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40 Asian short films you shouldn’t miss at the Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia 2021 (Part 1)

These are forty Asian short films you shouldn’t miss at the Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia which is taking place online & onsite from June 11th – 21st, 2021.

About the festival:
The Short Shorts Film Festival (SSFF) started in 1999 and became an Academy of Motion Picture Art and Sciences accredited festival in 2004, where the winner of the Short Shorts Grand Prix is eligible to receive an Academy Awards® nomination. SSFF has now become one of the largest short film festivals in Asia. In 2004, SSFF received a request from the Governor of Tokyo to develop film programs showcasing Asian short films. This led to the establishment of the Short Shorts Film Festival Asia. Now, these two festivals take place in Harajuku and Omotesando, Tokyo simultaneously in June as the Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia.

Selected Films:

6legs by Isamu Hirabayashi – Japan | 2020 – 15 minutes
Section: Asian International & Japan Program IV

A mother, father, and child are trapped in a dark box. The child coughs intermittently. The mother asks how they ended up in this situation and father replies that he has no clue. The sound of bombs exploding in the distance. What’s going on?

Venue: Sunday June 13th, 2021 – Space Omotesando – 17:50 pm
Online: Available from June 11th – 21st, 2021

90 Days To Leave by Tanmay Srivastava – India | 2020 – 16 minutes
Section: Non-Fiction Program

This short documentary is about the expulsion of the Asian community from the East African nation of Uganda in 1972. This documentary tells about the history of the Asian community in Uganda and their struggles after the expulsion.

Venue: Saturday 19th, 2021 – iTSCOM – 13:30 pm
Online: Available from June 11th – 21st, 2021

A Bat by Hong-rae Lee – South Korea | 2020 – 17 minutes
Section: Asian International & Japan Program X

The security guard of a small apartment goes to the basement machine room of the apartment building after receiving a report that bats are showing up inside the complex. There was only one boot.

Venue: Sunday 20th, 2021 – iTSCOM – 13:30 pm
Online: Available from June 11th – 21st, 2021

ADARNIA: A sci-fi short film by Escosora Clemhyn – Japan | 2021 – 11 minutes
Section: CG Animation Program 1

A mysterious biker being chased by officers throughout the outskirts of the city called Adarnia.

Venue: Sunday June 13th, 2021 – Space Omotesando – 17:20 pm
Online: Available from June 11th – 21st, 2021

And then by Jenn Ravenna Tran – USA | 2020 – 18 minutes
Section: Cinematic Tokyo Program

And Then is about two women who meet and grow closer to each other through their insomnia and art. The story follows Mana, a Japanese-American woman who arrives in Tokyo seeking to find a break from her life as an artist, and Haru, a Japanese woman who dreams of becoming an artist herself one day.

Online: Available from May 31st – June 21st, 2021

Begin Again by Yasu Fujinami – Japan | 2020 – 3 minutes
Section: Cinematic Tokyo Program

2020 is the year for Tokyo to welcome guests from all over the world. However, the city is eerily quiet, as if the time has stopped. Our documentation of the beautiful moments of the city will sure be the driving force to overcome the unprecedented crisis. Look how our beautiful Tokyo is re-emerging.

Online: Available from May 31st – June 21st, 2021

Birdland by Takeshi Kogahara – Japan | 2019
Section: Special Programs

A bedridden old man who spends every day on the bed. One winter night, the old man is looking at the snow falling outside the window and remembers the last time he spent with his late wife.”

Online: Available from April 27th – June 21st, 2021

Coward by Yuma Terada – Japan | 2017
Section: Special Programs

A young man, Bu Seok Kim, has a string of bad luck, loses his future, and decides to kill himself. A lonely middle-aged man, Toshihumi Kurosawa, has a daughter but he is too ashamed to see her. They seem to have dropped out of society. A story about two cowards meeting each other who end up finding their way of life.

Online: Available from April 27th – June 21st, 2021

Filipiñana by Rafael Manuel – Philippines, UK | 2020 – 24 minutes
Section: Asian International & Japan Program V

The self-contained cosmos of the golf course reflects societal structures. Although new ‘tee girl’ Isabel still has to learn the rules, she’s already looking for loopholes to subvert the system.

Venue: Monday 14th, 2021 – Space Omotesando – 11:20 pm
Online: Available from June 11th – 21st, 2021

Fly, flow, cease by Yu Muraki – Japan | 2020 – 20 minutes
Section: Special Programs

Keisuke (14) is a reclusive boy. The only thing he enjoys is spending time on the balcony with his neighbors, Aya (29) and Suita (35). One day, when Aya decides to move out, those precious moment that he thought would last forever approach an end.

