The 13th edition of the SKIP CITY INTERNATIONAL D-Cinema FESTIVAL 2016 was held over 9 days from Saturday, July 16, to Sunday, July 24 at SKIP City in Kawaguchi, Saitama and other venues. It featured not only competition sections as the festival's centerpiece but also related screenings and many events to attract visitors.
The opening film was Good Bye, Talking Dog directed by a promising talent Madoka Kumagai, whose When The World Tastes Gritty was nominated in the short film competition in 2013. SKIP CITY INTERNATIONAL D-Cinema FESTIVAL Committee produced the film as they had with last year’s opening film Children of Iron.
Director Madoka Kumagai as well as cast members Miho Tsumiki, Reiko Tajima and Yuki Konoe attended the opening gala screening and greeted the audience. The film is scheduled to be theatrically released in 2017.
For our competition, we received a total of 919 entries including 715 feature films, 146 short films, and 58 animations from 88 different countries and regions. From these, 12 feature-length, 12 short-length and 12 animation films were screened, with each film being screened twice. Many guests including directors, producers and cast members from around the world attended the festival and took part in Q&A sessions with the audiences.
The satellite screenings, like they were last year, were held at Kounosu Cinema in Kounosu City and Saitama Art Theater in Saitama City over two days. The opening film Good Bye, Talking Dog as well as all 12 short films were screened in both venues.
The ever-popular annual Cinema Kabuki screening was Shunkyo Kagami Jishi, which is one of the most important works in the legendary Kanzaburo Nakamura’s repertoire. The Japan Academy Prize’s Best Film winner Our Little Sister was screened as a barrier free screening with subtitles and hearing guides for the hard-of-hearing and those with low vision. The two blockbusters of the year of 2015, The Boy and The Beast and The Anthem of the Heart were screened in the “Animation Screening” section.
We also organized many other related events. In "Camera Crayon", two films produced by Kawaguchi Kids Movie Club as well as the best nine works which were produced by 5th grade students at the TV Program Workshop were screened. In “Kobaton the Movie”, which introduces attractions of Saitama in films, two new films The World Only I Don’t Know directed by Yukari Itami and Married to the Farm directed by Yuya Nakaizumi were screened.
In the new program “Mama Theater”, which is for moms and dads with kids who want to enjoy movies and held at a venue accessible to baby strollers, the feature version of NHK’s popular TV documentary series, Venetia’s Garden was screened.
The closing ceremony was held on the last day of the festival, Sunday, July 24. The drama from Mexico, Walking Distance, directed by Alejandro Guzmán Alvarez received the Grand Prize in the feature length competition. Lies (Japan) directed by Yuji Mitsuhashi and complex × COMPLEX (Japan) directed by Miyuki Fukuda received the Best Picture in the short length competition and in the animation competition respectively.
The 2016 edition concluded with great success with visitor numbers totaling 52,466 people. Future editions will be held as a gateway to the further success of young filmmakers into the world and as a festival for spreading the joyful experience of cinema to the audience.
※Titles used above were true at the time.