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[Evolution and Transformation]
Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia 2010

[Evolution and Transformation] Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia 2010

2010 saw the heightened need for more visual content due to the huge wave of improved visual technology as in the new 3D imagery and the continued excitement caused by iPhones & iPads. The festival strived for new endeavors that incorporate "evolution and transformation" as its theme to bring in the new era of visual image culture. The festival screened its first ever "3D Program" and convened a seminar by inviting members of the WETA Workshop, the major VFX studio in New Zealand, to illustrate and demonstrate how to incorporate big-budget Hollywood level special effects at the short film level. In addition, as part of this wide-ranging development, the Music Short competition was created as a new genre that combines music and moving images as short films. We also began sales of applications for short films to be used on iPhones & iPads.


Festivals in two cities nationally and abroad.

The festival was held once again in the same two locations as last year, Tokyo and Yokohama. In September from the 4th to the 10th, the festival will be held in Mexico City marking the 5th year there. In order to establish a foundation in Asia, the festival will be held in Malaysia for the first time from October 1st through the 3rd.

We received over 4,000 submissions from 96 countries around the world.

One of the characteristics of the 2010 festival was the extremely wide variety of countries represented. In the International Competition, there were 38 short films screened from a festival record 23 countries. In the Stop! Global Warming Competition, there was a noticeable increase in effective use of CG & animation and 13 short films from 10 countries or areas were selected.


Competition Program

International Competition

3004 short films from 23 countries, far more than last year, were gathered and 38 nominated short films were presented. In addition, for a "special invitation" short film, "Eve," directed by Natalie Portman and starring Lauren Bacall was screened.

Asia International Competition

551 short films from 13 Asian countries were submitted out of which 13 short films from 8 countries were screened. Of the nominated films, a majority of 6 films were from South Korea. Other selected shorts were from a wide variety of Asian countries, China, Singapore, Philippines, Iran, and Pakistan among others. As a "special invitation" short film, we screened "The Madonna" directed by actress Hye-sun Koo who starred in the Korean version of "Boys Over Flowers."

Japan Competition

11 short films that were carefully selected out of 273 submissions were screened. Due to the lower priced equipment now available, there was an increase in films shot in HD. The conspicuous high quality of the shorts that indicate an advance in technology had such an impact that the festival is considering screening in HD. In addition, as a "special invitation" short, director Isao Yukisada’s rarely seen animated short film "Bora no Negao" was screened.

Stop! Global Warming Competition

This year marks the 3rd edition of this competition and in collaboration with the "Challenge 25 Campaign" (Ministry of the Environment), we called for submissions from around the world and screened 13 carefully selected shorts out of over 300 received. In addition, as a "special screening," in answer to a call from former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan for a musical petition campaign, over 60 artists & actors took part to re-make "Beds Are Burning." In continuation from last year, radio station J-WAVE participated in support of this competition. The "J-WAVE Award" was once again conferred to the winner selected by a jury comprised of J-WAVE listeners.

Let’s Travel! Project

This new competition, with the support of the Japan Travel Agency (Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism), was created with the themes, "travelling is fun," and "I want to travel" to call for short films that depict frame by frame the appeal & allure of Japan. 9 selected short films out of 71 submissions were screened. Among the nominees was a short film from Okinawa made by a 13-year-old director which became a hot topic of conversation. In addition, as a special presentation, there was a premiere screening of "Heaven’s Island" directed by Naoko Tajima and starring Shuji Kashiwabara and Rina Chinen. Also, The "Nikkan Kankou Shinkou Project," a project to promote tourism in Japan and Korea through films, which will begin next year, was announced and as a part of the new endeavor, the Japan-Korea Symposium 1 & 2 was held.

In "Symposium 1," in addition to Mako Tanaka, Vice-Director of the Japan Film Commission, who gave the keynote address; Sung-ki Ahn, Director of the Asiana International Short Film Festival; from Japan, director Isao Yukisada, actress Yuko Fueki, who is active in both Japan and in Korea; festival president Tetsuya Bessho also participated to discuss tourism and films from the film production, filmmakers’ point of view; the impact that films have on tourism, and the possibilities of advancing the promotion of tourism through short films. In "Symposium 2," in addition to popular, young Korean actress Hye-sun Koo; young Japanese & Korean directors took part to discuss filmmaking using Japanese tourism spots as the theme, and the possibilities of making films using Japanese tourism attractions.

