Prize-Winning Works of East Asian Experimental Competition

This year’s “East Asian Experimental Competition” received a total of 461 submissions from Japan, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau and South Korea, and after two carefully conducted rounds of screening 24 works were selected for nomination. The final evaluation was conducted during the screenings in Tokyo by the three jurors listed below.
On 23rd September, award ceremony has held at Theatre Image Forum, and 6 works were awarded prizes and 1 work was selected by the audience’s voting, it’s as below.














■ Prize-Winning Works and Jury’s comments

Grand Prize
Humoresque  ISOBE Shinya / 46 min. / 2022 / Japan

This film depicts the lives of a son and his mother living in a fictional place with desolate and vast nature, where sounds like artillery fire can be heard from afar, in a very rich time-space invited by the minimalist sound design that eliminates dialogue and the excellent cinematography with its poised stance. The absence of the father in the film and the contrast between the father, the filmmaker, and his child, the subject, implied at through the camera, evoke ambivalent feelings of loss and intimacy, and wrap us up in the time between past, present, and future of hope, anxiety. We’d like to send our heartfelt admiration for this brilliant and beautiful cinematic adventure.




TERAYAMA Shuji Prize
Melting Icecream  HONG Jinhwon / 70 min. / 2021 / Korea

It is a film about history, political struggle and the role of the photographic image in the midst of this dialectics. The subject of the film is difficult as well as difficult to handle, concerning the past as much as about the present. And yet the filmmaker is able to tackle this complex “what” with a “how” that is both engaging and expressive. To put it simply, it is a work of high relevancy and power that is thoughtfully-made, engaging the social and the political through the lens of the poetic. And this is what the jury finds in the work that responds and echoes to the spirit of Terayama Award.




I’m Late  KABUKI Sawako / 10 min. / 2021 / Japan

“Your body is a battleground (Barbara Kruger,1989)” and still it is. It doesn’t mean, however, everybody can fight like a warrier. Through the artist’s own experience, she invites people to a somewhat awkard dialogue on the issues such as sex, gender, pregnancy, delivery and abortion. Interviewees’ voices are real but not necessarily politically-correct. Although this film was chosen as a notable contemporary moving image practice, rather than the best animation among the nominated, it proves the power of animation to unlock the Tatemae and free the Honne. Honesty has always been the artist’s virtue, this time once again.




Award for Excellence
A Pile of Ghosts  Ella RAIDEL / 70 min. / 2021 / Taiwan

Starting with the fiction of the Eiffel Tower in China, the film poignantly shows the fragile actuality that this multilayered and uncertain mass is reality, which is accumulation of various symmetrical objects, such as new architecture and ruins, real estate brokers and actors, the sound of a hammer echoing in the void and music from a Hollywood movie melodrama, the pseudo-romance between a nonexistent hotel guest and the host, etc. We admire the insightful editing and music design, which deeply elaborate the space between documentary and fiction, and we also would like to express our respect for this ambitious film that strikes a unique rhythm.



Silver Cave  CAI Caibei / 14 min. / 2022 / China

A beautifully-crafted and playful film that feels like a sort of cinematic hide-and-seek. The film is a formal and lyrical experimentation, an elusive play between images and words, perception and reading, experience and understanding. Beyond and beneath the surface of the materials presented, the work opens up a world of perceptual and conceptual possibilities, toying freely with the mind and senses of the audience.




End Time and Trajectories of Ancestors  Edwin LO Yun Ting / 34 min. / 2022 / Hong Kong

Like other good experimental films in this festival, there are many ways to read this film. One would focus on the methodology, juxtaposition between the digital landscapes of the video game Far Cry 5 (2018) and the analog materials in historical records. Whereas the images are empty and frozen, the sounds of religious hymns and testimonies of Native Americans are vivid and full of emotions. The question is, what did the artist from Hong Kong make this film on far away space and time in Montana for. However realistic it might be, the landscape made by CG is basically nowhere. Paradoxically, it can be anywhere just because it is nowhere. Then one may find the work strangely overlaps with aspects of the contemporary world; the link between cult religion with the death of the former prime minister in Japan or the nuclear threat of ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine or…… perhaps the past and present of Hong Kong.


Audience Award in Tokyo
1st place: I’m Late  KABUKI Sawako / 10 min. / 2021 / Japan
2nd place: Anxious Body  MIZUSHIRI Yoriko / 5 min. / 2021 / Japan
3rd place: Molting  BOWDA Katsushi / 14 min. / 2021 / Japan


Audience Award in Kyoto
Dozens of Norths  YAMAMURA Koji / 64 min. / 2021 / Japan


Audience Award in Nagoya
I’m Late  KABUKI Sawako / 10 min. / 2021 / Japan



■ Final Jury


HAMA Haruka (director of Tokyo office, Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival / Japan)
IP Yuk Yiu (filmmaker, media artist, curator / Hong Kong)
MA Jung-Yeon (researcher in film and new media studies / Korea, Japan)





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