Digital festival Skips to Saitama

Nine-day event features 34 films

TOKYO -- The fifth Skip City International D-Cinema Festival, the world’s only fest to focus on digitally shot and produced films, opened Saturday in Saitama, just north of Tokyo.

The festival runs for nine days and will screen 34 films selected from the 993 submissions from 75 countries, a new record for the event. Twenty-four films will be in competition, and all will be shown using a high-resolution 4K digital cinema projector.

"The international feature-length competition jury will be headed by Danny Krausz, an Austrian producer, and also includes Hong Sang-soo, a director from Korea," Hanae Nose of Skip City Corp. said.

The entries, from as far away as China, Estonia, France, Jordan and the U.S., will compete for prizes of 17 million yen ($160,000), provided by sponsors including Sony.

The Jordanian entry, "Captain Abu Raed," is the first feature made in the country in half a century.

ODS focuses on emerging digital contents for screen projection and will include the world premiere of Cinema Kabuki -- traditional Japanese theater -- a digital screen version of "The Tale of Bunshichi" by legendary director Yoji Yamada.

Sony will showcase its Livespire project, including digital screen versions of plays and musicals.