The hardest part of filmmaking is finding money to get the project started. Sure, you could use your own money, but it's better to find funding through other resources.

This is where Kodansha and Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia (SSFF & ASIA) come in.

No matter what kind of story you want to tell, SSFF & ASIA, Asia's largest international short film festival, wants to celebrate talented filmmakers and visual creators crafting original stories.

What Is Kodansha Cinema Creators' Lab?

Yoshinobu Noma, President and Representative Director of Kodansha Ltd. and the 2023 winners of Kodansha Cinema Creators' Lab ​

Courtesy of SSFF & ASIA

Kodansha Cinema Creators’ Lab, the Kodansha project, was announced at the SSFF & ASIA 2023 Awards Ceremony. This ambitious project’s goal is to fully support the art of filmmaking, from discussions on a film’s production to funding and publicity.

SSFF & ASIA has been supporting filmmakers worldwide since 1999. SSFF & ASIA aims to introduce a new film culture from Asia while supporting young filmmakers from every corner of the world. Winners in the festival's Live Action/Animation/Non-Fiction Competitions are even eligible to be nominated for an Oscar at next year’s Academy Awards!

Kodansha, which was founded in 1909, is a publishing company aimed at finding interesting and informative entertainment. The company is fully in service of creators and wants to expand its collaborative spirit to a wide variety of filmmakers and creatives. The Creators’ Lab is a department in Kodansha that was established in 2021 to discover and support new creators in a wider range of genres.

Together for the first time, Kodansha Cinema Creators’ Lab and SSFF & ASIA want to award the best three pitches ¥10,000,000 (about $72,745) to fund the complete cost of the short film’s production.

Pitches that are selected for Kodansha Cinema Creators' Lab will work closely with an experienced Kodansha editor, who will oversee the project until completion. Once completed, Kodansha and SSFF & ASIA will submit the film to film festivals around the world.

How to Pitch to Cinema Creators' Lab

This sweet deal from Kodansha and SSFF & ASIA is open to filmmakers, artist, and screenwriters with original ideas. The best pitch projects will be announced at SSFF & ASIA 2024.

This competition is open to all filmmakers across all formats and genres.

Directors, producers, animators, CG creators, and production companies are welcome to apply by sending pitches to the official SSFF & ASIA website. These pitches must include a storyboard, completed script, and resume.

To apply to the Kodansha Cinema Creators' Lab, submit a completed member application form. While it is possible to apply for multiple projects, Kodansha Cinema Creators' Lab and SSFF & ASIA strongly recommend only applying for one project.

Credit: Kodansha and SSFF & ASIA

The application process will ask you to enter the basic information about the unpublished project you are proposing, as well as a resume and a proposal. Your proposal should describe the plot as well as the intentions of the project within 1,000 characters in Japanese or 500 words in English.

Applicants selected for the first screening plan from the application plan will be notified of the results by the end of January 2024 on the Kodansha Cinema Creators’ Lab page on SSFF & ASIA’s website.

You can read the official proposal format for the competition below:

  1. Proposal(*A:any format)
  2. Resume(*B)
  3. Storyboards or Screenplays (*Optional)
  4. Long Plot (About 500 words *Optional)

Submissions open on Aug. 1, 2023, and will close on Nov. 30, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. JST (7:59 a.m. PST).

What are you waiting for? Pitch your idea today for the chance to win ¥10,000,000 and to work with a renowned editor from Kodansha to make your short film idea a reality! We can't wait to see your work.