Not only do we love supporting filmmakers around the world, but we also love filmmakers who are pushing the accessibility of fantastic filmmaking with the everyday item we can’t live without: smartphones. 

This year at SSFF & ASIA, the festival is highlighting short films that focus on the theme of the festival, “Meta Cinema: Transcend, Discover, Begin.” The Smartphone Film Competition, presented by Sony’s Xperia, is celebrating the era of smartphone cinematography, and the new visual expression that is unique in these smartphone shorts. 

The festival is an Academy Award-accredited festival, which means the winner of the best short awards in the competition, including the Smartphone Competition, is eligible for nomination in the short film categories of the Academy Awards next year. 

The Smartphone Film Competition Jurors

The talented jury for the Smartphone Film Competition, supported by Sony's Xperia, will include film directors Eiji Okuda, Kiki Sugino, and Hassan Fazili. These directors, actors, and producers have all made groundbreaking work in cinema, and are looking forward to finding the best short in the Smartphone category. 

Actor and highly acclaimed film director Eiji Okuda has had a prolific career, with his directorial debut, Shoujyo: An Adolescent being invited by the Venice Film Festival and many other film festivals to win the Grand Prix at the 17th Paris Film Festival and the 16th AFI Film Festival. 

Along with Eiji Okuda, actor, film director, and producer Kiki Sugino will appear on the jury. She has produced, directed, and appeared in numerous films such as Hospitalité, Chigasaki Story, and Yokudō, which lately went to win awards at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival and the Hong Kong Asian Film Festival. She continues to work in all genres as an actor, director, and producer, teaming up with filmmakers from across the world. 

The final jury member is film director Hassan Fazili. Fazili is an award-winning artist that has developed theater plays, documentaries, short films, and several popular television series. His latest documentary, Midnight Traveler, premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, winning a Special Jury Award and going on to screen at over 100 festivals, including Berlinale, Sheffield, HotDocs, IDFA, Emmy, and Yamagata. 

We want to highlight the films from the Smartphone Film category. Check out the lineup below! You can also visit the site for more information, and check out our coverage of the other exciting categories at SSFF & ASIA.

1959_smartphone_short'1959'Credit: Courtesy of SSFF & ASIA


After the murder of Bernardo Aranda, which happened on September 1, 1959, in Asunción, Paraguay, two lovers are involved in incessant persecution in which 108 men are captured and tortured, under the pretext of linking them to the crime. 61 years later, the memory always returns to the heart that never forgets.

Daniel Gómez / 0:07:00 / Paraguay / Drama / 2020

A city without sky

About the life of a young man living in a conflict area during the war. His feelings about his city and his home. He does not know what will happen to him tomorrow or in a few hours. This is the fear that war gives him

Zain Issa / 0:05:38 / Syria / Documentary / 2021

After The Meeting

It's April 2020, deep in the COVID Shelter-In-Place order. Kids are trapped in their homes and parents are stuck in little virtual meeting boxes all day. Aaron Barry had a fun and challenging idea for a short film. 

Aaron Barry / 0:03:16 / United States / Experimental / 2020

Bus Girl

An aspiring young female chef navigates the cut-throat world of high-end cooking.

Jessica Henwick / 0:11:25 / United Kingdom / Drama / 2021

Bus_girl_smartphone_short'Bus Girl'Credit: Courtesy of SSFF & ASIA

Butterfly Man

Abdurrahim Korkmaz was born in Mardin in 1984. His village met with the road, water, and electricity very late. The butterflies that he saw on the TV of his neighbor have changed his life.

Enis Manaz / 0:05:35 / Turkey / Documentary / 2020


Kolya is dead. A good man, a son, a husband, a friend, a neighbor. Everybody loved him, but at the wake, it turns out that no one knew him indeed.

Olga Azhnakina / 0:08:08 / Russia / Drama / 2020


A fleeting retrospect of a young woman who develops a chronic illness throughout 2020.

Shubhi Sahni / 0:03:23 / Canada / Experimental / 2021


It has been several years since fireworks festivals have been canceled in a city famous for its fireworks.

A woman stands in front of a poster with a sticker on top informing her that the festival has been "canceled." Curious, she peels off the sticker to find a hole that should not exist...

Hiroshi Takano / 0:05:15 / Japan / Fantasy / 2021

Knot_smartphone_short'Knot'Credit: Courtesy of SSFF & ASIA


The title character Lila struggles with PTSD. As therapy, she made a video blog for her brother, who since the tragic accident stays in a coma. The movie is inspired by Dominika’s Trybulec life.

Kacper Świtalski & Dominika Trybulec / 0:09:44 / Poland / Drama / 2021

Present for Future

Amanda is walking in the forest. She is enjoying the beauty of nature, listening to the sounds of streams, and jumping around. She finds a rabbit on her way and wants to hold him. Then suddenly...

Shamir Raiapov / 0:01:00 / Kyrgyzstan / Drama / 2021

Seal Story

Jakub has been working in a hotel and museum in Iceland. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, Jakub lost his job and missed the last plane to Poland. He was completely alone in the hotel for a few months. Because of several flight cancellations he still can't go back to Poland, and just waits.

Bartłomiej Błaszczyński / 0:16:10 / Poland / Documentary / 2020

SHOLTE; The Lamp Wick

When teenage Pradip lost his father, he became helpless. The pandemic made living tougher and Pradip also had to complete the rituals of his father's funeral. But the question arises, when he got to know that, the funeral won't be completed without a picture of the late person, is it really obvious to complete the funeral?

Hemanta Sadeeq / 0:13:03 / Bangladesh / Drama / 2022

Sholte_smartphone_short'SHOLTE; The Lamp Wick'Credit: Courtesy of SSFF & ASIA


A student in her daily life is stalked by a stalker on her way home.

Rodolfo Ogura / 0:05:15 / Japan / Drama / 2022


A woman who only yearns to live

Elizabeth Marlo / 0:07:27 / México / Drama / 2021


Looking to boost his confidence, Chuck tries a new meditation technique and manifests a night he won’t forget.

Graham High / 0:12:36 / United States / Sci-Fi / 2021

The festival happening now, from Thursday, April 28, to Thursday, June 30, 2022. Let us know what films resonate with you in the comments below!