“The Image Forum Festival,” the largest festival of moving image art in Japan, is accepting submissions of original moving image works. There are no restrictions whatsoever on genre (art films, documentaries, animated works, dramas, and so on), techniques used, or length. We are looking for works that go beyond existing concepts to expand the horizon of visual expression.

Application period: January 27th (Fri) to April 21st (Fri), 2024

Application section: East Asian Experimental Competition
▶ Application guidelines
▶ Application form(PDF)
▶ Application form


What is the Image Forum Festival’s “East Asian Experimental Competition”?

The Image Forum Festival is a festival of moving image art that brings together for screening works with a high degree of expression, artistry, and creativity. A successor to “New Works of Underground Cinema” (1973-1975) and “Experimental Film Festival” (1981-1985), this festival, which expanded to include more international content and an open competition section, began in 1987 and is being held for the 38th time this year.
The festival’s open competition section has come to be known as a gateway to success for groundbreaking young filmmakers in Japan, and in previous years has featured works by filmmakers and artists who have gone on to international success such as YAMAMURA Koji, KAWASE Naomi, IGUCHI Noboru, ISHIDA Takashi, and WADA Atsushi. Last year we have expanded this section (formerly known as the “Japan Tomorrow” section) that had been restricted to Japanese works and relaunched it as the “East Asian Experimental Competition.”

▶ Previous year : 37th Image Forum Festival
▶ Previous year : Interviews with nominated filmmakers
▶ Previous year : The awarded films and Jury comments


What does it mean to be nominated?

The (approximately 25) works that make it through the first and second rounds of selection will be screened at this year's festival along as works nominated for prizes. The final selection will begin when the festival opens and the following prizes will be awarded.

 ●Grand Prize (1): ¥300,000 + Prize certificate
 ●TERAYAMA Shuji Prize (1): ¥100,000 + Prize certificate
 ●Excellence Prize (3): ¥30,000 + Prize certificate
 ●Audience Prize (1): Prize certificate

Image Forum will also recommend nominated works for selection at various film festivals both in Japan and overseas and include them in programs it curates for overseas festivals.

We curated the selected program of recent years’ nominated works for the following festivals and projects this year:

- “Crossroads program: IMAGE FORUM” The 6th Moscow International Experimental Film Festival, Moscow
- “Chase After-Images: IFF2020 selected program” Bali International Short Film Festival MINIKINO FILM WEEK 7, Bali
- “Gardens Inside Box: IFF2020 selected program” SeaShorts Film Festival 2021 online, Malaysia
- “Me, Between Somewhere and Nowhere: Women Animation Artists from Japan” REDCAT, California
- “Image Forum Short Films Program: Whose eyes?” Wathann Film Festival #10 online screening, Myanmar

- “The 34th and 35th Image Forum Festival selected program” Lumen Quarterly 2021 Winter, Beijing
- “Image Forum program 1&2” Slow Forward #4 by Indeks, Indonesia
- “Japanese Experimental Cinema: Contemporary” LIGHTS FROM THE UNDERGROUND, Yangon
- Festival Accès Asie, Montreal


Final evaluation jury




38th Image Forum Festival

■Venue, Date:
・Tokyo: October 12th ( Sat ) to October 18th ( Fri ), 2024 / Theatre Image Forum
・Other cities: TBA

■Main Program:
East Asian Experimental Film Competition
Experimental Panorama
Filmmakers In Focus

■Organizer:Image Forum

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