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Judges for SSFF & ASIA 2023 competition have been Announced!

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Accredited by the Academy Awards® Short Shorts Film Festival & ASIA 2023 

Judges for SSFF & ASIA 2023 competition

have been Announced

【Live Action Competition/International Category

Maki Sakai, Masato Hagiwara, Satoko Yokohama

Live Action Competition/Asia International Category

Adam Torel, Daishi Matsunaga , MEGUMI

【Live Action Competition/Japan Category & Smartphone Film Competition supported by Sony’s Xperia】

Yayako Uchida, Douglass Montgomery, Yūki Yamato


Academy Award Qualifying Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia 2023 announced the jury members of Live Action Competition (International, Asia International and Japan), Non-Fiction Competition and Smartphone Film Competition supported by Sony’s Xperia. Best short award winners of each Live Action and Non-Fiction competition will be eligible for the nomination of the following year’s Academy Award®.
Since last year, in order to take a wider view of international perspectives, the judges in the Asia International category will judge the Non-Fiction Competition, and the judges of the Japan Competition will judge the Smartphone Film Competition supported by Sony’s Xperia.

Live Action Competition/International Category Judges: 
  34 nominated films among 2282 submissions form 97 countries and regions

  Maki SakaiActor)/Masato HagiwaraActor)/Satoko YokohamaFilm director / Screenwriter)

Live Action Competition/ Asia International Category Judges
  23 nominated films among 593 submissions from 22 countries and regions
Live Action Competition/ Non-Fiction Competition Judges
  13  nominated films among 290 submissions from  59 countries andregions

   Adam TorelProducer/Distributor)/Daishi Matsunaga Film director/MEGUMIActor/Producer

Live Action Competition/Japan Category Judges
   22 nominated films among 234 submissions
   Smartphone Film Competition supported by Sony’s Xperia:
   16 nominated films among 363 submissions from 53countries and regions

  Yayako UchidaEssayist)/Douglass MontgomeryGlobal Media Executive) Yūki Yamato Film director

The award ceremony will be held on June 26th (Mon) andhe SSFF & ASIA 2023 Grand Prix = George Lucas Award will beselected from among Live Action Competition, Non-Fiction Competition, Animation Competition winners..



Maki SakaiActor)
Born in Tokyo on May 17, 1970.
In 1992, she made her debut as an actress on the Fuji TV drama, “The 90 Days Tottenham Pub.” Since her first movie appearance in 1996 in the movie “Yuri,” she has appeared in many movies, TV dramas and stage plays. In 2009, she won the Best Supporting Actress Award at the 18th Japan Film Critics Awards and the Special Award at the 23rd Takasaki Film Festival “United Red Army.” Her major movies include “461 Days of Bento” (20), “How to die without pain,” “Brothers in Brothel,” “The Method of Repulsing the Dove,” “Baragaki: Unbroken Samurai”(21), “I Am What I Am”(22). In 2023, she will appear in “Lost Care,” “Father of the Galactic Railroad,” “Escaped Dream,” “The Water Flows to the Sea” and “Falling in Spring.”



Masato HagiwaraActor)
Born in Kanagawa Prefecture.
In 1990, he attracted attention in the drama “High School Doodle 2,” and received the Japan Academy Award for Best Newcomer Award and Topic Award for “School,” “Guru Tanjou.” “Where is the Moon?” (95) and CURE (97) also won the Best Supporting Actor Award. Recent appearances include “Fukushima 50” (20), “Shimamori Tower” and “Even if this love disappears from the world tonight” (both 22). “With Love from Spice” and “Kimi wa Houkago Insomnia” will be released in June.





Satoko YokohamaFilm director / screenwriter)
After graduating from university, she got worked for a company before attending the Film School of Tokyo. Her graduation project “Chiemi-chan to Kokkun Paccho” was well received. She won the 2007 Japan Film Directors Guild Newcomer Award for her first medium-length film “German + Rain.” In 2009, she made her commercial film debut with “Bare Essence of Life” starring Kenichi Matsuyama. Recently she has also directed TV dramas including “The Supporting Actors” and “Kasumi Arimura’s Filming Break.” In 2021, the movie “Ito” set in Aomori was released. The film won both the Audience Award and the Grand Prix at the 16th Osaka Asian Film Festival along with many other awards. Due in August 2023, she will be directing several episodes of “Seasonless City” distributed on Disney Plus. Currently preparing a feature film.



