Filmmakers win at SSFF & ASIA 2021

If a short film is a first step, these filmmakers have made a leap!

The Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia has developed into an outstanding festival destination for short filmmakers.


SSFF & ASIA firmly believes that aspiring short filmmakers will shape the future of the entertainment industry. And in order to defend them, SSFF & ASIA awards pretty awards.

As festival president Tetsuya Bessho said at the 2021 closing ceremony on Monday, every filmmaker takes a first step, and that is the focus of SSFF & ASIA.

At the 2021 closing ceremony, which was streamed live, the winning filmmakers received cash prizes between $ 2,000 and $ 10,000, artistic trophies and qualify for next year’s Oscars. You can read a detailed report on the closing ceremony here.

Who did the awards go to? Here are the results!

Official competition sponsored by Sony

The festival’s official competition supports creatives who are redefining film culture. The awards are given in three categories: International, Asia International and Japan.

International competition: Best Short Award

Of 2,452 submissions from 20 countries, films in this category dealt with modern social issues, the near future and high-quality comedies and beyond

Winner: Gustavo Milan, Under the sky

Content: Marta, a young Venezuelan mother, emigrates to Brazil when she meets a young couple with a little girl. Their ability to breastfeed makes their destinies forever linked.

Still from SSFF International Best Short Award Winner ‘Under the Heavens’ directed by Gustavo Milan.

International competition: audience award

Winner: Kevin Häfelin, TRUMPET

Synopsis: A Japanese trumpeter on a cultural pilgrimage to discover New York jazz experiences a hell of a night after getting lost in Brooklyn.

International competition: Award for the best actor

Winner: Nadir Saribacak, Leylak

Synopsis: In what is now Queens, New York, a Turkish gravedigger is unable to face a harrowing truth and risks losing the connection he loves most.

Asia International Competition: Best Short Award / Governor of Tokyo Award

This year SSFF & ASIA received 1,627 submissions from 11 Asian countries and regions except Japan for the Asia International Competition. The films selected show serious social problems, family and heartwarming stories.

Winner: Rafael Manuel, Filipinana

Synopsis: The self-contained cosmos of the golf course reflects social structures. Although the new “tee girl” Isabel has yet to learn the rules, she is already looking for loopholes to undermine the system.

A still of SSFF Asia International and Grand Prix winner “Filipiñana” directed by Rafael Manuel.

International Asia Competition: Audience Award

Winner: Joe Hsieh, night bus

Synopsis: A necklace was stolen in a night commuter bus. A tragic and fatal traffic accident followed and a series of fascinating events that revealed love, hate and revenge. The film reaches its climax when the bus went up in flames and glittered against the dark coastal sky.

International Asia Competition: Best Actor Award

Winner: Lee Chae Kyung, Georgia

Synopsis: When the police refuse to investigate the alleged suicide of their daughter, two computer illiterates decide to design a protest banner. (Based on a true story.)

Japan Competition: Best Short Award / Governor of Tokyo Award

From Japan, SSFF & ASIA selected 19 short films from 328 submissions that present Japanese cinema from a completely new perspective.

Winner: Atsushi Hirai, Return to Toyama

Synopsis: Takumi left Japan for France despite his father’s disapproval. After a long absence, he returns to Toyama, his hometown, a small and declining port on the north coast of Japan.

A still from the Japanese competition for Best Short Film, which won ‘Return to Toyama’ directed by Atsushi Hirai

Japan Competition: Audience Award

Winner: Shoji Yasui, Empty cream puffs

Content: Yuta and Ayumi are a childless couple. One day Ayumi tells him that she is pregnant, but when Yuta goes to the hospital for a check-up, he finds that he is sterile.

Japan Competition: Best Actor Award

Winner: Hikari Mitsushima, A woman who acts

Content: Akira is an old man who has little time to live due to illness. He has a young and beautiful wife, Yoshiko, who is trying to get him outside to enjoy his final days. She looks delighted as Akira gets weaker and weaker. What are their real intentions?

Grand Prix George Lucas Prize

The Grand Prix winner is chosen from the three official competitions.

Winner: Rafael Manuel, Filipinana

Smartphone film competition sponsored by Sony

A brand new category for the SSFF & Asia that Smartphone film competition called for short films under 25 minutes shot on a smartphone to expand the range of visual expression for filmmakers. And it received over 900 submissions from all over the world, the largest number of all time for a new SSFF & ASIA competition!

Smartphone film competition: Prize for the best short film

Winner: Daigo Hariya and Yosuke Kobayashi, Spectators: 1

Synopsis: In the future, after “something” has happened to mankind, a man continues to stream himself in solitude while he wanders through the ruins of the city for the only viewer he has.

A still image from the smartphone competition that won ‘Viewers: 1’, directed by Daigo Hariya and Yosuke Kobayashi.

Congratulations to all filmmakers!

To read the full awards, including competition results in Non-Fiction, CG Animation, U-25, and more, visit the festival website Here.

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