SSFF & Asia opens with short film screenings and awards!

Check out the opening ceremony of the festival and the award-winning short films!

Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia officially opened on June 11th. In a livestream opening ceremony, MCs Takayuki Yamada and Ayame Goriki welcomed Festival President Tetsuya Bessho and audiences around the world to the event.

They acknowledged the difficulties of 2020 and thanked the healthcare community and frontline staff. The festival is hosting some physical demonstrations in Japan using COVID-19 security procedures.

The team also explained this year’s festival theme, CINEMADventure, as a new idea that combines cinema, advertising, adventure and activities.

The opening ceremony continued with a demonstration from Das Ei and Ayako, directed by Ayumi Omori and starring Goriki. Omori also appeared.

“The Egg and Ayako”Recognition: Ayumi Omori

In short, Ayako is a dance teacher for children. She is pregnant with her ex-boyfriend Eita’s baby. When she had an ultrasound scan and saw the embryo for the first time, she was powerfully moved by the sheer wonder and determined to raise the baby on her own. But Ayako has a lingering secret desire …

The Mirrorliar Films team also showed up to explain their new short film platform due to launch this summer. They also plan to hold a film festival in 2022. You can find out more at the Project website. There was also a presentation for them CINEMA FIGHTERS project that combines poetry and music in videos. This is a joint project by EXILE HIRO, Bessho and the copywriter Masato Odake.

“Sad Beauty”Recognition: Arjan Brentjes

Next, several major awards were given to filmmakers.

The Shibuya Diversity Award went to the film Shut up, directed by Noa Aharoni Maor.

Milbon and Book Shorts presented the Milbon Award Etude, directed by Kahori Higashi.

AHURI and Short Shorts presented a trailer for Near the sea, and director Hironori Kujiraoka appeared with actors Masato Wada, Mahiru Konno and Hiroto Takahashi.

The AMUSE music award (Winner of the Musical Short Film Pitch Competition) was awarded to Child in heart by Meg Igarashi. The best pitch winner will receive prize money and a production opportunity.

Save the earth! Ministerial Prize of the Ministry of the Environment was awarded to Sad beauty, Director: Arjan Brentjes. Save the earth! The J-Wave Award went to Migrants, Directed by Antoine Dupriez and Lucas Lermytte.

The newly introduced Global Spotlight Prize was awarded to Travon Free for Two distant strangers.

That completed the live opening ceremony, but you can watch the event in full (with English translations) below!

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, one of the largest short film festivals in Asia. This year’s festival will take place from June 11th to 21st.

Check out the festival website Here.

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