News & Information

The World’s First “George Lucas Award” will be awarded to the GRAND-PRIX of SSFF & ASIA 2018.


TOKYO, JAPAN – May 14th, 2018 – Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia (SSFF & ASIA), a qualifying film festival for the annual Academy Awards® and one of Asia’s largest international short film festivals, is going to name the Grand-Prix award the “George Lucas Award”.
The connection between SSFF & ASIA and George Lucas, world-renowned director of the “Star Wars” series and an influence for many filmmakers, began with a short film George Lucas made when he was studying at the University of Southern California. Tetsuya Bessho, the Founder and Representative Director of SSFF & ASIA, encountered this short film while he was working on the lineup for the first film festival.

He knocked on the doors of Lucas Film ltd. and passionately explained his project. George Lucas shortly approved the request for the screening and sent the message “You must start”.
When Bessho started SSFF & ASIA in 1999 in Harajuku, Tokyo, Lucas was in Japan for the opening of “Star Wars: Episode I ‐ The Phantom Menace” and unexpectedly came to the reception of the festival at the American Embassy in Tokyo. ”Everybody has a beginning. We will always support those beginnings”. His words continue to give the festival strength. Since then, SSFF & ASIA has received a message of support from him every year. Commemorating the 20th anniversary, SSFF & ASIA proudly names the Grand-Prix the “George Lucas Award”, wishing further development the film festival.

Being the same as before, the George Lucas Award, the Grand-Prix of the festival, will be selected from approximately 10,000 entries from more than 130 countries and regions, and will be considered for nomination at the Oscars.

SSFF & ASIA 2018 will also show George Lucas’ film “Electronic Labyrinth THX 1138 4EB” as part of the Anniversary Program, along with films by other distinguished directors such as Nobuhiko Obayashi and Charlie Chaplin.

From George Lucas to Tetsuya Bessho

© Lucas Film Ltd. & TM. All rights reserved.

I myself started as a filmmaker since making short films at school. The dream still continues now. I heard SSFF & ASIA is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Thinking back on the beginnings of this fantastic film festival, my short film acted as an invitation to my first steps as a filmmaker.
For this memorable occasion, I would like to send my hearty cheers to the filmmakers of the next generation who have started in short films like
me, and introduce the newly named SSFF & ASIA Grand-Prix as the George Lucas Award!
”Everybody has a beginning. We will always support those beginnings”.
May the short film be with you!

From Tetsuya Bessho to George Lucas

I am so proud to celebrate SSFF & ASIA’s 20th anniversary this year with your warmest support. All the staff appreciate you and respect your passionate filmmaking. When you came to the reception of the first film festival at the American Embassy in 1999, we just could not believe that you were really there!
We are going to announce the exciting news about the George Lucas Award on your birthday, May 14th, but we feel as if we received a birthday gift from you.
I would like to share your words to all the creators in the world with all my feelings of gratitude. “Dreams are extremely important. You can’t do it unless you imagine it.” – George Lucas