What is SKIP CITY INTERNATIONAL D-Cinema FESTIVAL?
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 2021, the 18th edition of the festival will be held.
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 1,084 submissions from 104 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 (08), Grand Prix with Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (11), and the Palme d'Or with Winter Sleep (14).
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, the directorial debut of Korean actor Kim Yoon-seok, Another Child which was nominated in the 2019 International Competition, and Lil' Buck: Real Swan, nominated in the 2020 International Competition, all became box office hits, bringing them a lot of attention.
Regarding Japanese cinema, Kazuya Shiraishi, who won the SKIP CITY AWARD in the 2009 edition with Lost Paradise in Tokyo, continues to direct attention grabbing films including The Blood of Wolves (18) and Sea of Revival (19). His latest, Last of the Wolves (21) also evoked a major response. He is emerging as one of the best directors in Japanese cinema today.
Ryota Nakano, who won the Best Director and SKIP CITY AWARD in the 2012 edition with Capturing Dad, directed his commercial debut Her Love Boils Bathwater (16), which won 2 categories at the Japan Academy Film Prize, and The Asadas (20) which won the NETPAC Award at the Warsaw International Film Festival. He has become a highly praised filmmaker both in Japan and abroad. 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 (17) and will release in 2022 The Sunday Runoff (21) starring Masataka Kubota and Rie Miyazawa.
Shinichiro Ueda who directed the sensational One Cut of the Dead (17), has been nominated in the Japanese Film Short Competition twice with Dreaming Novelist (11) and Take 8 (15). Shinzo Katayama’s Siblings of the Cape (18), 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.
Most recently, young directors whose future careers hold enormous promise have emerged from this film festival. Among them are Takuma Sato, winner of the Audience Award at the 2019 Japanese Short Film Competition for Sticks and Stones, who released Any Crybabies Around? (20) last year, and Norichika Oba, nominated in the 2018 Japanese Film Competition with Cyclops, who released Runway (20) also last year. This year saw the theatrical releases of 2020 SKIP CITY AWARD winner Woman of the Photographs by Takeshi Kushida and Best Picture winner in the 2020 Japanese Feature Film Competition, Kontora, by Anshul Chauhan.
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.