Official Competition Submission Guidelines

The Official Competition consists of three categories: International, Asia International and Japan. The Best Short Award is chosen for each category and the George Lucas Award (Grand Prix) is chosen from the three Best Short Award winners. The short film that receives the George Lucas Award (Grand Prix) will be eligible for nomination at the annual Academy Awards® the following year.

GRAND PRIX winner Yee Wei Chai
Q&A sessions following screenings

Submission Periods

Early Submission: August 1, 2018 - September 30, 2018 (through Shortfilmdepot, Withoutabox or FilmFreeway)
Regular Submission: October 1, 2018 – November 30, 2018 (through Withoutabox or FilmFreeway)
Late Submission: December 1, 2018 - January 31, 2019 (through Withoutabox or FilmFreeway)
*Submissions must be postmarked by the last day of each submission period under all circumstances. If you would like to submit your film in the Early Submission period, you must upload the movie file or send us the DVD screener before September 30, 2018.

Submission Fee

Early Submission: Free
Regular Submission: US$20
Late Submission: US$30


1. Japan Premieres Only
Your film MUST keep the Japan premiere status until Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia 2019 ends. If the film has been or will be screened in Japan on any media and occasions including online streaming, screening events, film festivals and so forth before and/or during Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia 2019, under any circumstances, it will be disqualified at any time. Online streaming on any foreign website before and/or during the festival period affects Japan premiere status and will be disqualified. If selected, you must agree to withhold the film from exploitation on all media in Japan until the festival ends.

2. Genre
All genres are accepted with the exception of music videos.

3. Running Time
25 minutes or under. No exceptions. Running time includes end credits.

4. Production Year
The film must have been produced after June 1, 2017. The festival committee will determine the production date of your film based on the copyright year listed in the end credits.

5. Production Country
All. Submissions will be considered in three categories: Japan, Asia International and International.
Eligibility for each category will be determined by the festival committee based on the following criteria: director’s nationality, shooting location, language of the film, nationality of cast and source of funding.

Countries for the Asia International Competition are defined as:
Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, China (Rep. of China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan), East Timor, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam.

6. Language
English subtitles are required for submissions with languages other than English or Japanese.

7. Formats
NTSC/PAL DVD or movie data. Please note that if selected, filmmakers are required to provide an Apple ProRes File or NTSC HDCAM.


Best Short Award - International Competition: 600,000 Japanese Yen
Best Short Award - Asia International Competition: 600,000 Japanese Yen
Best Short Award - Japan Competition: 600,000 Japanese Yen

Audience Award - International Competition: 200,000 Japanese Yen
Audience Award - Asia International Competition: 200,000 Japanese Yen
Audience Award - Japan Competition: 200,000 Japanese Yen
*Awards are subject to change.


1) Please complete the online submission either on Shortfilmdepot (, Withoutabox ( or FilmFreeway ( Shortfilmdepot is available only during the Early Submission period.

To submit your film, you’ll be requested to create an account and register your film. For more details, please refer to the instructions of the chosen online platform (Shortfilmdepot/Withoutabox/Filmfreeway) after you read the submission guidelines thoroughly.

2) Upload the movie file on Shortfilmdepot, Withoutabox or FilmFreeway, or send your Submission Receipt and NTSC or PAL DVD of your completed film to the mailing address below.
# DVD screeners will not be returned.
# Works in progress will NOT be accepted.
# If you are submitting more than one film, you may include them all in one DVD, but please write each title clearly on the surface of the DVD, and remember to complete separate submission forms for each film.
*Please DO NOT send press kits or any other materials with your submission. Any extra materials will be discarded.


Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia 2019
“Official Competition” (Please write each competition you’d like to submit to)
4F SSU Bldg. 4-12-8
Sendagaya, Shibuya-ku
Tokyo 151-0051 Japan

*The applicant is responsible for expenses related to the submission including shipment of screener DVD/s.
*Regular mail or EMS for shipping is preferred
*All international shipments must be marked with the following:
No commercial value
For cultural purposes only


Selection results will be announced by the end of April 2019 on the official festival website.


The schedule for the National Tour of Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia 2019 will be announced in Spring 2019 and is subject to change. All selected films will be screened in Tokyo, but programs in other tour cities may vary.

As our festival continues to grow, we are working to expand the tour beyond Japan. The Festival has toured in Singapore, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Malaysia and more. Not all selected films will be screened at all locations, and filmmakers will be notified via email if their films will be screened outside Japan.

The Festival Submission Guidelines are fixed, but festival venues, dates, awards, travel awards, etc. are subject to change at any time.

To submit a film, you need to create an account and register the film on either one of the aforementioned platforms. You can complete an online submission by clicking the button below.

Submit on Withoutabox