Love movies, but short on time? You’re not alone. Short films give directors the chance to test out a neat story idea, without committing years or thousands of yen. They’re often the starting point for directing, screenwriting and acting careers, and for audiences, there’s the chance to enjoy a movie without numbing the bum or losing precious time to stinkers.
Great news for movie fans in Kansai, then, as the largest short film network in the world is hosting a one-day summer festival in Kyoto. Since 2003, Future Shorts has been supporting the filmmaking industry by getting short films funded, shot and aired. It promotes movies through its website and festivals instead of major Hollywood premieres.
Founder and creative director Fabien Riggall explains: “Film festivals are great social events. They bring communites together, as a place to share new ideas and learn about new cultures.”
Anyone around the world can apply to host a Future Shorts Festival, a seasonal selection of short films from global filmmakers. All you need is a venue, and the passion for bringing an audience together. Tong Cheuk Fung from international organisation We Are One Japan has both, and he’s hosting the festival in Kansai for the third time. The last events were held earlier this year in February (winter season) and April (spring season).
“This event is very much in line with our vision at We Are One, connecting internationally-minded people through interesting events and projects,” says Tong. “I think Future Shorts films reflect culture and society better than commercial films.”
Future Shorts festivals have been hosted in many venues, from nightclubs to shipping containers. This time the venue will be Art Complex, Kyoto, in a room that’s usually home to non-verbal performance art group Gear. They’re supporting the event by loaning out their venue, and Tong’s also looking for more support and volunteers on the night. If you can help with anything, from serving drinks to co-ordinating a marketing plan, get in touch with Tong using the email address listed opposite.
If you’re interested in the festival just as a viewer, you’d best be quick, as seats are limited to just 100. Make that 98, as KS has nabbed one pair of tickets for a reader giveaway – see how to grab them opposite!
Once you’ve bought a seat, make sure you dust off your summer yukata. We Are One Japan wants as many people as possible to wear Japan’s traditional summer kimono on the day, so other Future Shorts fans around the world will see some of the local flavor in event photographs.
Along with a ripe picking of international short films, one free drink is included in the ¥2,000 entry fee. Best bring your thirst, as all drinks sold on the night will go to an organisation called Beers for Books. For every drink bought, Beers for Books donates ¥100 to Room to Read, a charity that supports education and literacy to children worldwide.
“We hope that people will contribute to a good cause while enjoying the event, and making new friends,” explained Tong. The movies change every season to keep audiences coming back, and Tong is looking forward to seeing the Korean movie, Guest, this time around. He adds: “We are definitely planning to hold another Future Shorts Festival in the future, and we’re hoping to bring it to Osaka and Kobe too.”
[box]Future Shorts Kyoto
When: Sunday 26th August
Venue: Art Complex, Kyoto
Admission: ¥2,000 which includes one free drink (Students: ¥1,500)
Reservation required: This event is limited to 100 seats. Tickets must be reserved in advance online and participants must register by email.