Adam TorelProducer/Distributor)
The head of Third Window Films, the UK’s leading distributor of Asian contemporary cinema and has distributed over 100 films in the UK, as well as handling world sales for many more including the worldwide smash hit ‘One Cut of the Dead’. Adam Torel has also produced and co-produced a few Japanese films including Sion Sono’s ‘The Land of Hope’, Yosuke Fujita’s ‘Fuku-chan of Fukufuku Flats’, Eiji Uchida’s ‘Lowlife Love’ and ‘Love & Other Cults’, plus Macoto Tezka’s ‘Tezuka’s Barbara’.






Daishi Matsunaga Film director
Debuted as film director with the “Pyuupiru” (2011) about a contemporary artist who was a friend for many years. Received the 56th Japan Film Directors Guild Newcomer Award for his first feature film “Pieta in the Toilet” (2015). THE YELLOW MONKEY documentary film “Ototoki” (17). Haruki Murakami’s “Hanalei Bay” (18). Published “Pure Japanese” in 2022.
As a short film, “Utamonogatari -CINEMA FIGHTERS-” project “Canary.” “Asian Three-Fold Mirror” Project 2nd “Hekishu.” CINEMA FIGHTERS project – “On The Way” in the works.
Latest film “The Egoist,” which was released in February, has received critical raves at the 16th Asian Film Awards, as well as film festivals in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Italy, and other countries


MEGUMIActor / Producer
Born September 25, 1981 in Okayama Prefecture.
Received the 62nd Blue Ribbon Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performances in the movies “Typhoon Family” (2019) and “Hitoyo” (19). Recently she has expanded her work into film production. The movie “The Drop” (Producer – 2023), TV Tokyo’s “Kanzen ni tsunda Ichiko wa mō karisuma ni naru shika naino” (Executive Producer). She also produced the short film “LAYERS” which was selected as an official selection at the Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia 2022.




Yatako UchidaEssayist
Born in Tokyo, 1976.
Works in the world of words and sounds, mainly writing essays, translating, writing lyrics, music unit “sighboat,” narration, acting, etc. Studied in Japan, the United States, Switzerland, and France. Mother of three. Her books include Paper Movie New Edition (Asahi Publishing), Kaikenki and BROOCH (both published by Little More). Translations of picture books: Important Things (Froebel-Kan) and Father and Daughter : Kishibe no hutari (Kumon Publishing). Film appearances include “Tokyo Tower ~Okan, Me, and sometimes Oton~,” “Waga Haha no Ki,” “Blue Wind Blows,” and “Wandering Moon.” Narrator of E-tele program “no art, no life” (every Sunday from 8:55).


Douglass MontgomeryGlobal Media Executive
Douglas is a 20+ year media and retail executive. During this time, he worked for Walmart Stores integrating newly acquired overseas retail. After this, Montgomery worked 15 years for Warner Bros. in 3 different countries (U.S., Japan, and U.K.) as a strategic advisor for both WB management and major partners. Additionally, he was the Chairman of the 114-year-old Japan America Society of Southern California, which honored Marie Kondo and Shohei Ohtani as “International Citizens”. In 2021, Douglas founded “Global Connects Media”, where he serves as President and CEO. Global Connects Media aids its clients in gaining access to the world entertainment and retail market.
Douglas co-founded and produced “Global Stage Hollywood” Film Festival, focused on providing a platform in Hollywood for diverse groups from around the world. Montgomery also produced and curated the 2021 Taiwan Biennial Film Festival (both in-person and on-line) and served as a judge for the inaugural Ceylon Film Festival 2022 held in Santa Barbara.
Douglas earned an MBA (Dean’s List) from the University of Southern California. Prior to USC, Douglas completed a BComm from the University of Alberta. Douglas splits his time between Los Angeles and Tokyo, Japan.

Yūki Yamato (Film director)
In 2012, while studying philosophy at Sophia University, she self-taught and directed the film “That girl is dancing on the beach.” In 2016, the movie “Drowning Knife” sold 600,000 tickets, setting an unprecedented box office record for a film directed by a woman in her 20s. Sales were made in over 10 countries. In 2018, she fully planned and produced her first film, “21st Century Girls,” an omnibus with stories based on the fluidity of gender or sexuality.” The film was a special selection and screened at the Tokyo International Film Festival. In 2021, she will be the showrunner and director of her first TV drama “To live or die or father.” She has worked on music videos for many artists including the RADWIMPS, Nogizaka46, and “back number,” as well as advertising videos for major companies. She has a reputation for fresh visual expression that transcends genres.






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