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The location for the Skip City International D-Cinema Festival doesn’t make it particularly easy for casual fans to pop in. The Skip City complex — which hosts studios for audiovisual production, as well as educational and entertainment facilities — is a fairly lengthy bus ride from Kawaguchi Station in Saitama Prefecture.

The “D” stands for “digital,” and since its launch in 2004, when digital films were still struggling to win acceptance from industry traditionalists, Skip City has served as an incubator of talent and a promoter of digital formats (which have now almost completely taken over said industry). Festival award winners include Kazuya Shiraishi (“Dawn of the Felines”), Ryota Nakano (“Her Love Boils Bathwater”) and Yuichiro Sakashita (“Any Way the Wind Blows”) —all of whom have gone on to have successful careers.

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