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2013 TOP> About this year's Festival > Message from the Committee for Short Shorts

Message from the Committee for Short Shorts

This year the festival turns 15 years old!

The festival got its start in 1999 in the Harajuku-Omotesando area, where it still calls home. Can everyone recall what kind of year that was for cinema? Director Stanley Kubrick passed away, with his posthumous work, “Eyes Wide Shut”, playing in theaters later that year. It was also the year Japan saw many now-classic Hollywood blockbusters reigning at the box office, with “Armageddon”, “The Matrix”, and “Sixth Sense” all pulling in huge audiences. We can't forget it was also the year that finally saw a new entry in the legendary Star Wars saga with the release of “Star Wars Episode I - The Phantom Menance”. Director George Lucas, who was in Japan at the time for the premiere of this new entry, attended a party being held in our honor by the U.S. Ambassador to celebrate the start of the film festival. It was a great honor to say the least to have George Lucas there, who helped get our festival off to an auspicious start by giving his support and blessing.

1999 was a year when one century came to a close and another was being ushered in. Given this timing our festival began by having to explore the idea of what should a film festival be for the new century? We felt a film festival is a place that offers a certain kind of value unobtainable anywhere else and that it is a place which helps map out the path for the future of film. It is also a place that helps generate excitement and emotion, which becomes a source of the passion we all have inside. Like the wings of a Pegasus, our own passions can be wings to take us to far away places.

We want a film festival to be a place where you can easily spread your wings and become engrossed in many different viewpoints, helping you expand your own horizons. We hope you can enjoy spreading your wings here and through the shorts you see, take in many different kinds of ideas and experiences.

Lastly, I want to express my gratitude to the many sponsors and supporters over the year that help made the past 15 years possible. Also, both myself and all the staff here at the festival committee, want to express our heartfelt gratitude to those who come out and attend the festival. We very much appreciate your support, and hope you will share in our excitement for this year's festival.

The Committee for Short Shorts