A Film Festival to Discover and Nurture New Talent
Established in 2004, 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.
It is held every year with the aim of contributing to the development of a new audiovisual industry by seeking films from all over the world that seize the entertainment skill and the possibility of new expressions, and discovering filmmakers who will lead the next generation.
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. In 2020, we have received 1,169 submissions from 106 counties and regions, both record numbers.
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.
All the nominated films are screened with 4K digital cinema projectors in state-of-the-art theaters during the festival. The jury members and industry professionals from all over the world participate in various events scheduled during the festival and network with the festival participants.
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, and the renowned Korean actor Kim Yoon-seok’s directorial debut Another Child were released theatrically in Japan and became box office hits.
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), and the sequel of The Blood of Wolves is highly anticipated, 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), garnering acclaim both domestically and overseas. 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), won the Special Mention in the Japanese Film Short Competition with 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. Most recently, Runway (2020) by Norichika Oba, who participated in the 2018 festival, the 2020 festival’s Woman of the Photographs (2020) by Takeshi Kushida, and Kontora (2019) by Anshul Chauhan were or will be released theatrically.
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.