Tokyo International Film Festival

The Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) is partnering with Amazon Prime Video to launch the Amazon Prime Video Take One Award, which aims to discover talented new local directors through an open call for short film submissions at this year’s TIFF.

The award will be open to filmmakers living in Japan who have not yet made a commercial feature. It will be presented to a filmmaker who is deemed to have submitted the best short film, under 15 minutes long, with the submission period running from today until September 15 through the TIFF website.

Amazon Prime will present the cash award of $9,000 (Yen1m) along with the opportunity to explore the production of a feature film with Amazon Studios. The members of the jury will be announced at a later date. 

Erika North, head of Amazon Studios Originals, Asia Pacific, said: “Our goal is to provide the creative community – from directors, writers and producers to actors and production professionals – an environment in which they can be their most innovative, and where they can make their greatest work. Our hope is that Amazon Prime Video Take One Award will prove a valuable first step in an international career for talented aspiring creators in Japan.

TIFF chairman Hiroyasu Ando said: “It’s exciting to imagine budding new filmmakers being discovered at the Tokyo International Film Festival and going on to achieve worldwide success. I have high hopes in discovering the next generation of Japanese filmmakers, and we are happy to partner with Amazon Prime Video on such an exciting project.”

This year’s TIFF is scheduled to take place October 30 to November 8 in the Hibiya-Ginza district, while contents market TIFFCOM is scheduled for November 1 to 3.

TIFF also said in a statement that is is continuing to monitor the global health situation and “will explore options for holding the 34th edition, including postponement or cancelation.” The Tokyo Olympics start this weekend, without spectators, as Japan tackles an uptick in Covid infections.