Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia, whose 21st edition takes place from May 29 to June 16 at venues around Tokyo, is one of the largest festivals of its type in Asia. And, starting this year, four winners of its competitions will be eligible for an Academy Award in the short film category, up from just one in the previous edition. By comparison, Sundance, North America’s premier festival of independent films, selects five shorts for Oscar consideration.

“The U.S. Academy (of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences) has recognized our history and track record,” says festival founder and director Tetsuya Bessho, who is also an in-demand film, TV and stage actor. “In fact, they’ve told us that they want us to make more recommendations. But it’s great that our dream has come true.”

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