The biggest event of its type in Japan, Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia is also the only one to submit films — the winners of its fiction and non-fiction competitions — for nomination in the Oscars' short films category. While the festival is held in late spring, a special autumn screening will be held from Oct. 17 to 20 at the Tokyo Photographic Museum Hall in Ebisu.

Five programs will screen 25 short films, and budgets, aims and skill sets range, from the sophisticated steampunk animation and wry humor of "Widdershins" by U.K. director Simon P. Biggs to the simple but charming "Dulce," Angello Faccini and Guille Isa's drama about a mother in Colombia teaching her young daughter to swim.

The quality level is high, and even films in the sections backed by government or corporate entities can exhibit originality. One is "Robu," Kai Hasson's short in the Tokyo government's Cinematic Tokyo Program. An American teen comes to Tokyo to search for the elusive second volume of his dad's favorite manga and discovers that it overlaps with his own life in ways wonderful and strange.