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‘Asia Shorts’ - Report from Stockholm, Sweden

Bio Rio / Venue; Bio Rio

Entrance of Bio Rio

Lobby; audiences waiting for the the opening event

Screening Room

Asian short films showcase, ‘Asia Shorts’ has started on February 13th, 2014 in Stockholm, Sweden. SSFF & ASIA has country featured program of Swedish short films back in 2009 and this brought the Asian Shorts to introduce Asian short films to Sweden for the first time. The venue of the event is the theater called Bio Rio located in the south of Stockholm with the neighborhood of film industry. And the Bio Rio is popular art house type movie theater with history and nice cozy, and unique atmosphere.

In Stockholm, you can guess what kind of background each person has by asking which area she or he lives. For example, there are area with journalists, artists, rich people. So the neighborhood of Bio Rio with bunch of film related person is just great for film festival.

For the opening night of Asia Shorts, we welcomed a number of people; starting with from Film Stockholm, Swedish Film Institute ( they are the ones helped SSFF & ASIA for Swedish Program in 2009 in Tokyo), Uppsala Film Festival, filmmakers, people from academic field focusing of art, handcraft, ethnology, Asian culture or language, and media people as well as general audiences.

The event started with the speech by Annette Masui, organizer of Asia Shorts, former cultural attaché of the Swedish Embassy in Japan, who has established Nippon Agency after she comes back to Sweden to pursue the activity of cultural exchange between Sweden and Japan. And then the greeting from Eri Taguchi, Festival Manager of SSFF & ASIA, who has been developing this Asia Shorts Project from the scratch along with Annette followed.

The very first program included “Koyuki’s Wandering Football ”, SSFF & ASIA and J.LEAGUE's short film commemorating 20th anniversary of J.LEAGUE, SSFF & ASIA 2013 Best Short Award winning Japanese short “Kotobuki To Us” and successful Singaporean director, Royston Tan’s “D.I.Y” and other Indonesian, Chinese shorts.

The audiences seemed to enjoy the variety of colorful Asian shorts with strong feelings. After the screening some audiences came over to thank and appraised Asian shorts. I especially remembers one couple with big smile saying they were indeed happy about the shorts promising to spread words to friends and asked to come back with more shorts in the future.

As always is the case with many countries, most of the films released in Sweden are either Swedish or Hollywood Blockbuster films. Recently the article came up that only 11 foreign films has been released in the past one year and for the Asian film, there was only one film from Hong Kong.

Asia Shorts will screen more and more Asian shorts through February 18th. You can check details of programming and schedule on the Bio Rio official website.

We are sincerely wishing the Asia Shorts will make great strides in the years to come.