2017 Overview


The 14th edition of the SKIP CITY INTERNATIONAL D-Cinema FESTIVAL 2017 was held over 9 days from Saturday, July 15, to Sunday, July 23 at SKIP City in Kawaguchi, Saitama and other venues. It featured not only competition sections as the festival's centerpiece but also this year’s new programs, such as “Filmmakers Making Waves”, along with special events, and drew more visitors than previous years.



The opening film was ANIMA! directed by Takahiro Horie, whose Hurt was nominated in the feature film competition in 2016. The SKIP CITY INTERNATIONAL D-Cinema FESTIVAL Committee produced the film as they had with 2015’s opening film Children of Iron and 2016’s Good Bye, Talking Dog. Director Horie, as well as cast members Saika Hattori and Yu Koyanagi, attended the opening gala screening and greeted the audience. The film opened the festival with a vibrant atmosphere, just like its coming of age theme filled with sessions between contemporary dance and drum music, and it is scheduled to be theatrically released in 2018.


For our competition, we received a total of 810 entries including 617 feature films, 153 short films, and 40 animations from 85 different countries and regions. From these, 12 feature-length, 12 short-length and 10 animation films were screened, with each film being screened twice. Many guests including directors, producers and cast members from around the world attended the festival and took part in Q&A sessions with the audiences.
Satellite screenings were held at Kounosu Cinema in Kounosu City and Saitama Arts Theater in Saitama City over two days, like in previous editions. The Short Length and Animation Competition films were screened in both venues.


This year featured two new programs, including “Filmmakers Making Waves”, which put the spotlight on six directors who found success after being awarded or nominated in previous editions of SKIP CITY INTERNATIONAL D-Cinema FESTIVAL. The program offered precious screenings of their awarded/nominated films, some of which are very hard to find on screen now. The other program was “Special Events”. One of the “Special Events” was called “D-Cinema – New Currents” which featured screenings of VR (virtual reality) films from Japan and overseas. The other was named “Japanese Cinema in Europe”. In this program, Mr. Martin Bregenzer, Program Director of Nippon Connection, which is one of the biggest Japanese film festivals in the world, spoke about what kind of Japanese films were demanded in Europe in the talk event following the screening of Start Line directed by Ayako Imamura, which won the Audience Award at the latest edition of Nippon Connection.





The award-winning film Her Love Boils Bathwater was screened as a barrier-free screening with Japanese subtitles and hearing guides for the hard-of-hearing and those with low vision. Box Office success In This Corner of the World and the world-acclaimed Song of the Sea were screened in the “Animation Screening” section.


We also organized many other related events. In "Camera Crayon", a film produced by Kawaguchi Kids Movie Club as well as the best nine works which were produced by elementary-school students at the TV Program Workshop were screened. In “Mama Theater”, mothers with babies enjoyed the screening. In “Made in SKIP City”, there were screenings of works made by filmmakers based in SKIP City Sai-no-Kuni Visual Plaza. Also, “Brother Blossom”, which was mostly shot in Yorii City, Saitama, was shown.


The closing ceremony was held on the last day of the festival, Sunday, July 23. The Norwegian drama about the relationship between a father and his adopted son set in Norway and Colombia, Handle with Care, directed by Arild Andresen, received the Grand Prize in the feature length competition. This is the first Norwegian film ever to win the Grand Prize. if winter burned (Japan) directed by Naoya Asanuma and I Think You’re a Little Confused (Japan) directed by Iku Ogawa received the Best Picture in the short length competition and in the animation competition respectively. The 2017 edition concluded with great success with visitor numbers totaling 51,015 people. The 2018 edition as the 15th anniversary of the Festival will be held as a gateway to the further success of young filmmakers into the world and as a festival for spreading the joyful experience of cinema to the audience.


※Titles used above were true at the time.

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