Quake focus at short-film fest in Sendai


Staff Writer

Miyagi Prefecture’s capital, Sendai, was the largest city to suffer major damage from the Great East Japan Earthquake last year, so it makes sense that its long-running short-film festival would turn its attention to the disaster and recovery efforts.

The 2012 edition of the Sendai Short Film Festival is being held this weekend, from Saturday through Monday, and features dozens of Japanese and new foreign films, each under 20 minutes in length, and each related in some way to the events of March 11, 2011.

One of the highlights of the program will be a special omnibus titled “Tomorrow.” For this, the organizers asked 41 directors to each make one short film on the theme of “tomorrow.” Each film had to be three minutes and 11 seconds long (to mark the date the disaster occurred), so when they are all combined together they constitute a 137-minute film.

The broadness of the theme means that the subjects of the films are diverse — from professional wrestling to a magic birthday cake — but each includes a message about tomorrow that will reverberate with locals for whom the future represents hope.

Other highlights include six quake-themed short films that will be provided by the L’Aquila Film Festival. L’Aquila is a central Italian city that suffered a major earthquake in 2009 and since then it has shown many of these types of films.

The Sendai Short Film Festival will be held at Sendai Mediatheque from Sep 15-17. For details, visit www.shortpiece.com.