Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia – Awards 2021

We present the list of winners of the Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia (Japan) which took place online & onsite from June 11th – 21st, 2021. The winners will be online until June 30th. *Country restrictions applied*

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.

Main Competitions

Grand Prix – George Lucas Award

Filipiñana by Rafael Manuel – Philippines, UK | 2020 – 24 minutes

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.


International Competition Best Short Award

Under the Heavens by Gustavo Milan – Brazil | 2020 – 17 minutes

Marta, a young Venezuelan mother, is immigrating to Brazil when she meets a struggling young couple with a baby girl. Her ability to breastfeed causes their fates to become forever entwined.


Asian International Competition Best Short Award | Governor of Tokyo Award

Filipiñana by Rafael Manuel – Philippines, UK | 2020 – 24 minutes

Japan Competition Best Short Award | Governor of Tokyo Award

Return to Toyama by Atsushi Hirai – Japan, France | 2020 – 24 minutes

Takumi left Japan for France despite his father’s disapproval. After a long absence, he returns to Toyama, his hometown, a small and declining port on the northern coast of Japan.

Audience Award – International Competition

TRUMPET by Kevin Haefelin – Switzerland | 2020 – 17 minutes

A Japanese trumpet player on a cultural pilgrimage to discover New York City jazz experiences a hell of a night after being lost in Brooklyn.


Audience Award – Asian International Competition

Night Bus by Joe Hsieh – Taiwan | 2020 – 20 minutes

On a late-night commuter bus, a necklace was stolen. This was followed by a tragic and fatal road accident, and a series of intriguing turn of events which revealed love, hatred, and vengeance. The film climaxes as the bus went ablaze, burning and glittering against the dark coastal sky.


Audience Award – Japan Competition

Empty Cream Puffs by Shoji Yasui – Japan | 2020 – 22 minutes

Yuta and Ayumi are a childless couple. One day, Ayumi tells him that she’s pregnant, but when Yuta goes to the hospital for a check-up, he finds out that he’s infertile.

Best Actor Award – International Competition

Nadir Saribacak for role in Leylak (dir. Scott Aharoni & Dennis Latos) – USA | 2020 – 17 minutes

In present day Queens, New York, a Turkish gravedigger is unable to face a shattering truth, and risks losing the dearest connection left in his life.

Best Actor Award – Asian International Competition

Lee Chae Kyung for the role in GEORGIA (dir. Jayil Pak) – South Korea | 2020 – 25 minutes

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.)

Best Actor Award – Japan Competition

Hikari Mitsushima for the role in A Woman Who Acts (dir. Toshiyuki Teruya) – Japan | 2020 – 19 minutes

Akira is an old man with little time left to live due to illness. He has a young and beautiful wife, Yoshiko, who tries to take him outside to enjoy his last days. She looks delighted as Akira gets weaker and weaker. What are her true intentions?

Other Competitions

Non-Fiction Competition

Mission: Hebron by Rona Segal – Israel | 2020 – 23 minutes

In Israel, Soldiers are recruited at the age of 18. A couple of months later, they are already in charge of Palestinian civil life, in almost every aspect. Six Ex-soldiers face the camera and give us a soldier’s guide to Hebron, the most troubled city in the occupied west bank.

Smartphone Film Competition supported by Sony

viewers:1 by Daigo Hariya, Yosuke Kobayashi – Japan | 2021 – 5 minutes

In the future, after “something” happened to the human race, a man continues to video stream himself in solitude as he wanders about the city ruins for the one single viewer he has.

CG Animation Competition

I, Barnabé by Jean-Francois Lévesque – Canada | 2020 – 15 minutes

During a night of stormy drunkenness, a man receives a visit from a mysterious bird and is forced to reconsider his life.

Vertical Theater Competition supported by smart

Best Vertical Short Award

Smahorro by Masaki Nishiyama – Japan | 2021 – 17 minutes

One day, Rena discovers that in her high school, a female student had once video streamed her suicide in the past. The video turns out to be a fake, but Rena endeavors on a test of courage to the third stall of the third-floor toilet, where the suicide supposedly took place. An innovative horror movie shot in vertical smartphone size.

Vertical Short Award

Notice by Masumi Nishibori – Japan | 2021 – 23 minutes

Akira signs his best friend Shun’s marriage registration as a witness in a family restaurant. But when he understands the true feeling behind Shun’s laughter, he storms out and leaves. Does the smartphone screen capture what we normally would miss?

U-18 Vertical Short Award

Mistakes by Kato Kota – Japan | 2021 – 25 minutes

It is winter of the third year of high school, and Yuta Sato was extremely bored. So he gets a shady part-time job, which is to take gossip photography. He loses faith in humanity as he continues working, but an encounter with a certain individual allows him to rethink his adolescence.

Encouragement Award

Peon by Syaz Zainal, Shaiful Yahya & June Wong – Malaysia | 2019 – 15 minutes

Peon is a true story told through a delivery rider’s phone screen. An order comes in to deliver passports. On his way, he receives a voice message offering him money to deliver it to a different address. The passports belong to a group of Bangladeshi workers who want to return home.

