We always love to support filmmakers around the world, so we're excited to again partner with SSFF & ASIA this year to highlight some of the globe's best creative voices. The festival theme this year is "Meta Cinema: Transcend, Discover, Begin." And one of the opening short films of the online venue is Boy Sprouted—featuring a script written by artificial intelligence!

The Cinematic Tokyo Program was specifically created to showcase films about Tokyo and its unique charms. The category has been active since 2017, and its films are now free to watch online. This is a great opportunity to watch up-and-coming international filmmakers and be inspired yourself!

And as a reminder, this festival is an Academy Award-accredited festival, meaning the winner of the best short awards in the competition, as well as the Non-Fiction competition and Animation competition, is eligible for nomination in the short film categories of the Academy Awards 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. 

Today we want to highlight the films from the Cinematic Tokyo category. Check out the lineup below! Visit the site for more, including information on the directors.

1500'Pay Phone 702'Credit: Courtesy of SSFF & ASIA

Pay Phone 702

A young woman's favorite pay phone goes missing.

Kevin D'Angelo / 0:04:20 / Japan & United States / Drama / 2021

Tokyo Hyperlapse 2021

The film takes viewers on a time-lapse and hyper-lapse tour throughout post-Olympics Tokyo after the state of emergency was rescinded. Approximately 8,000 photographs were converted into images to create a dynamic view of Tokyo.

Hideo Ishikawa / 0:02:35 / Japan / Video art / 2021

Tokyo Rain

Heavy rain has been hitting the facades of Tokyo. Masahiro is alone in his office. He calls his wife, who doesn’t seem to be excited about her husband’s overtime. He falls asleep on the computer during his monotonous paperwork. He has a nightmare. When he wakes up, nothing seems the way it used to be.

Michel Wild & Robert Schneider / 0:12:07 / Switzerland / Fantasy / 2021

Alien in Tokyo

An alien disguised as a human walks through the streets of Tokyo as he tries to navigates our world and understand the human condition.

Yoko Higuchi / 0:10:17 / Japan / Sci-Fi / 2021

1505'Alien in Tokyo'Credit: Courtesy of SSFF & ASIA

On the way (Hiroki Sato—PROMOTION MOVIE)

He came to Tokyo to become an actor but found himself struggling in the city. His life becomes intermingled with a writer who had written a novel that closely resembles his own life. What did he discover about his lifestyle that made him reconsider his life?

Yutaka Tsunemachi / 0:06:40 / Japan / Drama / 2021

silence in TOKYO

In 2020, COVID-19 suddenly strikes the world. A state of emergency is declared and people disappear from the streets. The director, Katsuhiko Mori filmed the streets every night in a deserted Tokyo, documenting a landscape and an era that may never be seen again. Set to the universal sound of classical music.

Katsuhiko Mori / 0:22:24 / Japan / Documentary / 2021

Let us know what films resonate with you in the comments!

The festival happening now, from Thursday, April 28, to Thursday, June 30, 2022.

The festival was founded in 1999 as the Short Shorts Film Festival (SSFF). In 2004, SSFF added a program for Asian short films and established Short Shorts Film Festival Asia with the support of the Governor of Tokyo. Now, the combination of the two festivals takes place annually in Tokyo as Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia, one of the largest short film festivals in Asia.