Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia highlights the work of female directors.
We are excited about Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia and have already shared some of its amazing lineup of films. But there is so much more to experience at the fest, even as an online participant.
The festival also highlights important societal issues within filmmaking. One key event coming up is the Discover Beauty Symposium, sponsored and co-sponsored by Japan Cultural Expo and Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia.
“Discover Beauty” focuses on Japanese beauty as a theme, and will host a panel discussion and screening of the "Discover Beauty Program," a collection of short films depicting Japanese beauty from the perspective of female directors.
The symposium's panel discussion will be about women's empowerment and their roles in the film industry, both within Japan and internationally. The panel moderator is Chuk Besher, and tentative panelists include art director Chikako Suzuki, documentary filmmaker Ema Ryan Yamazaki, and film critic and actor LiLiCo.
Let's take a look at the short films in the Discover Beauty program! All films are by female directors who play an active role in the film industry.
These films will only be available June 11-21, so don't miss them! (Please note, Wheel of Fate and Tsunami and the Cherry Blossoms are streamed online only in Japan.)
People of Prayer
Miyuki Matsuda and Taichi Saotome / Japan / 29:00 / Dance Movie / 2021
In ancient Japan, dolls were made as a token for people to bring happiness. The etymology of "inori" comes from “i” for breathing, and "nori" for life. In other words, prayer is about breathing and living. Breath that pumps the heart, to breathe, to struggle with oneself, and to proclaim your conduct to heaven. Beautiful dolls materialize from the repugnant side of human beings. This doll is both a symbol of God and of one's wishes. Dolls dance fervently in the beauty of nature in the four seasons, and through the life of flowers in the breeze, the life in water, the life in fire, and in payer, expresses the ancient Japanese people who dedicate themselves to traditional festivals.
Wheels of Fate: The Story of the Rickshaw Man
Ema Ryan Yamazaki / USA/Japan / 19:00 / Documentary / 2020
An emotional journey into the fateful history of The Rickshaw Man, which despite being chopped down by two governments, remains an irreplaceable work of humanist cinema from Japan's darkest period. Narrated by Lily Franky.
The Fox of Shichigorosawa
Tune SUGIHARA / Japan / 13:45 / Animation / 2014
Higashiyama, the home of the foxes, has become an illegal dumping ground. This results in the decrease of small animals, which the mother fox relied on as prey to feed her children. The fox comes down from the mountains in search of food to feed her children, and comes upon a human village.
This story is told in the Ainu language, which has been deemed a critically endangered language by UNESCO.
The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossoms
Lucy Walker / USA / 39:00 / Documentary / 2011
Survivors in the areas hardest hit by Japan's recent tsunami find the courage to revive and rebuild as cherry blossom season begins. This Academy Award-nominated short documentary explores the aftermath of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and the cultural significance of Japan's famous sakura, or cherry blossoms.
More about SSFF & Asia
The festival was founded in 1999 as the Short Shorts Film Festival (SSFF). In 2004, SSFF added a program for Asian short films and established Short Shorts Film Festival Asia with the support of the Governor of Tokyo.
Now, the combination of the two festivals takes place annually in Tokyo as Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia, an Oscar-qualifying event and one of the largest short film festivals in Asia! This year's fest takes place June 11-21.
Be sure to check out the festival website for more!