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Fiesta 10th & 5th Anniversary Short Shorts Film Festival & ASIA 2008

Qualifying film festival for the annual Academy Awards® celebrates its 10th Anniversary!

Since its establishment in 1999, Short Shorts Film Festival (formally known as the American Short Shorts) has grown greatly and has now come to its 10th anniversary in 2008, while Short Shorts Film Festival Asia celebrated its 5th anniversary. The main venue was again Laforet Museum, Harajuku and as a national tour, the Yokohama tour took place at the same time at Brillia Short Shorts Theater, which opened in February, 2008 as a showcase for short films.


5 cities, 12 venues & Mexico City

The festival toured 6 cities: Mexico City, Mexico and across Japan; Tokyo, Yokohama, Nasu, Nagoya, and Osaka. As a new venue, the Brillia Short Shorts Theater has become a part of the national tour. It was a great success and a wonderful approach to the locality to expand the appreciation for short films. In addition, Short Shorts Film Festival Mexico 2008 was held again in Mexico City from September 4 to 10 for the third time.

Over 3,000 films from 66 countries

From over 3000 submissions from all over the world, the committee selected 48 shorts from 15 countries and regions. For the “STOP! Global Warming Competition,” 13 films were selected from 9 countries and regions.


Competition Programs

International Competition

The festival selected 48 Japan premiere short films from 15 countries. The overall quality of submissions had improved and due to the overwhelming number of high quality films, SSFF screened 7 programs instead of 6. Furthermore, while short films made by actors and actresses has become more common recently, Hollywood actress, Kirsten Dunst's directorial debut film "Welcome" starring Winona Ryder was shown as a special screening in the Dior CHRISTAL Program.

STOP! Global Warming Competition

SSFF in collaboration with Team -6%, a national energy saving campaign initiated by the Ministry of Environment, has created a new category, the "STOP! Global Warming Competition."

Approximately 300 short films with a global warming theme were submitted. In addition, the Omotesando Hills shopping complex hosted the "STOP! Global Warming Competition Exhibition" to bring the issue of global warming to a wider public audience. Leonard DiCaprio's "GLOBAL WARNING" was also shown as a special screening.


Special Programs

Online Competition MSN Video Award

Commemorating the 10th anniversary, SSFF hosted the first Online Competition. The MSN Video Award site (http://msnva.jp/) was established with the cooperation of Microsoft's online support division.

On this specially established site, MSN video, which uses the Soapbox system, is active as a film submission site and gathers submissions of short films from site users. MSN's editorial department decided the top 3 shorts based on users' votes by selecting from 5 works of excellent quality submitted on-line and 12 masterworks previously screened in Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia (under 5 minutes). One best short was then chosen by the 3 jury members: Maki Horikita, Hiroyuki Nakao, and Sean Chu.

Dior CHRISTAL Program

SSFF collaborated with Dior CHRISTAL to feature female filmmakers. Six carefully selected Dior CHRISTAL Award nominees were screened along with a special screening of "Welcome" directed by Kirsten Dunst and starring Winona Ryder. One best film was chosen from the six nominated films and was awarded "Dior CHRISTAL Award" with a cash prize.

Academy Program

As a qualifying festival of the Academy Awards®, SSFF2008 presented 4 short films which were nominated for or won an Academy Award®, including winner of the Best Live Action Short Film in 1996, "Duke of Groove" starring Tobey Maguire, Kate Capshaw, Uma Thurman, and Kiefer Sutherland.

Maestro Short Shorts

Commemorating the 10th anniversary, Maestro Short Shorts presented 10 Maestros. For SSFF, the festival introduced 5 maestro directors; Aki Kaurismaki, Vincent Cassel, Walter Salles, Robert Zemeckis, and George Lucas.

Brazilian Program

Commemorating "A Year of Exchange Brazil -Japan", Short Shorts Film Festival, presented two Brazilian programs that highlighted brilliant short films by up and coming Brazilian filmmakers. The shorts were recommended by the Sao Paulo International Short Film Festival and Rio de Janeiro International. The programs also included two of Walter Salles' early works.

French Program

Commemorating the Year of France-Japan relationship, 7 French short films were screened with support from Fondation Franco Japonaise Sasakawa. In addition, Q&A sessions were held with 3 specially invited French filmmakers.

Special Screening of "JUNO" and a talk event

As special guest, the festival invited Diablo Cody, the award-winning screenwriter of "JUNO,” which was directed by Jason Reitman, to a special screening of the smash hit film which was followed by a talk show.


TOHO CINEMAS Roppongi Hills

SSFF & ASIA again hosted an All-Night Screening at TOHO CINEMAS Roppongi Hills on June 6 and 7. To encourage young Japanese filmmakers, SSFF &ASIA presented a special new category, the "NEO Japan Program" and also special programs including Brazilian and Academy Programs were screened.

