Do you have a story that shows off your love or passion for Tokyo? Then you might want to turn that story into a short film for the Shorts Shorts Film Festival & ASIA’s 2023 Cinematic Tokyo Competition. 

SSFF & ASIA are looking for submissions that capture the beauty and essence of Tokyo. How you capture the city in the short is up to you. From the many attractions of Japan’s capital city to the everyday beauty of Tokyo life, how you highlight the city in your short film should elicit memories or an impression of Tokyo. 

The beauty of this theme is that you don’t have to psychically be in Tokyo. Your story should depict the experiences of Japan’s capital city in any way you see fit. 

The winner of the Cinematic Tokyo Competition will receive 1 million Japanese yen (about $9,280). 

Learn more about how to submit below!

Tokyo Rain Cinematic Tokyo Short Film Winner'Tokyo Rain'Credit: Courtesy of SSFF & ASIA

Inspiration for Your Short Film 

In its upcoming seventh year of co-sponsoring the Cinematic Tokyo Competition, SSFF & ASIA promotes the diverse attractions of Tokyo by inviting short films from around the world. This past year, 257 submissions were received, and the winner of the Cinematic Tokyo Best Short Award/The Governor of Tokyo Award was Tokyo Rain, directed by Michel Wilde and Robert Schneider of Switzerland. 

The short followed a businessman who falls asleep at his desk in his office at night and has a nightmare that Tokyo is caught in a flood. 

Back in May at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike reminded us of the importance of short films, saying, “Films enrich us, make us think, and give us opportunities. Feature films are interesting, but there are parts that are interesting only because they are short.” 

Short films are a unique medium that allows us to explore exciting ideas while finding or honing in our unique voices. SSFF & ASIA understands this better than any other festival and is on a continuing journey to celebrate short films and uplift filmmakers of all backgrounds. 

If you are looking for inspiration for your short, listen to the directors’ comments on the inspiration and process behind their winning short films.

How to Enter Your Short

Anyone from anywhere can submit their short films to SSFF & ASIA. There are a few guidelines you will have to follow when submitting your short film. Let’s break those down: 

  • Open to all countries
  • All genres are welcome
  • Run time is 25 minutes or under
  • Running time must be included in the end credits
  • No specified production year
  • MOV or MP4 file
  • 1920 x 1080 frame rate
  • Under 10 GB preferred
  • English subtitles are required for submission in any language other than English or Japanese

You can submit online either on the official festival website, Shortfilmdepot, or FilmFreeway

If you are shooting in Tokyo for this competition, feel free to contact the Tokyo Location Box here. You can also use materials available on the Tokyo Stock Footage website to use in your short film (except for Zojoji Temple, Sensoji Temple, and Roppongi Hills). 

The selection results will be announced by the end of April 2023 on the official festival website. Filmmakers will be notified if their film will be screened at the National and International Tour of the Festival, which will take place after SSFF & ASIA 2023 in Tokyo ends. 

2424_0'Samurai Swordfish'Credit: Courtesy of SSFF & ASIA

SSFF & ASIA has been producing short films with award-winning filmmakers. One of the winners of this award, Hiroki Horanai, directed a special short film for the Cinema Sports Project. The project aimed to promote Tokyo both in Japan and overseas by showcasing short films with elements of major international sports events that have taken place in Tokyo from 2019 to 2020.

Submissions are now open and will close on January 31, 2023.

Please complete the online submission either on the official festival website, Shortfilmdepot, or FilmFreeway

There is no submission fee, so what are you waiting for? Get your finished shorts in now!

Source: Cinematic Tokyo Competiton