Over here in Sapporo Short Fest, I made sure I went to the "Hokkaido Selection" program screening, which featured short films that were either made by filmmakers from Hokkaido, or short films made in Hokkaido.
SOLDIER SCHOOL へいたいがっこう by Saya Ito 伊藤早耶 is an animated short with a very distinctive style. I want to see more of her works in the future. Was shocked that she's the same age as my sister (who is celebrating her birthday today, happy 23rd, mui mui!)
PROMISED MELODY 約束のネイロ by Megumi Sasaki 笹木恵水 was shot in the town of Otaru, and in its famous Orgel museum. I was instantly convinced to visit Otaru. In fact, I'm probably going there today with dad for some sightseeing.
ECOYOMI IN ANIMATION うごくえこよみ by Masaya Matsui 松井雅也 is a beautiful animated short that depicts the 72 Seasons system of the Japanese traditional calendar. Which is a list of 72 activities that would happen throughout the year, during the passing of seasons, like the first appearances of lotuses, or when deers replace their antlers, or the first cicada song of the year. I found these simplicities of everyday life very poetic when they were portrayed properly.
I met Masaya because his earlier short film THE BOY AND THE WHORE was screened at Busan Film Fest 2010 like my short, INHALATION, and he also came to the TIGER FACTORY/ INHALATION screenings at the Tokyo Film Fest a week later. (BTW: He's a Waseda University alumnus)
BACKWASH by Shizuko Tabata 田端志津子 is a stop-motion animated short using 30 000 cards. The last time I dabbled in stop-motion, I nearly suffered a nervous breakdown, so I definitely respect the sheer efforts that she had put into her film.
CHARON OF SNOW RIVER スノウリバーのシャロン by Ryo Sugiyama 杉山りょう began with a guy wandering in a snow-covered wilderness.
... which kinda reminded me of my own film.
Except his was funnier, and less angsty.
The last short film in the program was PARTY by Shoh Kataoka 片岡翔, a previous award winner in the festival, had some very interesting camerawork. I really liked the final shot of the film.
When PARTY ended, I was surprised to see the names of two young actresses I'm acquainted with in the end credits, Yuko Narisawa 成澤優子 and Mina Hiroe 広江美奈. They were so unrecognizable in the film that I didn't realize it was them! So I left them a note, because their performances were very solid.