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Cutural Event Operation Division

Consultation and implementation assistance in cultural exchange programs and events, such the Short Shorts Film Festival.

What is Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia ?

Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia (SSFF & ASIA), co-organized by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, is an annual international short film festival in Tokyo that takes place in early June.

With over 4000 short film entries from more than fifty countries per year, SSFF & ASIA has become one of the largest short film festivals in Asia, and since 2005 the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognizes SSFF & ASIA as a qualifying festival for the Short Films category of the annual Academy Awards. The winner of Short Shorts' grand prix is eligible to receive an Academy Award nomination.

The main characteristics of the festival


Roman Polanski's "Two Men and a Wardrobe"

Reception held at "Egyptian Theater"
Hollywood, in 2002

Support letters and the screenings of “maestro” shorts

George Lucas has been a great supporter of SSFF since 1999, and we are greatly thankful for his support every year. We also would like to thank Martin Scorsese, famous Hong Kong director Johnnie To, Sofia Coppola and many more filmmakers who have given us letters of support as well as their short films. We call their shorts "Maestro Shorts," and in the past we have screened Lucas' 6 short films including "THX1138-4EB," which later became the initiative for "Star Wars." Furthermore, SSFF has also introduced rare short films by Jane Campion, Roman Polanski, Tim Burton and many more. It's thrilling to screen these early, successful works by great filmmakers. These film screenings have been a valuable opportunity for Japanese audience members and filmmakers alike.

SSFF &ASIA as a Qualifying Film Festival for the annual Academy Awards!

SSFF & ASIA has been known for its international activities with screenings in Singapore, Myanmar, and at the historic Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. The festival has close relations with its business partners and always invites them, along with other friends, to these events. As a result of such activities and the wide-range of media exposure we have received, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences accredited SSFF as an official qualifier of short films for nomination to the annual Academy Awards. The winner of Short Shorts' grand prix is eligible to receive an Academy Award nomination. We are one of the few festivals in the world able to provide this opportunity for films in competition and we hope to be the doorway for a Japanese filmmaker to receive an Oscar.

SSFF & ASIA in Nasu became an independent festival in 2008

SSFF in Mexico since 2006

Festival tour in Yokohama at Brillia Short Shorts Theater since 2008

National Tour / International Tour

As one of the major international short film festivals in Asia, SSFF & ASIA makes its “tour” and holds screening events after the main June festival. Forming collaborations and partnerships with the collective communities, we also hope to revive the local activities.


The history of "tours"

  • 1999-2005: Naha, Miyako-Island, Hiroshima, Osaka, Nagoya, Matsumoto, Kawagoe, Sapporo
  • 2001-2002: Singapore
  • 2002-2003: Los Angeles
  • 2003-2005: Myanmar
  • 2008: After five years in Sapporo, the “tour” became an independent film festival Since
  • 2006: Mexico City
  • 2006-2008: After 3 years in Nasu, the “tour” became an independent film festival
  • 2008: The first movie theater specializing in short films in Japan, the Brillia Short Shorts Theater, was established in Minatomirai, Yokohama
  • 2009-2013: Screenings of short films in other Asian countries (Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Philippines) and Middle East (Qatar)

Partnerships with the public fund

Tokyo Metropolitan Government/Co-organizer

Tokyo Metropolitan Government/Co-Organizer of Short Shorts Film Festival Asia

In 2004, SSFF received a request from the Governor of Tokyo, Shintaro Ishihara, to develop film programs showcasing only Asian short films. Thus, the "Short Shorts Film Festival Asia (SSFFA)" was born. SSFFA has anchored itself as a unique exhibitor of Asian short films and as a facilitator for cultural and artistic exchange between Japan and other Asian countries.
In addition, we will promote the city of “Tokyo” through our activities.

right: 2nd Visual Tourism Award
“Oshii Hiroshima-ken THE MOVIE”
(Hiroshima Prefecture)

left: 2nd Visual Tourism Award- Special Mention
“Katteni Kanko Kyoukai”

1st Visual Tourism Award
“Udon Ken, Soredakejanaiyo Kagawaken”
(Kagawa Prefecture)

“Kumamoto surprise film
「Kumamoto de matter」“
(Kumamoto Prefecture)

Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Sports and Tourism (Japan Tourism Agency) / Visual Tourism Award

We started a new competition in 2010 called "Let's Travel! Project” in order to further promote the tourism destination that is Japan, images of the beautiful nature in Japan and of the many encounters that are a part of travel here are used as the themes for these short films. In 2012, we have newly created a new competition titled “Visual Tourism Award,” soliciting promotional videos about tourist spots, local idols, “Yuru Kyara” (local mascot characters) from each region of Japan, in order to stimulate the tourism promotion.


» Visual Tourism Award Website

SSFF & ASIA President Tetsuya Bessho
makes a speech

Ministry of Environment  / Save the Earth Competition

In order to raise awareness and prevent global warming, which is a serious universal problem, we created the “STOP! Global Warming” Competition in 2008 with the Ministry of Environment.
We have gathered shorts around the world regarding the prevention of “Global Warming” problems. Since 2013, we have changed the competition name to “Save the Earth!,” in order to continue bringing awareness about the environment through the power of visuals.

SSFF EXPO 2005 in Aichi, 2005
Short Shorts Film Festival EXPO 2005

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry

We organized the “Short Shorts Film Festival EXPO 2005” in the framework of “EXPO 2005 Aichi Japan”, featuring short films with the theme “Nature’s Wisdom.” We received 2,773 films from 89 countries.

Support from Embassies

Participation of foreign filmmakers with the support of embassies
A welcome party held by the embassy


Foreign embassies in Tokyo support the festival by offering to cover filmmakers’ transportation or accommodation costs during the festival. We hope that these collaborations will continue in order to strengthen visual and international cultural exchanges.