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Screening of a Japanese shorts program at “Regard Sur Le Court Metrage au Saguemay” in Quebec, Canada.

During the Opening Ceremony, audience watches SSFF & ASIA program slide

Official jury member Frank Dion (left)

 A scene from the “Face Off” meeting

 Presentation of the SSFF & ASIA Japanese Shorts program

The 18th edition of “Regard Sur Le Court Metrage au Saguenay”, an international short film festival in Saguenay, Quebec, Canada was held from March 12th to the 16th, for 5 days.
The spring is supposed to be around the corner, but here in the Chicoutimi ward of Saguenay City, it is minus 15 celsius, with a meter of snow. And everything, from the road signs to the restaurant menu, is marked in French. If Japanese have an image of Canada as an Anglophone country, this place will blow their mind completely.

This film festival, in Chicoutimi ward of Saguenay City which has less than the population of 70,000 people, seems not so big in scale, but many of the participants come from world class film festivals from North America such as Toronto, Tribeca, Seattle and Cannes, Dresden from Europe as well as journalists from Montreal and local television media.

Last month, our staff members participated in Clermont-Ferrand film festival, one of the biggest short film festivals in the world, but there were just too many people to meet.Here in Chicoutimi, it seems that the communication between people is much easier, as “selected” people are participating in the festival, thus creating a cozy atmosphereto everyone.The number of programs is as much as ours (SSFF & ASIA) or even more. There are International and National Competitions in the festival as well as special programs such as “Short Films for kids” and programs on focus countries such as Germany, Cuba and Japan. Also, the festival organizes an unique event for participants such as “Face Off” meeting. In this meeting, each festival related person has 7 minutes to introduce and discuss business with each counter partner, just like in a dating game. This meeting was indeed efficient, and as numbers of participants were just right, everybody got to know each other well.

On Saturday, the 15th, the Japanese Short Film program by SSFF & ASIA was screened at a theater in one of the Chicoutimi University complexes. The program was composed mainly with short films produced by SSFF & ASIA, with young Japanese directors who had participated and won Awards at the festival. At each end credits, people gave applaud to the film, so we felt that the Canadian public seemed to have enjoyed the program. More enthusiastic audience caught Festival Director Seigo Tono after the screening for more questions.The festival ended on the 16th at its Awards Ceremony. Among five jury members of the festival, there was Frank Dion, the director of “Edmond was a Donkey” which has won Best Short Award at the International Competition of SSFF & ASIA 2012.

Regard sur le Court Metrage au Saguenay(