2018 Overview


The 15th edition of the SKIP CITY INTERNATIONAL D-Cinema FESTIVAL 2018 was held over 10 days from Friday, July 13, to Sunday, July 22 at SKIP City in Kawaguchi, Saitama and other venues. It featured not only competition sections as the festival's centerpiece but also special programs to celebrate the festival’s 15th anniversary.This year MOVIX Kawaguchi was added as a festival venue and attracted large audience for its screenings of the opening gala film and the International Competition films.


The opening gala film was Running Again, produced by Kawaguchi City to celebrate the festival’s 15th anniversary. The film is a drama about people inspired by Takeshi Furuichi, the first Japanese male marathon runner to successfully complete 6 world marathon majors, and who start running marathons to change their lives. Director Yuya Nakaizumi who made his feature debut with the film, as well as cast members Kanichiro, Rio Yamashita, Nahana, Yuki Tsujimoto, Erika Tsunashima, Hatsunori Hasegawa, and Chieko Matsubara, attended the screening and greeted the audience. The film opened the festival with a glamorous atmosphere.


For the 15th milestone edition, the festival renewed its competition categories to further serve its goal of becoming a gateway to success for emerging talent. The films competed in two sections in three categories, the International Competition, the Japanese Film Feature Competition and the Japanese Film Short Competition. We received a total of 832 entries from the record number of 98 different countries and regions. From these, 10 international competition, 4 Japanese feature competition and 9 Japanese short competition films were screened. 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.




This 15th anniversary edition featured three unique special programs. “Filmmakers from SAITAMA Making Waves”, which put the spotlight on four directors; Yuya Ishii, Yu Irie, Shuichi Okita and Keisuke Yoshida, who all have origins in Saitama. Their recent films were screened and the Q&A sessions with the directors and actors were held. The “Celebrating World Auteurs” program screened documentaries that captured auteurs from around the world; Akira Kurosawa, Michael Haneke, Edward Yang and Hsiao-hsien Hou. It became a rare opportunity for the audience to watch these documentaries. The “Despicable Me Series Screenings” program featured all three Despicable Me films in which the world-renowned characters, the “Minions” flourish.


The box-office success The 8-Year Engagement starring in Takeru Sato and Tao Tsuchiya was screened as a barrier-free screening with Japanese subtitles and hearing guides for the hard-of-hearing and those with low vision.


We also organized many other related events. In “VR Screenings”, two internationally acclaimed Japanese VR (Virtual Reality) films were screened. In “Made in SKIP City”, there were screenings of works made by filmmakers based in SKIP City Sai-no-Kuni Visual Plaza. In “Camera Crayon”, films produced by Kawaguchi Kids Movie Club as well as the best works which were produced by elementary-school students at the TV Program Workshop were screened. In “Mama Theater”, mothers with babies enjoyed the screening.


The closing ceremony was held on the last day of the festival, Sunday, July 22. Nancy (USA), directed by Christina Choe and starring in Andrea Riseborough, received the Grand Prize in the International Competition. Siblings of the Cave (Japan) directed by Shinzo Katayama and Who Knows about My Life (Japan) directed by Teppei Isobe received the Best Picture in the feature length and short length categories of the Japanese Film Competition respectively. She is Alone (Japan), directed by Natsuki Nakagawa, received the SKIP CITY AWARD which is given to a Japanese filmmaker whose next feature project is highly anticipated.


The 2018 edition concluded with great success with visitor numbers totaling 51,229 people. The 2018 edition as the 15th anniversary of the Festival was 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.

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