Japan festival offers nearly $1 million to make a short film

YOKOHAMA, Japan -- A Japanese festival focused on the art of the short film is offering a new award of nearly a million dollars to a director from anywhere in the world with a great pitch for a movie.

See Full Article

Organizers say short video is where audiences are going, as entertainment increasingly gets consumed on smartphones and tablets. They also believe the format holds potential for novice filmmakers, bringing fresh insight and energy to the industry.

The deadline for submitting a 500-word pitch on what's billed as a "thrilling, exciting, moving" storyline is Feb. 29. The pitch must be written in either Japanese or English.

Five finalists will be chosen first. Each gets a 500,000 yen (US$4,000) cash prize. Then one among the five will be picked, and receive 100 million yen ($800,000) in funding to make his or her movie. That winner will get an additional 1 million yen ($8,000) award.

Rieko Muramoto, executive director for digital business at the Japanese entertainment company Avex Digital, which is providing the contest funds, believes it's a worthy investment for finding fresh content for online services, pioneering a genre and nurturing talent. She stresses she isn't out to make a quick buck.

"The short film holds a lot of potential for busy people who are watching video on smartphones, which means a complete story must be told much more quickly," Muramoto said.

Scoring success can get tougher than for regular movies and TV shows. Switching to another piece is a mere click away -- far easier than walking out of a theatre where you paid for a ticket, she added.

"Survival is tougher," she said. "You have to move an audience in 15 minutes."

The winning work will be shown at the 2017 Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia, an annual event devoted to short films in Yokohama, a Tokyo suburb, which is running the contest.

"Movies aren't about length," said Tetsuya Bessho, an actor who founded the festival in 1999, likening the best short films to the minimalist but fine-tuned concentration of haiku poetry.

"There are Hollywood flops with everything thrown in for marketing. You can't decide if it's a comedy, a love story or an action film. People are getting bored with that kind of movie," said Beshho, whose films include "Godzilla vs. Mothra" and "Solar Crisis," with Charlton Heston.

His festival has showcased the best in short films, such as "Toyland," which won an Oscar, and the light-hearted comedy "I Hate Musicals."

It also honours less conventional work from a new breed of creators, including Indonesian auteur Yosep Anggi Noen, who was also featured at the Rotterdam and Busan international film festivals.

His "A Lady Caddy Who Never Saw a Hole in One," which depicts how farmland in Indonesia is being destroyed by golf courses, won the Grand Prix at Short Shorts last year. It took just a day and a half to shoot, and involved a team of just six people.

"It can be more free, more independent," Anggi said of the short film format. "Nobody tells me how to make that film."



Advertisements

Latest Entertainment News

  • ’Wonder Woman’ steals show at CinemaCon

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    LAS VEGAS — Wonder Woman is here to save the world, and, possibly the future of Warner Bros. DC Comics universe. New footage featuring actress Gal Gadot’s lasso-wielding superhero stole the show Wednesday night at CinemaCon, which also featured some peeks at “Aquaman” and “Justice League. Source
  • Mischa Barton calls ex shopping sex tape 'emotional blackmail'

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Mischa Barton has detailed the “emotional abuse” she suffered through her ex shopping around a sex tape. The actress staged a press conference earlier this month when she revealed an ex-lover had been trying to sell the sex tape, which was allegedly filmed without her consent, to various adult entertainment companies for release. Source
  • Bob Dylan archives open in Oklahoma

    Entertainment CTV News
    TULSA, Okla. -- Part of music icon Bob Dylan's once-secret 6,000-piece archive, including thousands of hours of studio sessions, film reels and caches of unpublished lyrics, has opened in Oklahoma, curators announced this week. More than 1,000 pieces spanning Dylan's six-decade career are available to scholars at the Gilcrease Museum's Helmerich Center for American Research in Tulsa. Source
  • Leonardo DiCaprio, Q-Tip hang out at intimate showcase

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Longtime friends Leonardo DiCaprio and Q-Tip hung out at an intimate showcase for an Australian band making its New York City debut late Wednesday. The Oscar-winning actor and Grammy-winning rapper were in the small audience at Ludlow House as trio Chase Atlantic performed songs in a stripped, raw form. Source
  • Visceral 'Dunkirk' footage gets hearts racing at CinemaCon

    Entertainment CTV News
    LAS VEGAS -- A propeller stops midair. Soldiers packed like sardines on a pier cower in fear of an unseen threat. Those are the images Christopher Nolan left CinemaCon audiences hanging onto Wednesday as he premiered new footage from "Dunkirk," his long-awaited epic about the storied Second World War evacuation. Source
  • 'Happy Endings' star Adam Pally arrested on drug charges

    Entertainment CTV News
    FILE - In this Jan. 22, 2017, file photo, actor Adam Pally poses for a portrait to promote the film, 'Band Aid,' at the Music Lodge during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.(Photo by Taylor Jewell/Invision/AP, File) Source
  • 'Wonder Woman' wows at CinemaCon

    Entertainment CTV News
    LAS VEGAS - Wonder Woman is here to save the world, and, possibly the future of Warner Bros. DC Comics universe. New footage featuring actress Gal Gadot's lasso-wielding superhero stole the show Wednesday night at CinemaCon, which also featured some peeks at "Aquaman" and "Justice League. Source
  • Cellphones banned backstage for accountants after Oscar flub

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    LOS ANGELES — PwC accountants won’t be allowed to have their cellphones backstage during future Oscar telecasts. Film academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs sent an email to academy members Wednesday detailing the new protocols for announcing Oscar winners developed after the best-picture flub at last month’s Academy Awards. Source
  • 'Fresh Prince of Bel Air' aunt takes aim at cast reunion

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air alum Janet Hubert has slammed her castmates following their recent reunion. The actress, who played Aunt Vivian on the hit show, took to Facebook on Tuesday and posted a rant against her former co-stars, accusing them of reuniting solely for publicity. Source
  • Michael Bay in talks to produce El Chapo film

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Blockbuster king Michael Bay is reportedly in talks to produce and direct a film about the drug lord Sean Penn interviewed for Rolling Stone while he was on the run from Mexican authorities Movie bosses at Sony have acquired the rights to Cole Merrell’s upcoming book Hunting El Chapo: The Thrilling Inside Story of The American Lawman Who Captures The World’s Most-Wanted Drug Lord and they are in negotiations with the Transformers director to produce the project. Source