubari Ouen Eigasai), in a scaled-down form geared more towards mainstream fare through support from attached distributors and the Yubari Tourist Association. Screenings during the three-day event (Feb 22-25) included Japan premieres of Hollywood films such as Babel and Rocky Balboa.

Yubari Fanta had originally planned a summer 2007 revival of YIFFF but has now opted for the fest's traditional February bow. 'Rather than doing it in half-measures, we felt the festival should be reopened properly under a larger framework,' a Yubari Fanta spokesman said.

Since 1990, YIFFF had featured a combined programme of entertaining Hollywood films, independent films from Japan and abroad, and cutting-edge genre work, as well as championing young filmmakers and digital cinema.