“Everyone has to start somewhere. We will cheer you on as you leave that starting line.” That was the message Star Wars creator George Lucas gave Tetsuya Bessho when the acclaimed Japanese actor founded the Short Shorts Film Festival 21 years ago.

At this year’s version of the increasingly popular film festival, hundreds of free screenings will be held across Tokyo. And just as Kitster and Wald cheered on Anakin Skywalker at the starting line of the pod race in Star Wars: Episode I, George Lucas was able to cheer Bessho on to victory.

Other forceful events happening in Tokyo this weekend include multiple summer music festivals, motorcycle festivals, iris festivals and more.

Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia 2019

The 2019 edition, which runs until mid-June, follows the theme “Cinematic Attitude.” The competition categories include special-themed programs such as Diversity, War and the Power to Live and the newly established Ladies for Cinema Project focusing on female directors.

Katsushika Iris Festival 2018

Depicted in the woodblock prints of Hiroshige Ando and Toyokuni Utagawa, this annual festival held at Horikiri Shobuen Garden near the east bank of the Arakawa River allows visitors to step into a gorgeous work of art.

Hibiya Music Festival

 At this free festival held in the heart of Tokyo a long guest-list of experts ranging from shamisen to electric guitar performers provide a hands-on experience to people of all ages and from all walks of life.

NEUTRAL [Bikes x Art x Music]

This full-day, open-air event featuring a stunning display of motorcycles is not just for gearheads as art enthusiasts will enjoy the projection mapping, motorcycle parts painting and AI-generated music.

Eco Life Fair 2019

Running as part of environmental month every June since 1990, this fair provides a place to flearn more about global environmental issues and eco lifestyles directly from companies and organizations leading the charge.

Amuse Fes in Makuhari 2019

Pop princesses Perfume, as well as FLOW, Yu Takahashi, and Porno Graffitti will perform at this pop music party along with an exclusive all-star band featuring members from Flumpool, Weaver and more.

Aloha Tokyo 2019

Returning for its third year, Aloha Tokyo brings waves of Hawaii culture to Ebisu Garden Place with dance troupes, musical acts and delicious offerings of loco moco, garlic shrimp, tropical drinks, Kona beer and more. For more Aloha spirit, head to Nihonbashi for the Oedo Hawaii Festival 2019.


‘Japan’s Secret Shame’ Film Screening

TELL Japan presents a special screening of the BBC documentary that centers around the case of Shiori Ito, the journalist who bravely spoke out about rape and sexual violence in Japan following her own alleged assault, galvanizing Japan’s #metoo movement.

Tadanori Yokoo ‘B29 and Homeland—From My Childhood to Andy Warhol’

Now 83, artist and graphic designer Tadanori Yokoo is distinctly recognizable for his vivid and striking artworks. This exhibition combines fragmented imagery of the Second World War with pieces from the artist’s Y-Junction series.


“Madama Butterfly” Opera

Set in Meiji-period Nagasaki, Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly” is known and loved around the world. This production by the New National Theatre, Tokyo casts a sharp eye on the social background of the story, especially Japan’s relationship with America at the time.