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 and nurturing new talent that 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 Feature Film Competition and the Japanese Short Film Competition, accepts submissions by emerging Japanese directors. In 2021, 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 renowned industry professionals, will judge the films and the awards including the Grand Prize will be given out. In addition, the SKIP CITY AWARD is given to a Japanese film which displays promising talent for feature filmmaking out of all Japanese films.
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, The Last Suit, the winner of Audience Award at the 2018 edition, the renowned Korean actor Kim Yoon-seok’s directorial debut Another Child, documentary from the 2020 edition, Lil’ Buck: Real Swan, and Midnight Traveler, the winner of Special Jury Prize at the 2019 edition 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 his latest film Last of the Wolves (2021) created a buzz, 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), which received the NETPAC Award at the Warsaw Film Festival. 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 his latest film The Sunday Runoff, starring Masataka Kubota and Rie Miyazawa, was released in January, 2022.
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. His latest film Missing was released in January, 2022.
Recently also, Any Crybabies Around? (2020) by Takuma Sato, who participated in the 2019 edition, Runway (2020) by Norichika Oba, who participated in the 2018 festival, the 2020 festival’s Japanese Short Film Competition winner Stay by Naoya Fujita, the 2018 festival’s SKIP CITY AWARD winner She is Alone by Natsuki Nakagawa and the 2021 festival’s SKIP CITY AWARD winner Psychology Counselor by Zenzo Sakai were released theatrically. Many emerging directors with talent have been discovered by the Festival.
As a gateway to success for emerging talent, our festival remains committed to discovering and nurturing new talent that will shine in the film industry and look forward to seeing them spread their wings around the world.