Music Short PV Competition

The popular "Music Short PV Competition" which is in its 2nd year, featured many music videos made short film style. There was quite a variety of music shorts again this year starting with the strange love story "8mm" by "Sukima Switch," "Ureshikutte Dakiauyo," a song by Yuki directed by Isshin Inudo, and "King Rat," directed by Heath Ledger just prior to his death. Arashi Morimoto, Kundo Koyama, Yuki Iwata, and Toshiro Sonoda, all made appearances on the stage to greet the excited audience.

Music Short Creative Competition

For the new "Music Short Creative Competition," the cast & crew of 3 special presentation films made stage appearances on May 28th to announce the completion of their films amidst much attention by the press. In addition, there was a screening of director Shinji Aoyama of the special presentation music short "Down" (song "Marronnier Dori", music by Marcato). During the festival, director Shinji Aoyama, singer Hiroshi Sakaue, music unit LIL, actress Aimi Satsukawa, comedian Neko Hiroshi, and singer Jyongri and other special guests participated in the Q & A sessions after the screenings.

NEO JAPAN

As a program designed to encourage young Japanese directors, 9 high quality short films were screened. As a special presentation, "Spotlight Award" winner and director Ikki Sawamura’s "Shoooot," a WOWOW original drama, was screened.

3D Program

The festival’s first 3D Program was inaugurated. Two programs of 3D shorts including a world premiere were screened. A talk event was held with director Takashi Shimizu of "Juon" and "The Shock Labyrinth" as a special guest to discuss the appeal of 3D films with other young 3D filmmakers.

Academy Program

For the popular annual "Academy Program," 4 Academy Award® nominated and winning short films were screened.

Success Program

Beginning with Jason Reitman who recently directed "Up in the Air," which was nominated in 5 categories at this year’s Academy Awards® and stars George Clooney, we will screen the short films of the then unknown directors from our past festivals, who have gone on to feature film debuts.

New Zealand Program

Thanks to the success of Weta, New Zealand’s film business is enjoying enormous growth. A wonderful line-up of shorts from New Zealand including a treasured short produced by Peter Jackson of "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy. The directorial debut by Grant Major, winner of the Academy Award for Best Art Direction for "LOTR: The Return of the King."

Focus on Thailand

To begin with we screened a short film directed by Wisit Sasanatien ("Tears of the Black Tiger") who directed an episode in "Sawddee Bangkok," a Thai version of "New York, I Love You." "Sightseeing," directed by Pen-ek Ratanaruang whose film "Last in the Universe" starred well-known Japanese actor Tadanobu Asano. Finally, "Phuket", directed by Aditya Assarat, features Korean TV drama star Su-jeong Im and veteran actor Soraphong Chatree from "Ong bak 2". Aditya Assarat arrived in Japan to participate in the festival.

French Shorts

A repeat screening of the short films selected for the French Film Festival 2010. A quality line-up including 35th Cesar Short Film Awards nominee "Donde Esta Kim Basinger?" "7.57 am-pm," a film by Simon Lelouch, son of master director Claude Lelouch, and "Le Petit Dragon," a short not to be missed by Bruce Lee fans. This spectacular line-up screened during the Yokohama festival as a limited program @ Brillia Short Shorts Theater.

Korean Music Clip Program (KMC)

Korean music clips are known for heavily dramatizing their music in their videos. As our main feature we will screen the director’s cut of "After Love," a huge hit by singer Hyo-Shin Park, who sold out a show here in Japan at Nakano Sun Plaza in Tokyo. A premiere screening of popular movie star Yong-Ha Park’s epic clip filmed entirely on location in Switzerland. We will also highlight the music clips of Korean girl groups who have risen dramatically in popularity here in Japan.

Short Story Nagoya

4 shorts that feature the appeal and attractions of Nagoya. By discovering the filmmaking abilities of up & coming directors, we conveyed to the nation the unknown wonders of Nagoya

Canon Full HD Movie Workshop

The extraordinary high quality images of the digital single-lens reflex camera, the EOS series by Canon, have now become moving images in the "EOS MOVIE" industry standard X Series, make possible new worlds of visual image. A Workshop was held by members of the hands-on filmmaking community. A revealing look at what goes on during a shoot with Director Hideaki Ito who shot "Behind the Scenes of "Ongakubito" in its entirety with DP Akihiko Nihonmatsu, director Naoko Tajima of "Heaven’s Island," director Seiki Watanabe of "Yukkina," and director of photography Shuji Momose.

WETA Seminar supported by VANTAN

A seminar, supported by the VANTAN Design Institute, for the purpose of developing young filmmakers, was held featuring Richard Taylor and Martin Baynton of the Weta Workshop that has produced some of the greatest box office hits of recent times including ‘Avatar’ and ‘District 9" to discuss how to think creatively when developing VFX on a very limited budget.

