What's IDCF?




Director's message


What's IDCF?


A Film Festival to Discover and Nurture New Talent

Established in 2004 in Kawaguchi City, Saitama Prefecture, SKIP CITY INTERNATIONAL D-Cinema FESTIVAL was one of the first international competitive film festivals to exclusively feature digital cinema, which has now become the standard format for motion pictures. We remain committed to discovering and nurturing new talent, with the aim to help these filmmakers seize new business opportunities that have arisen in the changing landscape of the film industry. In 2020, the 17th edition of the festival will be held, and this year it will be an online festival for the first time.

The core programs of the festival are the International Competition and the Japanese Film Competition. The International Competition accepts submissions from all over the world. The Japanese Film Competition, which is divided into two sections; the Japanese Film Feature Competition and the Japanese Film Short Competition, accepts submissions by emerging Japanese filmmakers. This year, we have received 1169 submissions from 106 counties and regions.

After preliminary judges nominate the first round of nominees, the official jury members, who are esteemed domestic and international industry professionals, will judge the films and the awards including the Grand Prize will be given out on the last day of the festival. In addition, the SKIP CITY AWARD is given to a Japanese film which displays promising talent for feature filmmaking.

Film Festival as a Springboard for Exciting New Talent

After screening their films at our festival, many of the festival graduates have gone on to build careers in and out of Japan. Looking at international cinema, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, who won the Grand Prize with Climates in the 2007 edition of our festival, scored three consecutive wins at Cannes Film Festival for Best Director with Three Monkeys (2008), Grand Prix with Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (2011), and Palme d'Or with Winter Sleep (2014).

In addition, after premiering at our festival, Simple Simon, the winner of the Special Jury Prize in the 2011 edition, Matterhorn, the winner of Grand Prize in the 2014 edition, The Way He Looks, the winner of Best Screenplay in the 2014 edition, China's Van Goghs, the winner of Best Director at the 2017 edition, and The Last Suit, the winner of Audience Award at the 2018 edition, were released theatrically in Japan and became box office hits.

Earlier this year, Nancy, the Grand Prize winner of the 2018 edition, and Another Child, which was the directorial debut by renowned Korean actor Kim Yoon-seok and was selected for the International Competition in 2019, were both theatrically released.

Regarding Japanese cinema, Kazuya Shiraishi, who won the SKIP CITY AWARD in the 2009 edition with Lost Paradise in Tokyo, has gone on to direct critically acclaimed films including The Blood of Wolves (2018) and Sea of Revival (2019), emerging as one of the best directors in Japanese cinema.

Ryota Nakano, who won the Best Director and SKIP CITY AWARD in the 2012 edition with Capturing Dad, directed Her Love Boils Bathwater (2016), which won 2 categories at the Japan Academy Film Prize, A Long Goodbye (2019), and The Asadas (2020). Yuichiro Sakashita, who won the Special Jury Prize with Kanagawa University of Fine Arts, Office of Film Research in the 2013 edition, made his commercial debut with Any Way the Wind Blows (2016) and directed Meeting Pinkerton (2017), both of which were based on his original screenplays.

Shinichiro Ueda who directed the sensational One Cut of the Dead (2017), has been nominated in the Japanese Film Short Competition twice with Dreaming Novelist (2011) and Take 8 (2015). Shinzo Katayama’s Siblings of the Cape (2018), the double winner of Best Picture and Audience Award in the Japanese Film Feature Competition, became a critical and box office hit and received some awards for new directors including the Best New Director Award of Japan Movie Critics Award.

As a gateway to success for emerging talent, our festival remains committed to discovering and nurturing new and yet unknown talent and look forward to seeing them spread their wings around the world. We hope you will experience the birth of new talent again this year with us.