Opening Event

On June 5, SSFF & ASIA 2008 kicked off with the opening press event at Laforet Museum, Harajuku. The programs and line-up of specials for the festival were announced along with promotional clips. Festival founder, Tetsuya Bessho came to present the Spotlight Award to the compilation short film project "R246 STORY" and the 6 talented artists who directed the films (Tadanobu Asano, Shido Nakamura, Genki Sudo, VERBAL (m-flo), ILMARI (RIP SLYPE) and Yusuke Santamaria) made a surprise appearance and each received a trophy. In addition, 50 members of the public audience were specially invited to attend.

Award Ceremony

1,700 guests attended the Award Ceremony that was held at Meiji Shrine on June 15. A large number of the media also gathered to cover the ceremony. Jury members announced the award-winning films and presented the awards to the filmmakers and other participants, It was an exciting moment for all who attended when a Japanese filmmaker won the Grand Prix for the first time in festival history.


Jury

Official Competition Jury

Karim Ainouz (Filmmaker)
Takao Osawa (Actor)
Yoko Narahashi (Casting Director)
Maki Horikita (Actress)
Amon Miyamoto (Stage Director)

STOP! Global Warming Competition Official Jury Mamoru Oshii (Creator)

Anna Tsuchiya (Actress)
Hidetoshi Nakata

Online Competition

Sean Chu (MSN Executive Producer)
Hiroyuki Nakao (Filmmaker)
Maki Horikita (Actress)


Awards

Grand Prix A day in the life of Beijing Hutong / Ben Suzuki

International Competition

Best Short Award A Day's Work / Rajeev Dassani
Audience AwardToyland / Jochen Alexander Freydank
FC Tokyo Student Jury AwardBye, Mama! / Ivan Shvedoff

STOP! Global Warming Competition

Best Short Award (Minister's Award, the Ministry of Environment) Two Icebergs / Alvaro Munoz
Audience AwardSAUNA / Junya Nishioka

Online Competition

MSN Video Award HiBi-Chan / HiBi―PaPa

Sponsors' Awards

akasaka Sacas Award Ra / Julien Sibre
J-WAVE Award SAUNA / Junya Nishioka
Dior CHRISTAL Award Son of the Avenger / Nathalie Saugeon

Other Awards

Spotlight Award R246 STORY / Tadanobu Asano, Shido Nakamura, Genki Sudo, VERBAL (m-flo), ILMARI (RIP SLYME), Yusuke Santamaria
Special Contribution Award Jitae Yoo (Actor)
Special Mention AwardJason Reitman (Filmmaker) / Daniel Dubiecki (Producer)


Fiesta 10th & 5th Anniversary Short Shorts Film Festival & ASIA 2008


Introducing Asian short films, SSFF ASIA celebrated it 5th anniversary!

Since 2004, SSFF ASIA has introduced high quality short films from Asia including Japan. In 2008, SSFF ASIA celebrated its 5th anniversary and aimed to assist in improving Asian film industries by hosting various special programs. Programs included a Chinese Program introducing short films directed by upcoming Chinese filmmakers. An Asian Seminar was held with Jitae Yoo and Yuan Yingting (Zonbo Media) to discuss the current Asian cinema scene. In addition, there were special screenings of rare short films by five acclaimed Asian filmmakers, Wong Kar Wai, Fruit Chang, Jitae Yoo, Naomi Kawase, and Takeshi Miike.

5 cities, 12 venues & Mexico City

The festival screenings toured 6 cities: Mexico City, Mexico and across Japan; Tokyo, Yokohama, Nasu, Nagoya, and Osaka. As a new venue, the Brillia Short Shorts Theater in Yokohama has been added to the national tour. It was a great success and a wonderful approach to the locality to expand appreciation for short films. In addition, the Short Shorts Film Festival Mexico will be held again in Mexico City from September 4 to 10 for the third time.

Over 3,000 films from 66 countries

From over 3000 submissions from all over the world, the committee selected 19 shorts from 8 countries/regions. For Japan Competition, 14 films were selected.


Competition Programs

Asia International Competition

19 short films from 8 Asian countries/regions were screened. These films reflected the beauty of Asian and contained strong social messages. In addition, rare short films directed by Wong Kar Wai and Fruit Chang were presented as Maestro shorts and special screenings.

Japan Competition

With an increase in the number of Japanese submissions over the years, there has also been a marked imporovement in the quality. In 2008, 14 short films out of 192 submissions were nominated and director Ben Suzuki won the Grand Prix for “A day in the life of Beijing Hutong.” It was a wonderful accomplishment that for the first time in festival history, a Japanese filmmaker was awarded the Grand Prix. In addition, as a non-competition category, the "NEO Japan Program" was established to showcase as many Japanese films as possible.


Special Programs

Biz-R featuring SSFF 10th Anniversary! - Upcoming Creators to Dramatize SSFF! -

Collaborating with "Biz-R.net" (http://www.bizrnet.com/), upcoming talents created Web-CFs with the SSFF as a theme. An audience-interactive talk event with Shinya Nakajima (CM director), FROGMAN (creator), Shion Machida (actress), Nao Matsushita (actress) and Tetsuya Bessho as emcee was held with support from Biz-R. At the end, the audience, using a mobile phone voting system, voted on their favorite films.

