This year's Short Shorts Film Festival and Asia 2014 (SSFF & ASIA) will be starting today and running until June 15th in locations around Tokyo and in its own dedicated cinema, the Brillia Short Shorts Theater, in Yokohama. The festival was started by the actor Bessho Tetsuya as a way to exhibit and promote short films in Japan. Now in its 16th year, over 200 films will be shown from around the world across a range of categories, including International, Asia International and Japan, CG Animation and Music Shorts.
Of the films on offer, the entries with the biggest stars immediately standout, and there's a lot of emerging talent from the UK managing to get famous names into their shorts, hoping to mimic the success of Chris Foggin's winning entry two years ago, the Judy Dench starring internet dating film Friend Request Pending. This year sees Tom Hiddleston in Manjinder Virks Out of Darkness and Ian McKellen appearing in Stephen Kroto's The Egg Trick. You can also catch the Academy Award-nominated Mark Gill-directed The Voorman Problem starring Martin Freeman and Tom Hollander.
One of the festival's aims is to offer a platform for new Japanese talent and so the Asia International and Japan section is a great place to spot future talents. Check out Tokyo based American Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour's Born With It which tells the story of a half-Japanese half-African-American boy struggling with differences in rural Japan. Of course, this wouldn't be a Japanese Film Festival without at least one film about a schoolgirl's panties and Okamoto Yusaku's Swinging Skirt ticks that box.
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