Creative Summit supported by VANTAN

With the support of the VANTAN Design Institute a discussion was held on the "possibilities of short films" by a panel of the international directors whose short films were selected for competition in the Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia 2010. The summit panel was made up of the directors of this year’s selected short films along with former festival participating directors, and "professional" directors who are currently working in the film industry. There was a discussion on the development of short films as a business, on the production of short films with support from the government, and how to find work within the film industry, by exploring the situations in various countries. Questions from participating students of the Vantan Design Institute were directed to the panel and there was a spirited exchange of information.

Toho Cinemas Roppongi Hills

All-night screenings were held at the Toho Cinemas in Roppongi Hills on June11th & 12th. Beginning with the "NEO Japan" program, the special "Success Program" and our very first "3D Program" were screened as a limited special all-night screening.

Opening Event

The Festival Opening Event was held at Space O in Omotesando Hills once again this year. The line-up for the 2010 festival was announced as well as a new collaboration to find a new rising star, the "Birth of an Actress Project" with popular web-site "Bijyogoyomi" which boasts 500,000 hits per month. The beginning of sales of the "Short Shorts Application," a site for downloading short films that had already recorded over 5,000 downloads and the kick-off the site for i-Pads. The announcement of the theme for this year’s festival, "Evolution and Transformation" drew immediate interest and attention from the media. For the occasion of the announcement of the start-up next year of the "Japan-Korea Tourism Promotion Project," Asiana International Short Film Festival Director and legendary Korean actor Sung-ki Ahn made a special appearance. Along with Yuji Fujimura, Parliamentary Secretary for Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism, they gave speeches of support & encouragement to the new project. A special award was given to first time director Ikki Sawamura for his episode "Shoooot" of the WOWOW original Drama "Bukatu-do." A "Spotlight Award" was given to director & popular Korean actress Hye-sun Koo for "The Madonna." Tsuyoshi Abe who played the Akira Mimasaka role in the hit Japanese TV drama series "Boys Over Flowers" made an appearance as presenter for the award.

Award Ceremony

The Award ceremony too place on June 20th with 1,500 spectators in attendance. There were 10 popular and renown jurists and various artists from the Music Shorts Competition among the continuous arrival of celebrities on to the red carpet entrance. With an increase in awards, the director’s section was filled with excitement while on the other hand there was an unprecedented no award given in the Japan Competition. A "Spotlight Award" was given as a sign of encouragement.


Jury

Official Jury

Alberto Calero Lugo (Latin Beat Film Festival Producer and Program Director)

Hitoshi Kusano (TV Newscaster)
Shun Shioya (Film Actor)
Kaori Momoi (Actress/Film Director)
Isao Yukisada (Film Director)

STOP! Global Warming Competition Official Jury

Eiji Okuda (Actor/Film Director)
Yoichi Sai (Film Director)
Eriko Sato (Actress)

Let’s Travel! Project Official Jury

Shioli Kutsuna (Actress)
Dave Spector (TV Producer)
Isao Yukisada (Film Director)


Awards

Grand Prix Vera / Thomas Korthals Altes

International Competition

Best Short AwardVera / Thomas Korthals Altes
Audience Award Just a Pitch / Eric Raynaud
FC TOKYO Student Jury Award Lights / Giulio Ricciarelli

Asia International Competition

Best Short Award / Governor of Tokyo AwardBonsai / Alfonso Torre III
Audience AwardAugust 15th / Xuan Jiang

Japan Competition

Special Encouragement A sweet chamber music / Aki Yamamoto
Audience Award Mr. Bubblegum / Shoh Kataoka

STOP! Global Warming Competition

Best Short Award (Minister’s Award, the Ministry of Environment)The Bill / Peter Wedel
Audience Award RIVER / Shinya Imaizumi

Music Short PV Competition

Best Short Award 8mm / Yuki Iwata (Artist: Skimaswitch)

Music Short Creative Competition

Best Short Award (Faith Wonderworks Award) crayfish / Shiro Tokiwa
Special Mention (Shinji Aoyama Award)nodule / Masashi Yamada

Sponsor Awards

FRED Best Actor AwardTrue Beauty This Night / Dustin Seavey
FRED Best Actress AwardAugust 15th / Meng Tingyi
J-WAVE Award RIVER / Shinya Imaizumi

Other Awards

Special Mention AwardShoooot! (from the TV drama series "BUKATU-DO") / Ikki Sawamura
Spotlight AwardThe Madonna / Hey-sun Ku


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