2022 Overview


The 19th edition of the SKIP CITY INTERNATIONAL D-Cinema FESTIVAL was held as a hybrid festival both on screens for the first time in three years over 9 days from Saturday, July 16, to Sunday, July 24 and virtually over 7 days from Thursday, July 21, to Wednesday, July 27.


The Opening Gala film, Deadly School, directed by Teppei Isobe, who won awards in three consecutive years with his Who Knows about My Life in 2018, F is for Future in 2019 and Cornflakes in 2020, had its world premiere. Director Teppei Isobe returned to SKIP CITY with this highly entertaining film, which is adapted from Kaoru Asakusa’s popular play “Alice in Deadly School”. In addition to the director, the actresses, Miyu Teshima, Ryoka Neya, and Mina Kurio also appeared on the stage at the stage greeting before the screening, and the festival opened brilliantly.


The films competed in three categories, the International Competition, the Japanese Feature Film Competition and the Japanese Short Film Competition. We received a total of 935 entries from 99 different countries and regions. From these, 10 international competition, 6 Japanese feature competition and 8 Japanese short competition films were screened. Actress Shinobu Terajima for the International Competition and Cinematographer Akiko Ashizawa for the Japanese Film Competition led the Jury, and the Jury members decided the award winners.


During the festival term, guests including directors and producers from Japan and around the world attended the festival and took part in post-screening Q&A sessions and talk events, and video interviews with the guests who couldn’t come to Japan were also screened. The audience could interact with the filmmakers and experience the merits of the film festival.


Two special screenings were held this year. One was a charity screening titled "Hope for Ukraine", a revival screening of two Ukrainian films that had been selected for the competition at previous editions, This Rain Will Never Stop and Love Me Both films are yet to be theatrically released in Japan, so it was a valuable screening opportunity. All proceeds from this charity screening were donated through the Japanese Red Cross Society for humanitarian assistance in Ukraine.


The other was titled "What's New -Filmmakers Making Waves-", and all of the latest works by directors who had been nominated in previous festivals were screened as their world premiere ahead of their theatrical release. In addition to the Opening Gala film Deadly School, Takayuki Kayano's Hoarder on the Border and Mikiya Sanada’s Princess of Euglena were screened. Takayuki Kayano won both the Best Picture and the Audience Award in the 2021 Japanese Feature Film Competition while Mikiya Sanada was nominated for the same category in 2019. After both screenings, Q&A sessions were held with the director and performers.




We also organized four other related events including events held outside of SKIP CITY venues, such as at Media Seven, which is located in front of JR Kawaguchi Station. In “Camera Crayon”, films were screened which were produced by elementary-school students at the TV Program Workshop held in SKIP CITY Sai-no-Kuni Visual Plaza. In “Made in SKIP CITY”, three films created by creators based in Sai-no-Kuni Visual Plaza were screened. Actor Akira Takarada’s last film Life in Bloom was screened and its director Nobuyuki Miyake, alongside Bunji Toyama, who teamed up with Akira Takarada on A Sparkle of Life, talked about memories of the great actor of the silver screen who energetically took up the challenge of creating works with young artists. In the well-known program “Kobaton The Movie”, the 2021 production Save the Food Culture of Sai-no-Kuni: Saitama! and Stardust Family, which was produced this year, were screened. Each of the directors and performers took to the stage to greet the audience after the screenings. In the “Barrier Free Screening” a box-office success The Lone Ume Tree directed by Kotaro Wajima was screened with Japanese subtitles and hearing guides for the hard-of-hearing and those with low vision. In the “Mama and Papa Screening”, For Sama was screened at the stroller-accessible venue with an area for diaper changing and nursing.


As for the online screening, following on from last year and the year before, with the cooperation of the streaming website "Cinema Discoveries", all 24 films in the competition sections and two films of the charity screening "Hope for Ukraine" were streamed on the custom-made page for the festival.


The awards ceremony was held on Sunday, July 24, which was the last day of the festival. In the International Competition, Softie (France), directed by Samuel Theis, received the Grand Prize. Magnetic Beats (France, Germany), directed by Vincent Maël Cardona, received the Best Director and Utama (Bolivia, Uruguay, France) directed by Alejandro Loayza Grisi won the Special Jury Prize. The Audience Award chosen by audience votes went to Her Way (France) directed by Cécile Ducrocq.


In the Japanese Film Competition, Double Life (Japan, China) directed by Enen Yo in the Feature Length section and 3 Intestine Road, Fish Island (Japan) directed by Moe Wakabayashi in the Short Length section received the Best Picture Award. Meanwhile, VATA (Japan, Madagascar) directed by Takeshi Kamei in the Feature Length section and Storage Man (Japan) directed by Tasuro Manno in the Short Length section received the Audience Award. Also, Journey (Japan), directed by Shogo Kiriu received the SKIP CITY AWARD which is given to a Japanese filmmaker whose next feature project is highly anticipated.


The 2022 edition concluded with great success with 4,227 admissions in theaters and 4,314 streaming viewings. The Festival will continue to try to discover new talent as a gateway to the further success of young filmmakers and to become a festival for spreading the joyful experience of cinema to the audience.

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