Image Forum is an independent nonprofit organization that started operating in 1971 under the name Underground Film Center. Its mission has always been to distribute experimental, independent and alternative films. Image Forum, which in the meanwhile has expanded its activities, includes now a film library, an art school, and a publishing house (Daguerreo Press, Inc.. Founded in 1980). Each year since 1987, from late April to mid-June, the Image Forum Festival takes place in important Japanese cities: Tokyo, Yokohama, Kyoto, Fukuoka, Nagoya, Niigata and Sapporo. The festival screens Japanese and international features and also introduces several directors that have marked the history of independent cinema through various retrospectives.