As the year 2017 celebrates “The Year of Japan-India Friendly Exchanges,” four Japanese short films previously screened at “ShortShorts Film Festival & Asia (SSFF & ASIA), one of the largest international short film festivals in Asia, were screened at Y.B. Chavan Centre in Mumbai and Japanese Ambassador’s residence as well as Japan
Foundation in New Delhi.
The screening was organized by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) under the project name “Transmission of Japanese Brand.”
SSFF & ASIA has been supporting this project for the past four years.
Previously, we had screenings in Rabat (Morocco), Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), Muscot (Oman), Tehran (Iran) , Cairo (Egypt) and in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)
The screening included the following short films: “Half & Half (Dir. Takumi Saitoh)”, “Can & Sulochan (Dir. Mitsuyo Miyazaki)”, Pieces of the Future (Dir. Seiki Watanabe)” and “Colors of Life (Dir. Goro Ushijima).”
Many guests, including individuals from Indian film festivals, film directors and producers invited through the Japanese Embassy in India and Japan Foundation’s network, attended the screenings. There seemed to be great interest in Japanese cinema, with journalists from local news media also present at the screenings.
As part of the event, Seigo Tono, SSFF & ASIA’s Festival Director, spoke about the festival in Tokyo and discussed the elements of Japanese culture hidden in each of the four short films. He also addressed the current trend in “Branded short films”, a new genre that is opening up future possibilities for short film. Applause could be heard at the end of each film, so it seems that the audience enjoyed the screening throughout.
Following the screening, a Q & A session was also held. Young audience members asked Tono about Japan, posing questions such as, “What are the differences between Indian and Japanese short films?” or “Where can you see short films in Japan”? There was also a general question about Japan such as “Is Japanese language hard to learn?” As Tono responded to audience’s questions, he was also asked by the audience some questions such as “What is your impression of India?” and “What kind of Bollywood or classic Indian movies have you seen?”
It was a short stay in India, but we feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to establish initial contact with so many Indian film industry professionals. We hope to see more short film submissions from this country in the coming years. Many people both in Mumbai and New Delhi seem to take a keen interest in Japan, so we shall also continue to look for further opportunities to collaborate in the future.