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JSFF 2022: A Record-Breaking Edition of the Japanese-Serbian Film Festival

Updated: Apr 5, 2023


Belgrade and Novi Sad were recently graced with the presence of the 9th Japanese-Serbian Film Festival (JSFF), which took place from November 9th to November 15th. The festival is an official part of the Novi Sad 2022 European Capital of Culture program and marked the 140th anniversary of the friendship between Japan and Serbia. This year's theme was "CULTFRONTATION," and it featured a total of 70 short and feature film titles in the JSFF CORE FT & Shorts, EAWB (East Asia West Balkan), and INTERNATIONAL categories based on this years selectors team of four: Jaksa Nikodijevic, Marko Grba Singh, Stjepan Hundic & Ognjen Petkovic.

The festival also had an impressive line-up of supporting events, such as a masterclass by director Masato Ozawa, a JSFF panel on industry markets, opportunities and content exchange with Yomiuri TV and Telekom Srbija Productions, an art exhibition by Natsumi Yagi, and a networking party organized by the Japanese Business Alliance in Serbia (JBAS).

The opening and closing performances were provided by Japanese artist and choreographer Kino McHugh (Spring Rain) and Noah (Ignis), respectively. The event was also attended by special guests Rudolf Biermann, Hana Vagnerova, Takuma Yoshida, Ayako Noguchi, and many others.

Not being restricted to films only, JSFF has constantly been providing a unique platform for cultural exchange between Japan and Serbia. Through the festival's format of presenting films from both countries to audiences in Japan and Serbia, the festival is able to showcase the diversity and richness of both cultures to a wider audience. This format allows for a deeper understanding and appreciation of different perspectives and ways of life, fostering mutual respect and understanding between cultures. The 9th edition has reached a new level due to breaking records in terms of attendance, submitted applications, guests, screened titles, and awards.

This year's winners included CELTS, directed by Milica Tomovic, which won the BEST FILM award (SR) and the IGNITE YOUR BLUE AWARD by TOYO TIRES, and ARISTOCRATS, directed by Yukiko Sode, which won the BEST FILM award (JP) and the OPEN ROADS AWAIT AWARD by TOYO TIRES. Other notable winners included AIDA, directed by Christopher W. Graham, which won the BEST FILM JAPAN, Serbian Jury Award, and ADJUSTING, directed by Dejan Petrovic, which won the BEST FILM SERBIA, Japanese Jury Award.

The closing ceremony also announced the upcoming 10th anniversary of JSFF and revealed that the theme would be "LASTING." With the tremendous success of JSFF2022, the next edition is undoubtedly going to be one to look out for.


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