Short Shorts Film Festival 1999
Tokyo - Okinawa
The film festival was successfully launched in June 1999 in Tokyo and in Naha, Okinawa with audiences over of 20,000.
The festival screened over 30 films, including the 1998 Academy Award® -winning short film "Visas and Virtue."
More than 30 films created by American directors around the U.S. screened at this inaugural festival. Of note was Chris Tashima's Academy Award® -winning "Visas and Virtue", the story of Japanese Consul General Sugihara in Lithuania in World War II, who saved hundreds of Jews from the Germans by issuing visas to Japan.
The selected films ranged from two-minute animations to thirty-minute live action drama and included many films which had been praised at prominent U.S. festivals like Sundance and the Aspen Shorts Fest.
Special Selection by George Lucas
To highlight the role of short films as stepping stones for directors, American Short Shorts screened six of George Lucas' USC student films as a special presentation. In their first screenings outside the U.S., films including THX 1138, which propelled Lucas into the world of feature filmmaking, entertained ASSFF audiences.
American Short Shorts Award 1999
The Committee for American Short Shorts selected Ron Kraus' "Puppies for Sale," featuring Jack Lemmon, as its first award recipient. Kraus was presented with ¥200,000, Kodak Film, and a special plaque.