Goodbye Strawberry by Haroon Habib – Pakistan | 2019 – 3 minutes

A 6-year-old girl loves strawberries so much like she loves her sister. Her mother tells her the Strawberry Season is going to end soon and she wouldn’t able to eat strawberries until next year. She wants to say goodbye to the strawberries in a different way.

Living on an Island by Kuesti Fraun – Germany | 2016 – 3 minutes

Live everyday as if it were your last because someday you’re going to be right.’ (Muhammad Ali) a short film about the beauty and uniqueness of our planet and the will, fate and desire of the individual man to explore this world

Run Girl Run by Anna Roller – Germany | 2020 – 7 minutes

During the Lockdown in Munich a teacher gets a video call from one of her students at night. She notices immediately that somethings is wrong…

TOKI by Tatsuki Imaji – Japan | 2021 – 5 minutes

The protagonist’s significant other come out to their family one day. The protagonist is shocked, hearing the news out of the blue but decides to face the problem that has been nagging them for a long time.

Standpoint by Juan Francisco Pérez Villalba – Colombia | 2018 – 3 minutes

A man and a woman meet on their balconies, entering into a conversation about pursuing their own dreams.

Girls Night by Jacob Salzberg – USA | 2018 – 8 minutes

When Katie wakes up bald with a black eye, she must scroll through social media to remember WTF happened the previous night…and why she has a missed call from her ex.

2040 by Nadin Alyekhina, Nikita Kashaev – Russia | 2020 – 5 minutes

2040. People, in their conquest of living space, have crossed a critical line. Finally, the balance upset the release of new chemical weapons, the use of which led to a rapid increase in the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. To survive, scientists invented air capsules, which have become the main value for people …

Cinematic by Matthew Hitchcock – USA | 2021 – 4 minutes

Nick attempts to make a phone video more cinematic to fit his filmic, dreamlike view, but maybe it’s perfect just the way it is…

Serendipity by Kento Shimizu – Japan | 2016 – 3 minutes

A young man takes shelter from the rain. During that time, countless posts from all over the world are being uploaded to social media. Miraculous moments born by coincidence. He senses infinite connections and has a serendipitous moment of his own.

Cinematic Tokyo Competition

And Then by Jenn Ravenna Tran – USA | 2020 – 18 minutes

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.


U-25 Project

Picnic by Yuki Kusama – Japan | 2021 – 3 minutes

Beautiful weather is the best for having a picnic outside in the open field. Bunny, the rabbit, came to have a picnic on this invitingly warm and beautiful day. Let’s have lunch here. And so Bunny’s disastrous day began.Book Short Award

Book Short Award

If your lover would become a zombie by Norikane Kento

Musical Short Film Pitch Competition

Kid at Heart by Meg Igarashi

Branded Shorts

Branded Shorts of the Year International Category

The Parents by VOLVO

Branded Shorts of the Year National Category

Close Through Our Clothes by UNIQLO

HR Branded Shorts 2021

田辺三菱製薬リクルート動画 by Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation

「metronome town(Rin音)」都市に新しい空気を。Build the Culture by TODA CORPORATION

The Visual Tourism Award Project

Flash! Minamishimabara News Agency (Special Edition) by Minamishimabara City, Nagasaki Prefecture

Other Awards

Biojen Award

Stairs by Zoljargal Purevdash – Mongolia | 2019 – 12 minutes

A young man’s dream to make a living in Ulaanbaatar is put to the test when he must navigate the social and physical obstacles in his path.

Hoppy Hard Award

Tsurezure Kankan by Takashi Okado, Yuki Kedoin – Japan | 2021 – 16 minutes

“I’m pretty sure my brother won’t show up at the wedding,” says Kaho to her fiancé Noboru as they head to her house. He brushes it off with confidence, but when they arrive, Kaho’s brother Seitaro turns out to be much quieter than he imagined. On top off that, the siblings suddenly get into an argument.

Shibuya Diversity Award

Shut up by Noa Aharoni Maor  – Israel | 2020 – 16 minutes

Roni (12) is ashamed of her Tourette Syndrome. After acting violently towards a classmate who picks on her, she’s suspended from school. She stays home alone and her suffering from the tics, leads her to take an extreme and dangerous act.

Save the Earth! Minister’s Award, the Ministry of the Environment

Sad Beauty by Arjan Brentjes – Netherlands | 2020 – 10 minutes

In a heavily polluted world, a young woman mourns the disappearance of animal species. When she falls ill due to a bacterial infection, nature appears to send her a message in her hallucinations.

Save the Earth! J-WAVE Award

Migrants by Hugo Caby, Antoine Dupriez, Aubin Kubiak, Lucas Lermytte & Zoé Devise
France | 2020 – 8 minutes

Two polar bears are driven into exile due to global warming. They will encounter brown bears along their journey, with whom they will try to cohabitate.

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