SSFF & ASIA 2017
This year Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia (SSFF & ASIA), a qualifying film festival for the annual Academy Awards® and one of Asia’s largest international short film festivals, will be held in Tokyo (5 venues) and Yokohama (1 venue) from 1 June (Thu) through 25 June (Sun).
Nearly 9,000 films from over 140 countries and regions around the world were in the running, with the cream of the crop -- some 250 titles -- being selected to screen at the festival.
The Concept in this year.
Cinema culture bloomed in the 20th century and has been entertaining people for generations. Nowadays, digital arts and technology have enhanced and created a modern cinematic culture. As the years go by, the world of cinema has evolved but at the same time, the concept of entertaining one another through film has stayed the same.
This year’s theme “cinemaTIC! cinemaTEC!” covers the timeless feeling one can get from watching an entertaining piece, and how to approach filmmaking in a time where technology is constantly evolving.
What is Short Film?
Short film is a cinematic piece of work that ranges from lengths as short as 1 minute to as long as approximately 30 minutes. For the official competition at SSFF & ASIA, submitted works are restricted to less than 25 minutes. Despite its short length, there is a wide variety in these works such as drama, animation, and documentary and many of the stories are rich in wit and cinematic expression that can only be possible given the short length of the piece.
There are quite a few directors who started out their careers making short films such as George Lucas, Francis Ford Coppola, and Steven Spielberg, and there are many short films that have famous actors appear in them as well. Furthermore, short films provide a format that cultivate the talent of up and coming filmmakers, and film festivals are a gateway for their success. How would you like to witness the possibilities of future filmmakers at this film festival?
What is Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia (SSFF & ASIA)?
This Japan born, Academy Awards® accredited festival is one of the largest film festivals in Asia. The festival was started by actor Tetsuya Bessho, a native of Japan and SAG member, as he wanted to introduce Japanese audiences to short films, which were a format that many people in Japan were unfamiliar with. The first festival was held in the Harajuku neighborhood of Tokyo in 1999, and 6 short films made by George Lucas, known best for the “Star Wars” franchise, when he was a student were screened. Since then we have received an annual letter of support from the director.
In 2001 the festival became known officially as Short Shorts Film Festival (SSFF), and in 2004 was accredited as a qualifying festival for the Academy Awards ®. This means that the winner of the festival Grand Prix is eligible to be nominated in one of the short film categories of the Academy Awards ® the following year, offering a bridge between Japan and the Oscars so that young talents may realize their dreams.
Furthermore, Short Shorts Film Festival Asia (SSFF ASIA) was established with support from Tokyo Metropolitan Government in 2004, to introduce new Asian video culture and nurture young filmmaking talents from the region. To this day, the two festivals are held together as Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia. Aside from the 3 Official Competitions, there are categories and programs compiled around “music,” “environment” and “CG animation” related shorts.
The short film specialist theater Brillia Short Shorts Theater was established in the Minatomirai area of Yokohama in 2008. Also acting as one of the festival venues, the theater has welcomed over 300,000 audience members to date. Whilst the festival expands its activities in Japan in order to spread the word of short film, it will also continue to support young creators and provide a springboard into the world of film.
Message from the Governor of Tokyo
It gives me great pleasure as the Governor of Tokyo to welcome you to Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia 2017, an event cosponsored by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.
The profile of Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia continues to grow with each passing year. It has evolved into an important film festival in Asia, generating globally recognized creators from among its award winners. I am grateful for the support of those involved with the project and short film enthusiasts, which has made this possible.
At this festival, we will hold screenings and present an award in the Cinematic Tokyo Competition for the first time. It is my hope that this festival will continue to turn out talented creators from Tokyo and that their films will convey the attractions of Tokyo to the world.
Taking the opportunity presented by the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, when the eyes of the world will focus on our city, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government is working to enhance the appeal and character of Tokyo to create an even more refined city. As part of these efforts, we launched the new “Tokyo Tokyo Old meets New” logo and slogan this April to promote Tokyo as a tourist destination abroad. I hope to strongly promote Tokyo to the world through the new logo design, which encapsulates Tokyo’s unique qualities as a city where traditions dating back from the Edo period coexist alongside trendsetting culture. The red imprint of a seal modeled after the Shibuya scramble crossing, a popular spot among foreign tourists, has also been incorporated into the design so that an immediate image of Tokyo comes to mind when the logo is viewed.
I hope that everyone who takes part in the festival will not only enjoy the charms of short film, but also the diverse attractions of Tokyo
In closing, I would like to express my deep respect for the tireless efforts made by everyone involved, and extend my best wishes for the continued success and growth of the festival.
