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HOKKAIDO

Short films to get screen time in Sapporo

by Kris Kosaka

Special To The Japan Times

The eighth annual Sapporo Short Fest received 3,746 submissions from 94 countries. Organizers have whittled that number down to 99 films that will screen during the competition.

Featured directors for the Filmmaker’s program hail from Canada, Italy, New Zealand, Greece, South Korea and Japan. Audiences will be treated to a wide variety of shorts, from documentary to experimental, from abstract, artistic musings to pithy, realistic animation. There’s something for everyone, including a special Family and Children’s Program and late-night, adult-only avant-garde screenings. In addition to the screenings, various panels on film will be made open for the public to take part in.

The films will be judged by an international jury that includes Fred Deakin, a visual artist and musician of Lemon Jelly fame; Alyson Stoner, an American actress, dancer and singer; and Roger Garcia, director of the Hong Kong International Film Festival.

Actress Fátima Ptacek, last year’s Best Young Actress at the festival (for her performance in the Academy Award-winning short “Curfew”), will be a special guest for the awards ceremony on Sept. 15. That event also honors one filmmaker with the distinguished Filmmaker’s Section Grand Prix.

Sapporo Short Film Fest runs through Sept. 16 at Plaza 2 Cinema in the Tanukikoji Shopping District. Ticket prices and showtimes vary. For more information, visit www.sapporoshortfest.jp/13.