Why the west needs a version of Japan’s TikTok TOHO Film Festival

What I’m about to share isn’t exactly new news but I thought it a poignant example of how TikTok and the cinema industry can potentially hold hands. In April of last year, short movie application TikTok and movie theatre company Toho Co Ltd partnered for a new film festival – TikTok TOHO Film Festival 2021 – as a means to discover new creators and to give the film industry a boost.

The TikTok TOHO Film Festival 2021 was a collaboration between TikTok and Toho with an aim to discover and nurture creators with great potential. Additionally, as part of the event, Adobe Co Ltd, will cooperate with the festival and will provide all participants with access to Adobe Stock materials and Adobe Premiere Pro.

Actor Takumi Kitamura acted as the film festival’s official ambassador, whilst filmmaker Takashi Miike, videographer Tomokazu Yamada and TikTok Creator Shinnosuke took on the roles of the judges.

Creating filmography and watching high-quality video has never been easier than it is today, with the widespread use of smartphones and content-sharing applications amongst individuals. The festival also tackled the somewhat dilemma of the ‘vertical video’ – a newer type of media that is quickly gaining popularity through the help of SNS applications like Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok. It still has room for development and has the potential to create and expand a new world of visuals.

Fantastically inclusive, the aim of the TikTok TOHO Film Festival 2021 was to discover new talents from all over the world by utilising a platform that anyone can participate in. The festival was open to everyone with a smartphone, with winners receiving support for the production rights to new videos produced by Toho, as well as production subsidies. 

What’s so fantastic about this collaboration is it showcases both social media’s willingness to delve into the arts and the arts willingness to modernise. If any EU and UK based film organisations are reading, we urge you to take inspiration. 

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