R246 STORY

Commemorating the festival’s 10th anniversary, the omnibus "R246 STORY," directed by 6 talented actors and musicians; Tadanobu Asano, Shido Nakamura, Genki Sudo, VERBAL (m-flo), ILMARI (RIP SLYME), and Yusuke Santamaria, had its world premiere at the festival. In addition, each director was awarded with the Spotlight Award for their achievement and given a trophy presented by festival founder Tetsuya Bessho.

Maestro Short Shorts

Commemorating the 10th anniversary, “Maestro Short Shorts presents 10 Maestros.” For SSFF ASIA, the festival introduced 5 maestros; Wong Kar Wai, Naomi Kawase, Fruit Chan, Takashi Miike, and Ji-tae Yoo.

Chinese Program

Commemorating the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, SSFF & ASIA introduced upcoming Chinese filmmakers (out of competition) and rare short films by Wong Kar Wai and Fruit Chan as Maestro Short Shorts.

Asian Seminar

The festival invited two special guest speakers, the acclaimed Korean actor and official jury member of SSFF & ASIA 2007, Jitae Yoo ("Old Boy") and a representative from Zonbo Media, Yuan Yingting who was a curator for this year's Chinese Program and organizes the mobile phone film festival in China to discuss contemporary Asian cinema along with screenings of "Out of My Intention" by Jitae Yoo and a Chinese short film made with a support from Zonbo Media.

Korean Music Clip (KMC)

Korean Music Clip was comprised of two parts. The first was "Music Video World by Korean Film Directors". There were special showings of "Without you, I am..." (Singer: Lee Ji-hye) directed by Kim Ki-duk of "Bad Guy" and "Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, And Spring" directed by Min Byung-chun of "Phantom, the Submarine". The second was "Music Drama" featuring clips that were far more than music videos including "Sad Promise ~Hate You but I Love You" (Singer: Davichi) directed by Cha Eun-taek, starring the charismatic sexy singer Lee Hyo-lee and a representative actress of Korea, Lee Mi-yeon; "How Desperate" (Singer: Koo Jung-hyun). Programming and commentary for the event were again provided by radio DJ and coordinator of music culture exchange between Japan and Korea, Mr. Masayuki Furuya.

Brazilian Seminar

As a guest lecturer, official jury member, Karim Ainouz ("Madam Satra") was invited to speak at the seminar. The seminar was held to show some of the newest short films from Brazil and discuss visual education, the situation of short films, and the present film industry in Brazil with director Ainouz.

NEO Japan Program

As the number of Japanese submissions has increased over the years, the festival committee also came to realize an increasing level of quality in those films. In 2008, the festival hosted the new "NEO Japan" program as a non-competition category to introduce as many talented Japanese filmmakers and their films as possible.


TOHO CINEMAS Roppongi Hills

SSFF & ASIA again hosted an All-Night Screening at TOHO CINEMAS Roppongi Hills on June 6 and 7. To encourage young Japanese filmmakers, SSFF & ASIA presented a special new category, the "NEO Japan Program" and other special programs including the Brazilian and Academy Programs were screened.

Opening Event

On June 5, SSFF & ASIA 2008 kicked off with the opening press event at Laforet Museum, Harajuku. The programs and special line-up of the festival was announced along with promotional clips. The Founder of the festival, Tetsuya Bessho came on to present the Spotlight Award to the compilation short film project "R246 STORY" and 6 talented artists (Tadanobu Asano, Shido Nakamura, Genki Sudo, VERBAL (m-flo), ILMARI (RIP SLYPE) and Yusuke Santamaria) made a surprise appearance and each received a trophy. In addition, 50 members of the public were invited.

Award Ceremony

1,700 guests attended the Award Ceremony that was held at Meiji Shrine on June 15. A large number of media also gathered to cover the ceremony. Jury members announced the award-winning films and presented the awards to the filmmakers and other participants. It was an exciting moment for all who attended when a Japanese filmmaker won the Grand Prix for the first time in festival history.


Jury

Official Competition Jury

Karim Ainouz (Filmmaker)
Takao Osawa (Actor)
Yoko Narahashi (Casting Director)
Maki Horikita (Actress)
Amon Miyamoto (Stage Director)


Awards

Grand Prix A day in the life of Beijing Hutong / Ben Suzuki

Asia International Competition

Best Short Award/Governor of Tokyo Award Color of Paradise / Jie Zhu
Audience AwardClose to You / Ye-in Shin

Japan Competition

Best Short Award/Governor of Tokyo Award A day in the life of Beijin Hutong / Ben Suzuki
Audience AwardYour Sound / Hiroshi Okuda

Other Awards

Spotlight Award R246 STORY / Tadanobu Asano, Shido Nakamura, Genki Sudo, VERBAL (m-flo), ILMARI (RIP SLYME), Yusuke Santamaria
Special Contribution Award Jitae Yoo (Actor)
Special Mention AwardJason Reitman (Filmmaker) / Daniel Dubiecki (Producer)