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In the 2021 smartphone competition from SSFF & ASIA and Creators’ Junction

What does the future of short film look like? These creators discuss.

The Creators’ Junction took place at the start of this year Smartphone film competition, supported by Sony. The event brought filmmakers and creatives together to explore their passion and talent, as well as the future of film and creative trends.

The Smartphone Film Competition was a brand new category in SSFF & ASIA this year and broke the record for new submissions. This category accepts short films under 25 minutes made with a smartphone. The Sony Xperia sponsored competition was created to broaden the horizons of filmmakers and challenge directors to create a new visual style unique to smartphones.

The panel discussion took place on June 12, 2021 in Ginza Sony Park and featured director Eiji Uchida, pop group Ikimonogakaris Yoshiki Mizuno, and SSFF & ASIA President Tetsuya Bessho.

The guests included the Japanese directors of the short films nominated in the competition and 10 directors of the NEO Japan Competition.

Check out the Creators’ Junction with English translations below!

Festival President Tetsuya Bessho gave the opening speech together with Takaki Nakadai from Sony Group Inc. Both were thrilled that this year’s SSFF & ASIA and the new Smartphone Film Competition would be a great platform for different types of creativity and technology.

Bessho then welcomed director Eiji Uchida and songwriter Yoshiki Mizuno from the group Ikimonogakari. They discussed Uchida’s fantasy short film Stardust children, which is based on a submitted story based on Ikimonogakari’s song “Kirakira ni Hikaru”.

It was shot on a Sony Xperia.

You can watch the movie Here!

Mizuno said over 1,400 short stories based on “Kirakira ni Hikaru” were submitted.

Uchida said, “I loved the amazing process of submitting stories based on a song and then making a film based on that story. I always have a song to listen to that goes with the movie I’m making. So this project suits me perfectly. ”

It just shows that an idea can start anywhere and become anything you want! And you don’t have to have the latest and greatest mirrorless camera to record it.

Mizuno told the audience, “Because the story of Stardust children was a fantasy, my fantasy began to work overtime to imagine a world as it is told in the story. ”

Uchida said, “Fantasy costs a lot of money and is especially difficult to do in Japan. I felt that this was a challenge for the songwriter.”

Uchida gave an insight into how the film was shot with the Xperia attached to the actor’s head, using slow-motion functions and even dropping the smartphone off a cliff.


Recognition: SSFF & ASIA

Uchida said it took a week to create the music, two months to prepare, three days to shoot, and a day or two to edit the short film.

During the Q&A portion of the event, one of the Invited creators in the audience asked what panelists thought of vertical videos. It’s a controversial topic among movie fans and directors, but platforms like Instagram and TikTok have made guidance more accessible and widespread.

Uchida, who was also a judge in the smartphone film competition, said: “There were a lot of vertical short films in this competition. Documentaries look more real in vertical format and I want to try it out for myself.”

Mizuno said, “I feel that a lot of vertical videos are limited by the format and are shot on their smartphones. If we go back to a blank sheet of paper, portrait orientation could become more widespread. ”

Both encouraged the creators to push the boundaries further and work with the tools at their disposal.

MIzuno said, “Both video and music have evolved. Listening to music with video has become common and musicians are looking for someone to make videos. It makes me happy to meet creators from different fields that I normally don’t come across would like to participate and support various creative projects, including Short films. “

See more from SSFF & ASIA 2021 here!

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