From its debut in 1999 as the passion project of actor Tetsuya Bessho, Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia has grown into a big event on the local and regional film calendar. Size is one reason: The 19th edition, which unspools from June 1 to 25 at six venues in Tokyo and Yokohama, features nearly 250 films in a variety of genres.
The festival’s heart, however, are its three competition sections: International, with 45 films, Asia International, with 23, and Japan, with 20. Selected from nearly 7,000 submissions, these entries compete for the Grand Prix, whose winner is eligible for an Academy Award. Last year’s Grand Prix awardee, Hungarian filmmaker Kristof Deak’s “Sing,” won the Oscar in the short film (live action) category at the 89th Academy Awards.