In a significant event on Monday, May 30th, 2023, Tetsuya Bessho, acclaimed actor and president of Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia (SSFF & ASIA), visited Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. This year holds special significance as it marks the 25th anniversary of the International Competition and the 20th anniversary of the Asia-Japan Competition, which is co-sponsored by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. SSFF & ASIA is recognized as one of Asia's largest international short film festivals, with accreditation from the prestigious Academy Awards.

During the meeting, Bessho presented this year's festival theme, UNLOCK. In response, Governor Koike expressed admiration for the festival's resilience in overcoming the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, emphasized the profound impact of movies, filled with dreams, emotions, and human connections, and conveyed her anticipation for the festival every year.

Governor Koike encouraged the festival to "unlock" the 1200 days of the fight against the global pandemic and showcase the charm and appeal of Tokyo to the world through short films.

Pieces_of_you_03_1'Pieces of You'Credit: Couresty of SSFF & ASIA

Which Short Won the Best Short Award for the Cinematic Tokyo Competition?

As part of their ongoing collaboration, SSFF & ASIA and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government joined forces to highlight the diverse elements of Tokyo. During the visit, the Governor announced the winner of this year's Best Short Award in the Governor of Tokyo category. Out of the 273 entries from around the globe, Director Raymond Doan, an American expatriate who relocated to Japan in 2014, received the prestigious accolade for his film Pieces of You.

Shot by cinematographer Flávio Gusmão, Doan's short film follows a young woman who explores Tokyo with a guy who can only see the city through the woman's smartphone.

Bessho praised the film's depiction of a love story between a foreign man living abroad and a woman residing in Tokyo, capturing the essence of Tokyo's allure. He particularly highlighted a scene where the woman guides the man through Tokyo's tourist spots using her smartphone, exemplifying the film's charm.

Pieces of You, the winner of the Cinematic Tokyo Competition Best Short Award, was scheduled to be streamed worldwide on the festival's online platform, while also being screened at a physical venue in Tokyo starting from June 9th (Friday).

Jun_nokakerastill'Pieces of You'Credit: Courtesy of SSFF & ASIA

A New Project from SSFF & ASIA

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the film festival announced the completion of their 6th co-production short film project.,  Wife's Power Outage. Directed by Kimi Yawata, an award-winning filmmaker from the Japan Competition, the short film focused on the concept of Sustainable Recovery.

The trailer for Wife's Power Outage was unveiled during the courtesy call, emphasizing the importance of Tokyo's sustainable energy production and the city's unique every day charms, often overlooked in guidebooks. To enhance accessibility and communication, the film embraced a "barrier-free" approach by incorporating Japanese subtitles and audio guides.

You can watch Wife's Power Outage on SSFF & ASIA's YouTube or right here:

Reflecting on the occasion, Bessho expressed his dedication to supporting talented directors and screenwriters, emphasizing the ability of short films to convey compelling cinematic stories in a brief duration.

Since 2016, SSFF & ASIA has enjoyed the co-sponsorship of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and has established the "Cinematic Tokyo Category" as a competition to promote the "Tokyo Brand," a key tourism objective of the Metropolitan Government. The Tokyo Governor's Award, the highest honor in this category, would be presented to the award-winning film Pieces of You at the upcoming award ceremony on June 26th (Monday).

Stay up to date with the latest projects from SSFF & ASIA, and find out what it takes to make an award-winning short film that could be nominated for an Academy Award!