Short film festival offers $1m award
A film festival in Japan is to award nearly $1m (£672,000) to a director it decides has the best new movie idea.
Hopefuls must submit a "thrilling, exciting, moving" 500-word story pitch, in either Japanese or English.
The winning work will be shown at the 2017 Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia in Tokyo.
Watching short videos on mobile devices is increasingly popular and short films offer new talent a gateway into film-making, said organisers.
"The short film holds a lot of potential for busy people who are watching video on smartphones, which means a complete story must be told much more quickly," Rieko Muramoto of Avex Digital, the award's sponsor, told the Associated Press.
Makers of short films, she added, needed support to make gripping or engaging work as it was easy for bored or uninterested viewers to stop watching.
"Survival is tougher," she said. "You have to move an audience in 15 minutes."
Road to Hollywood
The Short Shorts festival was founded in 1999 by actor Tetsya Bessho, whose films include Godzilla vs Mothra and Solar Crisis.
Bessho said he believed good film-making had nothing to do with screen time.
"Movies aren't about length. There are Hollywood flops with everything thrown in for marketing," he said.
"You can't decide if it's a comedy, a love story or an action film. People are getting bored with that kind of movie."
After the competition deadline of 29 February, five finalists will be chosen and awarded 500,000 yen (£2,700).
An overall winner will then be chosen, winning a further one million yen (£5,370) plus funding to make his or her film.