Are you ready for some amazing short films? It's time again for the Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia

This festival is an Academy Award-accredited festival, meaning the winner of the best short award 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. 

This year, over 200 films were selected out of 5,720 films that were submitted from 126 countries and regions around the world.

From premiers from Chris Rock to Ben Affleck & Matt Damon to new, up-and-coming filmmakers, there are so many great premieres happening at SSFF & ASIA 2023 that you can’t miss out on. This is what you need to know about this year’s festival.

The_swamp'The Swamp'Credit: Courtesy of SSFF & ASIA

What’s Happening at SSFF & ASIA 2023

SSFF & ASIA 2023 announced about 200 selected shorts and features from the 5,215 projects from 120 countries and regions worldwide submitted to the fest. The 200 projects that will be screened at the festival are eligible for the Academy Awards nominations.

Many young creators, female directors, first-time directors, and students submitted to the festival, accumulating about a third of the festival’s entries. With a passion to create awe-inspiring projects after the effects of COVID-19, it is no surprise that many filmmakers want to make a name for themselves at one of the greatest film festivals in the world.

This year’s fest offers a wide range of programs and screenings for audiences and jurors. Inspired by the post-COVID-19 world and the future of movies and film festivals, SSFF & ASIA 2023 looks to highlight the perspective of filmmakers exploring new forms of communication between avatars, AI, cultural fusion, and digital identity.

The world premiere of Short FIlm Envisioning the Future by NTT and Short Shorts and the beta version for the Web 3.0 era have already been launched to give audiences insight into the new era of filmmaking in 2023.

As a new generation of filmmakers starts to make their mark on the filmmaking world, SSFF & ASIA launches the U-25 project to help showcase these new talents. Creators who are exploring new formats of filmmaking can still show off their talents in programs like the smartphone film category supported by Xperia.

SSFF & ASIA are also providing a space for films that focus on the massive worldwide crises that we are facing. From the war-torn backdrop of Ukraine to the films that follow climate change, these films from around the world with diverse perspectives will be screened. 

Floating_in_between'Floating in between'Credit: Courtesy of SSFF & ASIA

SSFF & ASIA 2023 Lineup 

With so many exciting and innovative stories, SSFF & ASIA 2023 lineup is one you don’t want to miss out on.

In the Tokyo Metropolitan Government x Short Shorts Project, the short films that feature Tokyo’s various charms and quirks are put on the center stage as part of plans to make people inside and outside of Japan want to visit Tokyo. Included in this lineup are:

  • Story to Tell, Directed by Sayaka Nakane

  • snow escape, Directed by Naoto Kawashima 

  • BARISAN TOKYO,Directed by Raymond Doan

  • In Paris too, Directed by Samuel Frezoul

In the Unlock – Dive Into the New World program, which features shorts that incorporate avatars, AI, Web 3.0, and the effects of COVID-19, the lineup includes:

  • Teleporting, Directed by Arum Nam, Chifumi Tanzawa, Nana Noka, Ohyeon Kwon

  • HYSTERESIS, Directed by Robert Seidel 

  • My Father in the Cloud, Directed by Ruth Patir 

There are many other notable works in this year's festival. In the International Competition Special Screening, audiences can watch Look At Me, directed by Sally Potter and stars Chris Rock and Javier Bardem, and the Matt Damon and Ben Affleck Produce’s short film For People in Trouble, directed by Alex Lawther, will be available to watch online and in-person.

Another exciting program that we are looking forward to watching is short films for young creators. AOI TYO Group and SSFF & ASIA are coming together to showcase the talents of young creatives through wood carving, stop motion, and other forms of animation. Films included in this lineup are: 

  • HIDARI, Directed by Masashi Kawamura 

  • Domo-kun and the Egg, Directed by Tsuneo Goda

  • Tribe X, Directed by Rintaro

  • Palm, Directed by Shoya Kashiwai 

International-1-scaled'Look At Me'Credit: Courtesy of SSFF & ASIA

Other films in the festival’s programs include the following.

Asia International Competition Special Screening 

  • Contact Point, Directed by Jay Choi

  • BI GAN, Directed by Bi Gan

Japan Competition Special Screening & Pick Ups

  • Izakaya Dialogue, Directed by Hisato Michigami

  • STRANGE, Directed by Ken Ochiai

  • Aufguss, Directed by Daigo Matsui 

Animation Division Special Screening 

  • IN QUANTO A NOI (FROM OUR SIDE), Directed by Simone Massi

  • Horizon, Directed by Taiga Kawazoe

Non-fiction Section Special Screening 

  •  HAULIOUT, Directed by Evgenia Arbugaeva and Maxim Arbugaev

Smartphone Film Competition Supported by Sony’s Xperia

  • The creation of a symbolic painting, Directed by Yevheniia Kolesnykova

U25 Project

  • The impact of a single word, Directed by Shusuke Kowata

War and the Power to Live Program Supported by Red Cross

  • Warrior, Directed by Amanbek Azhymat

Shibuya Diversity Program

  • Look Like You, Directed by Snigdha Kapoor

Women in Cinema Project

  • Made of Flesh, Directed by Florence Rochat

Kids Program

  • Social Chameleon, Directed by Alex Ross

Save the Planet!

  • OUR FUTURES, Directed by Thibault Martin

  • Desert Lights, Directed by Katherina Harder

  • Leader, Directed by Chris Overton 

Hyesteresis'HYSTERESIS'Credit: Courtesy of SSFF & ASIA

You can check out all of these short films on the SSFF & ASIA website.

SSFF & ASIA announced on the festival’s official website the nominated films and special screening films at this year’s film festival in Tokyo. The festival’s opening ceremony will be held on June 6th and the award ceremony will take place on June 26th.

If you can’t attend in person, then don’t worry. SSFF & ASIA’s online venue opened on April 27th, allowing you to watch and enjoy a variety of diverse short films from all over the world until July 10th.

If you want to check out more from the festival, visit them and watch the shorts online!