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Discover the beauty of Japan through the eyes of these directors

Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia highlights the work of women directors.

We look forward to the Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia and have already presented some of its amazing films. But even as an online participant there is so much more to experience at the festival.

The festival also sheds light on important social issues in filmmaking. An important event that is coming up is that Discover the beauty symposium, sponsored and co-sponsored by Japan Cultural Expo and Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia.

Discover Beauty focuses on Japanese beauty and hosts a panel discussion and screening of the Discover Beauty Program, a collection of short films that show Japanese beauty from the perspective of women directors.

The symposium panel discussion will focus on empowering women and their role in the film industry, both in Japan and internationally. The panel will host Chuk Besher, preliminary panelists include art director Chikako Suzuki, documentary filmmaker Ema Ryan Yamazaki, and film critic and actor LiLiCo.

Let’s watch the short films in the Discover Beauty program! All films are made by women directors who play an active role in the film industry.

These films will only be available 11.-21. Juneso don’t miss it! (Please note, Wheel of fortune and Tsunami and the cherry blossoms are streamed online only in Japan.)


‘People of Prayer’Recognition: Miyuki Matsuda and Taichi Saotome

People of prayer

Miyuki Matsuda and Taichi Saotome / Japan / 29:00 / dance film / 2021

In ancient Japan, dolls were made to bring good luck to people. The etymology of “inori” comes from “i” for breathing and “nori” for life. In other words, prayer is about breathing and living. Breath that pumps the heart, to breathe, to fight with yourself and to announce your behavior to Heaven. Beautiful dolls materialize from the disgusting side of man. This doll is both a symbol of God and of one’s own desires. Dolls dance fervently in the beauty of nature in the four seasons, and through the life of the flowers in the wind, the life in the water, the life in the fire and the payer expresses the ancient Japanese people who are dedicated to traditional festivals.


“Wheels of Fate: The Story of the Rickshaw Man”Recognition: Ema Ryan Yamazaki

Wheels of Fate: The Story of the Rickshaw Man

Ema Ryan Yamazaki / USA / Japan / 19:00 / documentary / 2020

An emotional journey into the fateful story of the rickshaw man, who, despite his suppression by two governments, remains an irreplaceable work of humanistic cinema from Japan’s darkest times. As told by Lily Franky.


“The Fox of Shichigorosawa”Recognition: Tune SUGIHARA

The fox from Shichigorosawa

Melody SUGIHARA / Japan / 13:45 / animation / 2014

Higashiyama, the home of the foxes, has become an illegal garbage dump. This leads to a decline in the number of small animals that the mother fox used as prey for her children. The fox comes from the mountains in search of food to feed his children and comes across a village of people.

This story is told in the Ainu language, which is listed as critically endangered by UNESCO.


“The tsunami and the cherry blossoms”Recognition: Lucy Walker

The tsunami and the cherry blossoms

Lucy Walker / USA / 39:00 / documentary / 2011

Survivors in the areas hardest hit by Japan’s recent tsunami will find the courage to revive and rebuild when the cherry blossom season begins. This Oscar-nominated short documentary examines the aftermath of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan in 2011 and the cultural significance of Japan’s famous sakura or cherry blossom.

More about SSFF & Asia

The festival was founded in 1999 as the Short Shorts Film Festival (SSFF). In 2004, the SSFF added a program for Asian short films and, with the support of the Governor of Tokyo, founded the Short Shorts Film Festival Asia.

Now the combination of the two festivals takes place annually in Tokyo as the Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia, an Oscar-qualifying event and one of the largest short film festivals in Asia! This year’s festival will take place from June 11th to 21st.

Be sure to check out those Festival website for more!

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