Short Shorts film festival puts spotlight on Asia

Some of the finest movies to come out of this year's Short Shorts Film Festival and Asia will be shown at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography in late October, coinciding with the 23rd Tokyo International Film Festival.

The four-day event will include the Asian premiere of "The Second Bakery Attack," based on the short novel by renowned Japanese author Haruki Murakami, which was directed by Carlos Cuaron and stars Kirsten Dunst.

The Short Shorts festival was held in June and is the only event of its kind in Japan, although similar expositions are becoming increasingly popular around the world. Among the most well-known events are the Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival, which opened in the French city in late January, the Aspen Short Film Festival in September in the US, and the Montreal World Film Festival, also in September.

But the Japanese festival has a number of unique advantages over other events.

"The festival travels around Japan and abroad, with screenings in Hollywood, Singapore, Myanmar, Malaysia and so on," said spokeswoman Miwako Kikuchi. "We also collaborate with ministries and governmental organizations, such as the Japan Tourism Agency, the Ministry of the Environment and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, which has resulted in the creation of a number of new competition categories, including the Let's Travel Project and the STOP! Global Warming Competition."

The event had a special section dedicated to 3D movies this year as well as seminars led by experts from the acclaimed video special effects studio Weta, from New Zealand.

Organizers have now decided to take advantage of the influx of some of the key movers in the movie industry for the Tokyo International Film Festival - which runs between October 23 and 31 - to replay some popular titles.

In addition to the screenings, Cuaron and Lucas Akoskin, who produced "The Second Bakery Attack," will make guest appearances on the final day of the festival to discuss their film and making short films.
Mexico-born Cuaron has written and directed eight short films and his first screenplay, Solo con Tu Pareja (released in English as Love in the Time of Hysteria), was directed by his brother, Alfonso Cuarón, and won a Mexican Ariel Award for Best Original Story. Since then, he has received Oscar and BAFTA nominations for Best Original Screenplay for hit breakout hit Y Tu Mama Tambien. The hugely succesful movie won a Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival.

The Short Shorts festival, October 28-31

Times: Films will be shown between 11 am and 8:30 pm on each day.

Venue: The Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Yebisu Garden Place, 1-13-3 Mita, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153-0062. Tel. +81 3 3280 0099. http://syabi.com/e/contents/index.html

Tickets: Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.pia.co.jp/cinema/ or via telephone at +81 570 02 9999 or through Seven Eleven or Circle K Sunkus convenience stores.

Prices: A ticket for one program is Y1,300 (€11.45) in advance or Y1,500 (€13.21) at the door. A ticket to two programs is Y2,200 (€19.37) in advance or Y2,500 (€22.01) at the door. Tickets for students are Y1,300 (€11.45) and those for senior citizens or the disabled are Y1,000 (€8.81).

The workshop with Carlos Cuaron and Lucas Akoskin will be held on October 31 at the museum. Admission is free but guests are required to register in advance.

Further information:  http://www.shortshorts.org/focus_on_asia_2010/index-en.html

JR

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