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Road to Cannes

Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia and Nara International Film Festival will select a young Japanese director and give advice on what methods of filmmaking are appropriate for global films festivals. They will discuss what is currently lacking in Japanese filmmaking, as well as the main differences between Japanese and global filmmaking. The purpose of this discussion is to help identify how a Japanese filmmaker can get global recognition.



Japanese Filmmaker Reinforcement Training Project!
Launched and established by Film Festival Representative, Tetsuya Bessho, and International Film Festival Representative & Film Director, Naomi Kawase.

What kind of film-making by young Japanese filmmakers are appraised at both film festivals in Japan and Internationally? What is currently missing, in detail, through film-making in Japan? How can our movie culture be improved in order to produce influential films evaluated as winning motion pictures through world standards?
These are the type of questions that will be debated and discussed through the organization of both film festivals supporting young directors as they plan, write, and expand their horizons and advance overseas!

  • 別所哲也

    Tetsuya Bessho Actor / President of Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia

    Tetsuya Bessho debuted in Hollywood in 1990 with the US-Japan film "Solar Crisis." Since then he has performed in stage productions such as "Les Miserables," "Nine the Musical," and "Urinetown." He founded Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia in 1999, which he remains the president of, and received an award from the chief of the Agency for Cultural Affairs.
    Furthermore, in 2010 he was recipient of the Iwatani Tokiko Award Encouragement Prize from the Iwatani Tokiko Foundation.
    Meanwhile, he assumed the position of "Visit Japan Ambassador," part of a Japan Tourism Agency initiative, and is currently also a member of the expert panel to strengthen content at the Cabinet Secretariat’ s Intellectual Property Strategy Headquarters, a Goodwill Ambassador to the Qatar Friendship Fund, a City of Yokohama Committee Member, and an EIRN (film classification and rating committee) Commission Councilor.
    In recent years he has also been appointed as a member of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan “Japan House” Expert Advisory Council, and as an individual in charge of promotion for “Japan” overseas on behalf of the Cabinet Office, Government of Japan.
    He is a Tokyo Brand Ambassador, Recipient of the 63rd Yokohama Culture Award, and in 2015 became a “Native” Ambassador of Shimada City.

  • 河瀬直美

    Naomi Kawase

    Kawase continues to make films in Nara, where she was born and raised.
    1989 Graduates from Visual Arts Osaka Professional Total Creative (f.k.a. Osaka Institute of Photography) with a degree in Filmmaking Her independent films “Especially for You” and “Katsumori” premiere at the 1995 Yamagata International Documentary Festival, and attracts attention both locally and internationally
    1997 Her theatrical debut “Suzaku” makes her the youngest Camera d’Or recipient at the Cannes Film Festival 2007 Returns to Cannes with “The Mourning Forest,” which wins the Grand Prix
    2009 Receives the Carrosse d’Or from the Directors’ Fortnight
    2013 Serves as a jurist for Cannes films in competition
    2015 Receives the Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters from the French Minister of Culture
    2016 Serves as the President of the CInefondation and Short Films Jury In addition to directing, Kawase produces commercials, writes essays, and continues to express her creativity in boundless forms. She is the executive director of this year’s Nara International Film Festival.
    Twitter: @KawaseNAOMI

master class


Photographed by LESLIE KEE

Masterclass Naomi Kawase
〜Dangle Your Feet and Connect with the World〜

Naomi Kawase is an internationally recognized Japanese director and this year’s lead jurist for the Cannes Short Film Corner. Why did she decide to pursue filmmaking, and how did her films come to be recognized on an international scale? How has she nurtured her craft and talent over the years? We will look at Kawase’s incredible career, explore her films from when she was a student to her more recent projects.
This event was held on June 10th,2016



In The Nara International Film Festival last September, we held a workshop for young filmmakers. Koji Fukada, won the Jury Prize in the Un Certain Regard division at the 69th Cannes International Film Festival, took part in the discussion. We discussed about potential problems to make films in Japan.