Governor of Tokyo
Message from the President of Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia Tetsuya Bessho
Cinema is a type of magical painting with light as its pigment. And it has its origins in short films!
The very first commercial film shown to the public was "L'Arrivée d'un train en gare de La Ciotat (The Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat Station)," which was released in 1896 and was only 1 minute long.
Ever since then, people have been studying ways to convey unique cinemaTIC expressions for over 120 years.
In the meantime, short films have also provided a platform for creators to flaunt their own cinemaTEC skills and expressions. In fact, it can be said that the various types of new media such as VR, 8K video and drones are all currently being used to produce short films. With the evolution of technology, movie directors are also refining their own distinctive techniques and methods of cinematic expression.
This film festival brings these cinemaTIC works and richly cinemaTEC works together.
Please get the most out of this event by watching as many titles as you can and participating until the last day.
Finally, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to everyone who is providing support to hold this event.
Message from Festival Ambassador LiLiCo
This year, I will do my best as ambassador to introduce SSFF & ASIA to as many as people as possible. I really want to get to know you! Not only those who visit the festival to see wonderful works every year, but also the ones who haven't experienced the charm of short films. "Sing," the Grand Prix of SSFF & ASIA 2016, won the Academy Award® for Best Live Action Short Film. This news shows that SSFF & ASIA is strongly connected to the world. The festival gives us unique opportunities. One of the highlights includes the special talk sessions featuring creators who will expand their craft internationally in the future. Even if you’ve never heard of the festival, we’d love for you to join us to experience a new world through short films.
Message from Shunji Iwai
A message from the director Jean-Pierre Jeunet
The artist Auguste Renoir once said: “I am suspicious of any profession that doesn’t require the use of one’s own two hands.”
People in the film industry often don’t use their own hands. Quite the opposite, they usually make others use theirs… and perhaps that’s the reason why, in the bag I carry around with me, I always have a viewfinder, stopwatch and a storyboard.
When I used to make stop motion short films, I had to do everything myself: character design, art design, costumes, modelling… I had to create everything with my own hands.
A while ago, taking influence from Belgian puppet artist/animator Jephan De Villiers, I started making model animals at an atrium in Provence. I used only materials that my friends gathered from forests, gardens, and beaches, such as leaves, fruits and branches.
With those conditions, it wouldn’t take very long to create something wonderful. I also didn’t have to worry about convincing sponsors and marketers… I decided I had to start right away.
Channeling those thoughts, I made an animated film. I didn’t know how to use stop motion and my animals were too fragile to move, but at the same time it would be inexcusable to just spread resin on my creations. My friend, Romain Segaud, a Photoshop/After Effect master who was the head animator of the film “Micmacs,” photographed them and gave them delightful cutout-like movements!
Not to be outdone, I chose the poems of Marcel Carné’s favorite creator, Jacques Prévert, as inspiration for my films. But don’t get me wrong, like my partner Marc Caro, I also have great respect for that duo. Our film “Delicatessen” takes direct influence from their work. The abandoned delicatessen that appears in the film may also have been partially inspired by Carné and Prévert’s “Le jour se lève.“ Even more fateful was that the Boulogne-Billancourt studio, where we edited “Delicatessen,” was the same studio where “Le jour se lève“ was edited 50-odd years ago.
When I made “Amélie,” the great French producer Daniel Tuscan du Plantier, who sadly is no longer with us, gave me glowing praise for the film: “It’s like if Carné and Prévert had access to modern techniques.”
To complete the film, 35 of my actor friends gathered together and breathed the essence of Prévert’s poems into the film. The editing was done by Julien Lecat, who has made behind-the-scenes documentaries for all my films. Ah, how wonderful!
*The film will be screened in the INT-2 Program, see the Festival Guide for details.
Message from George Lucas
Dear Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia Fans,
Film Festivals do matter. They educate and entertain audiences with collections of works from around the world, but also they are the platforms that can change the lives of the directors behind the films forever.
As part of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences network of accredited film festivals, SSFF & ASIA submits its Grand Prix winning film to the Academy for Oscar consideration every year.
This year's Best Short in the Live Action Category at the 2017 Oscars Sing won SSFF & ASIA's 2016 Audience and Grand Prix awards and was then put in the pool of Oscar contention. The Committee for Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia and I congratulate Sing director Kristof Deak, and all the current directors in the SSFF & ASIA 2017 for their accomplished work and outstanding creativity.