Short films are the catalyst for creative potential, and no festival understands this better than Short Shots Film Festival & Asia. We’ve covered some of SSFF’s most notable moments, and you should see some of the undeniably beautiful shorts that were submitted from 126 counties and regions from around the world. 

The festival's theme is "Meta Cinema: Transcend, Discover, Begin," and includes categories like Smartphone Short Films, Animation, and Cinematic Tokyo, and even explores the utilization of neuroscience and VR short films. With Sony once again supporting SSFF & ASIA, the creators in the competition continue to expand cinema through technology, redefining film culture as they do. 

Short films have been screening online since May, but now it’s time to look at the winners of these exciting categories, each of which will be eligible for a chance to receive an Academy Awards nomination. We can also see what we can learn about the future of Meta Cinema

You can watch the full award ceremony from June 20 from SSFF & ASIA 2022 below, and then check out our highlights!

Highlights and Winners from SSFF & ASIA 2022 

By truly embracing the newest technology available to filmmakers, including Sony’s Xperia, these filmmakers were able to bring to life incredible short stories that spoke to the uniqueness of different cultural perspectives.

Sony’s Hirotaka Kobori praised how these shorts explored a new perspective of visual storytelling that was heavily inspired by the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with a diverse group of filmmakers—one of whom is only 13 years old—expressing something deeply human in just a few short minutes. By blending technology with humanity, truly inspirational projects were created and celebrated throughout the fest. 

The highly praised A Strand of Regret, which was awarded the Hoppy Happy Award for being the happiest and most inspiring short of the competition, greatly emphasized the recurring theme throughout the shorts in the competition. The film’s heavy focus on family relationships, use of location, and great direction from Hisato Michigami won the affection of the jurors and all of SSFF & ASIA. 

A_strand_of_regret_hisato_michigami'A Strand of Regret'Credit: Courtesy of SSFF & ASIA

Director Naomi Kawase took the stage later in the ceremony to discuss the importance of “depicting the human” through filmmaking, discussing her documentary Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 SIDE A. Kawase recalls the Olympic Committee praising her for “depicting the human, depicting the athletes as a person,” after the film was viewed at Cannes.

While Kawase's documentary wasn't a part of the competition, her work helps to uplift the theme of human stories being told through the innovation of technology. 

But one category did this very thing in a remarkable and noteworthy way. 

One of the biggest highlights of the competition was the Smartphone Film Competition supported by Sony’sXperia. Smartphones are opening up so many doors for filmmakers, allowing them to create a project without having to break the budget.

“The way of expression will expand with the smartphones,” juror Kiki Sugino said when discussing the unbelieve Smartphone shorts. “There are big possibilities with shooting with a smartphone. This progression is very quick.” With the advances of smartphones in the modern age, our creativity is only limited by our imaginations. 

Here are the winners of SSFF & ASIA 2022.

George Lucas Award/Grand Prix

  • Warsha by Dania Bdeir

Official Competition supported by Sony

  • International Competition Best Short AwardWarsha by Dania Bdeir
  • Asia International Competition Best Short Award/Governor of Tokyo AwardMoshari by Nuhash Humayun 
  • Japan Competition Best Short Award/Governor of Tokyo AwardTHE LIMIT Taxi Girl by Masaya Yoshida 
  • Audience Award (International Competition)--In Dreams by Pete Riski 
  • Audience Award (Asia International Competition)--Dark Yellow by Hye-sun Koo
  • Audience Award (Japan Competition)--The Voice Actress by Anna Takayama 
  • Cinematic Tokyo Competition Best Short Award/Governor of Tokyo AwardTokyo Rain by Michel Wild and Robert Schneider 
  • Non-Fiction Best Short AwardNuisance Bear by Jack Weisman and Gabriela Osio Vanden 
  • Animation Competition Best Shot AwardAirborne by Andrzej Jobczyk 
  • Smartphone Film Competition supported by Sony’s Xperia Best Short AwardEYES by Olga Azhnakina
  • U-25 Project Best Short AwardFinal Deathtination by Marika Tamura
  • The 8th Book Shorts Award Best AwardThe one I want to meet by Moe Haruno

Branded Shorts

  • International Competition Branded Shorts of the YearA Lockdown Love Story by HEINEKEN
  • National Competition Branded Shorts of the YearAIM by NETGEAR Japan
  • Deloitte Digital AwardTaking Flight by Kodansha Ltd., The Wish by Penny, and Unspoken Love by OPPO
  • HR Competition supported by IndeedKindness is also yours by NICHIIGAKKAN CO., LTD
  • The 11th Visual Tourism Award/Japan Tourism Agency Commissioner's AwardUkujima by Uku Island Tourist Association

Other Awards 

  • Biogen AwardBarefoot Empress by Vikas Khanna
  • Hoppy Happy AwardA Strand of Regret by Hisato Michigami
  • Milbon Beauty AwardThe Hands by Seowon JUNG
  • Shibuya Diversity AwardRoom without sound by Takayuki Nakama
  • Save the Earth! Minister’s Award, the Ministry of the EnvironmentPenthouse by Vegard Dahle & Line Klungseth Johansen
  • Save the Earth! J-WAVE AwardPresent for Future by Shamir Raiapov
  • Global Spotlight AwardRoborovski by Tilda Cobham-Hervey & Dev Patel
  • Special Mention AwardJogekankei by Kensaku Kakimoto
  • Most Viewed AwardThe Speech by Mohmmad Hijazi

Best Actor Awards

  • International Category “Borekas” Actor—Yousef Abu-Warda
  • Asia International Category “Winter by the River” Actor—Lin He
  • Japan Category ”Sparklers“ Actor—Sairi Ito

If you want to check out more from the festival, visit their site and watch the amazing shorts for free!

Source: Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia