Short stories are the stepping stones for filmmakers to break into the industry. Whether you are writing short stories that will eventually turn into a short film or writing to sharpen your skills as a storyteller, these snippets of a world created by a single voice matter. 

While many film festivals don’t read short stories as much as they watch them, Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia have been and continue to be strong supporters of these types of storytellers. This last year, SSFF & ASIA celebrated short stories that draw from cultures and tales of domestic life in Japan. 

This year’s winner, The way back home (umi no meru machi de), was inspired by Ozaki Kōtō’s Konjiki Yasha. The story is set in Shizuoka and follows two young boys who are fighting the struggles and pain from their youth in their adult life. 

The story was then adapted into a short film written and directed by Karin Miyagi and is now available to screen online. Check out the short film below:

From Short Stories to Short Film

Writer and director Karin Miyagi adapted Kento Norikane’s short story, The Two of Us, in a Town with a View of the Sea, which follows childhood friends Hinata and Sashito as they navigate the rift in their friendship as one finds success in his talents and the other holds onto the resentment of not being dealt the same hand in life. 

Miyagi is an accomplished director that holds the beauty of Japan near her heart. Her short film, CHIMUGANASA, was selected in the SSFF & ASIA Japan Competition as it highlighted her hometown of Okinawa. Miyagi’s ability to blend genre and cross the traditional boundaries of storytelling allowed her to elevate the nature of Norikane’s short story to resonate universal themes for audiences across the world. 

Short stories are an important starting point for filmmakers to break into the industry and hone their skills as storytellers. SSFF & ASIA’s commitment to short story writers and their celebration of cultures and tales of domestic life in Japan highlight the power and importance of short stories in the world of filmmaking. 

The success of Karin Miyagi's adaptation of Kento Norikane's short story showcases the potential for short stories to be adapted into powerful and resonant films. As such, short stories will continue to be a valuable tool for filmmakers and storytellers alike. 

Do you have a short story you want to tell about your hometown? Get inspired by this short film and bring your perspective of hometown life to the big screen.