The SSFF & ASIA festival is an Academy Award®-accredited event. This means the winner of the best short awards in the competition, as well as the non-fiction competition, is eligible for nomination in the short film categories of the Academy Awards the next year. Learn how to submit now!

In July 2021, the Academy Association announced that SSFF & ASIA would be able to submit for nomination from the Animation category for a total of five Best Short Award-winning short films, including the Official Competition supported by Sony and the Non-Fiction Competition, which will be given a chance to possibly win an Oscar next year!

If you need some examples of the great work on display at the festival, just check out our previous coverage.

The time has come for creators and filmmakers to start thinking about next year's festival. SSFF & ASIA began accepting submissions for the 24th international short film festival on Sunday, August 1, 2021.

Viewers-1_stillSSFF &ASIA 2021 Smartphone Film Competition supported by Sony Best Short Award winner, 'viewers:1.'Credit: Courtesy of SSFF & ASIA

Enter the Smartphone Film Competition supported by Sony's Xperia™

This is a competition of short films fully shot on any brand of smartphone.

The selected films for this competition will be streamed online at the official festival online venue during the festival period. The category is supported by Sony’s Xperia, Sony's smartphone, with the aim to encourage new visual creativity unique to smartphones.

The submission period is August 1, 2021, to January 31, 2022, so you've got plenty of time to come up with unique ideas.

There is no fee to enter the competition.

You can enter your film simultaneously to the International or Asia International Competitions (Official Competition supported by Sony), which are Academy Award-qualifying competitions in the short film category. An additional submission fee will be required for those categories.


The rules

Here are the rules for the competition.

  • Your short film must be shot on a smartphone. Any equipment can be used for editing. There is no limitation on brands of smartphones.
  • The film must be 25 minutes or under. No exceptions. Running time includes end credits.
  • The film must be a MOV or MP4 file, under 500MB.
  • The film must have been produced after June 1, 2020. 
  • English subtitles are required for submissions with languages other than English or Japanese.
  • Any genre of film will be accepted.
  • Works in progress will NOT be accepted.

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

The prizes

Selection results will be announced by the end of April 2022 on the official festival website.

The Best Short Award recipient will receive 600,000 Japanese yen.

In addition, the "Biogen Award" will be selected out of the films nominated to SSFF & ASIA 2022 competitions. The Biogen Award recipient will receive 300,000 Japanese yen.

Check out last year's winners

Daigo Hariya and Yosuke Kobayashi won the previous competition with their short, viewers:1.

Hariya said of the project, "My goal was to make a film with a cinematography that’s unique to shooting on a smartphone and a reality within a science fiction story. The project originally began as a remote production, and there’s a 2-minute version on the internet of the all-remote production. From there, we shot live once and added several cuts to make the 4 and 1/2-minute version that was selected. Personally, I like this 4 and 1/2-minute version for its emotional factor."

Kobayashi added, "To have created a sci-fi world in a provincial area in Japan. Make the sound and the story believable. To keep the story set in a strange world simple about the universal connection between people. I focused on these three points. It would be good if we accomplished it."

For more information, please see the official festival website.

Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia 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, one of the largest short film festivals in Asia.