Venue: Sunday 20th, 2021 – TORQUE – 17:30 pm
Online: Available from June 11th – 21st, 2021

Georgia by Jayil Pak – South Korea | 2020 – 25 minutes
Section: Asian International & Japan Program VII

When the police refuse to investigate their daughter’s alleged suicide, two computer-illiterate parents decide to design a protest banner. (Based on a true story.)

Venue: Friday 18th, 2021 – iTSCOM – 13:30 pm
Online: Available from June 11th – 21st, 2021

God’ Daughter Dances by Sungbin Byun – South Korea | 2020 – 25 minutes
Section: Asian International & Japan Program II

When transgender dancer Shin-mi learns she must leave the nightclub floor for military barracks, she doesn’t hesitate to fulfil her civic duty. But the bureaucrats don’t know where to fit her in the charts, so Shin-mi must conform. How many things does she have to undergo to make society understand she’s a woman?

Venue: Saturday 12th, 2021 – Space Omotesando – 17:50 pm
Online: Available from June 11th – 21st, 2021

Happy End by Itaru Nomoto – Japan |2020 – 5 minutes
Section: U-25 Project

A story that follows the video diary of a man from when he fell out of love until he fell in love again.

Venue: Saturday 12th, 2021 – TORQUE – 17:30 pm
Venue: Friday 18th, 2021 – TORQUE – 17:30 pm
Online: Available from June 11th – 21st, 2021

Help Me! by Hidenobu Abera – Japan | 2020 – 14 minutes
Section: Asian International & Japan Program VIII

After graduating from Nogizaka46, actress and creator Marika Ito plays a completely different character in this cute and creepy comedy drama. In this story about a new assistant director, Ito is up against her boss and the irrationalities of the film industry.

Venue: Saturday 19th, 2021 – iTSCOM – 11:20 pm
Online: Available from June 11th – 21st, 2021

Hybrid by Shunsuke Ichida – Japan | 2020 – 7 minutes
Section: Special Programs

A hologram girl and a combat robot travel together in the future through a collapsed Japan.

Venue: Sunday 20th, 2021 – TORQUE – 17:30 pm
Online: Available from June 11th – 21st, 2021

I want to cry but I can’t by Japan | 2020 – 11 minutes
Section: Special Programs

One day, a young woman depressed about her job watched an anime movie recommended by her friend called “A Whisker Away.” She wanted to be strong like the main character Muge, and found herself going to the setting of the anime in Aichi Prefecture to a city called Tokoname. She felt a familiarity in the world of the “naki neko” and was somehow soothed by the city. It became a journey of self-discovery. Tokoname became the city that was the catalyst to draw out a stronger self, much like Muge.

Online: Available from May 11th – June 21st, 2021

In This Land We’re Briefly Ghosts by Chen-Wen Lo – Taiwan | 2019 – 16 minutes
Section: Special Programs

Myanmar, 2013. A 12-year-old Burmese child soldier, imprisoned for deserting battle, is forced to either kill her older brother, a fellow deserter, or die alongside him. Based on actual events.

Online: Available from June 11th – 21st, 2021

indifferent person by Kae Hatsumura – Japan | 2020 – 1 minute
Section: U-25 Project

Many social issues are occurring around the protagonist. The protagonist is aware but chooses to pretend not knowing…

Venue: Sunday 13th, 2021 – TORQUE – 17:30 pm
Venue: Sunday 20th, 2021 – TORQUE – 17:30 pm
Online: Available from June 8th – 21st, 2021

In-side-out by Mirai Moriyama – Japan | 2021 – 25 minutes
Section: Asian International & Japan Program XI

Isolation has filled the hearts of many in the COVID-19 pandemic. One man’s only form of contact with the world is an intercom, and he soon finds himself living somewhere between fantasy and reality. His tiny apartment becomes his kingdom in Moriyama’s lockdown musical—it’s showtime!

Venue: Sunday 20th, 2021 – iTSCOM – 17:50 pm
Online: Available from June 11th – 21st, 2021

Kanya by Apoorva Satish – India, Czech Republic | 2020 – 15 minutes
Section: Asian International & Japan Program X

Kanya follows the life of an adolescent girl growing up between the values of occidental and traditional cultures, whose aspirations of becoming a competitive swimmer takes an unexpected turn when she gets her first period.

Venue: Sunday 20th, 2021 – iTSCOM – 13:30 pm
Online: Available from June 11th – 21st, 2021

For more information please go to: https://shortshorts.org/2021/en

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