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Launched 13 years ago in Kawaguchi, Saitama Prefecture to present movies in the then-emerging digital format, the Skip City International D-Cinema Festival has since become a leading domestic showcase of feature, short and animated films by up-and-coming filmmakers from Japan and around the world.

This year’s edition, which unspools July 16-24 at the Skip City production and exhibition complex, will present 12 films — three Japanese and nine international — in its Feature Length Competition, while the Short Length Competition and Animation Competition will each screen 12 new works by young Japanese directors.

A festival for the local community as well as cineastes, Skip City offers film-related activities for kids, as well as barrier-free screenings and a Mama Theater in a venue accessible to baby buggies. Non-film-fans can also enjoy the concurrent Summer Festival, which features everything from a petting zoo to Bon odori (dancing).

The festival also has a track record as a film-career launching pad. One Skip City alumnus, the 2007 Best Picture awardee Nuri Bilge Ceylan, went on to to repeated triumphs at the Cannes Film Festival, including a Palme d’Or for his 2014 film “Winter Sleep.”

Of course, not every Skip City filmmaker will find fame and fortune, but if they do, you can say you saw them first. If you don’t care one way or the other, have a shaved ice and watch the hula dancing.

For more details about the Skip City International D-Cinema Festival, visit www.skipcity-dcf.jp/en.

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