Japan has many amazing film festivals but their home pages are mostly limited to Japanese. If you can read the Japanese, most of the time they accept DVD or mail submissions only. We have heard from many creators around the world who are interested in screening in Japan so we have decided to host Tokyo Cowboys Quarterly Film Festival.

Our goal is to bring quality short films from around the world to the international community living in Tokyo as well as the local Japanese community. We are looking for both films with a strong social message as well as entertainment for the sake of entertainment! We want to fit as many short films into a three hour block as possible so shorts up to 15 minutes, music videos, and micro shorts are welcome!

Premiere status is not important but Tokyo premiere is preferred. Films that are not available online will be given preference.

Every three months we will have one live screening event in Nakano, a hotbed of subculture and independent theater, located in the heart of Tokyo. Our screening venue is a 90 seat theater located in Nakano Zero, a 5 minute walk from the station. There are no online screenings to this event, but we will include the selected films titles and trailers on our home page.

The day after the screening event, we will have a live broadcast announcement of the award winning films including Audience Choice!

We offer Japanese subtitling services to film makers who have been selected to be a part of the film festival for a nominal fee, but it is not mandatory to participate. As an added bonus you will get a copy of your film subtitled in Japanese to use to submit to other Japanese film festivals and events.

Our team of international staff has a four year history of screening events in Tokyo and we look forward to screening your short film and helping you introduce your work to a new audience!


世界中の多くのクリエーターが日本での上映に興味を持っているという声はたくさん聞きます。そこで、私たちはそんな声をもとに、Tokyo Cowboys Quarterly Film Festival を開催することにしました。





Tokyo Cowboys Quarterly Film Festival offers a special laurel as well as a certificate for all award winning films in .pdf format.

Additionally any creator as well as their team are welcome to attend the screening event for free.

We do not offer flight or accommodations.

All chosen films will be screened in a proper theater with a HD projector.

Awards are given in the following categories:

Best Film
Best Actor
Best Actress
Best Supporting Actor
Best Supporting Actress
Best Music
Best Director
Best Costumes
Best Make Up
Best Editing
Audience Choice






Every three months, our jury (Tokyo based film makers, creators, and industry professionals) will choose as many short films as we can to fill a three hour block. After the screening event we will tally results for the Audience Choice award as well as make our final decisions on other awards. All submitted films will be viewed in entirety by at least three of our jury members. All selected films will be screened live.

All selected films must prepare their film poster as well as provide a Youtube/Vimeo link to their trailer for inclusion on our homepage.
The following rules constitute the conditions under which films, videos, and other materials may be submitted to Tokyo Cowboys Quarterly Film Festival. All submissions are subject to these rules.

All films that are not in English must have English language subtitles. Though this is a screening event in Japan, Japanese subtitles are not mandatory but are available for purchase for film makers who wish to have their film subtitled in Japanese.

Entry fees must be paid in full at time of submission. No cash payments are accepted. All entry fees are non-refundable.

Film length: up to 15 min including credits.•Multiple entries from the same submitter are acceptable. A separate submission and a separate entry fee must accompany each entry.

Only submissions with completed submission fields and entry fees will be considered. Submissions received without a completed submission, an entry fee, or a screener will not be accepted.•No postal submissions accepted.

Notice of receipt of submissions will be posted via submitter’s FilmFreeway account. It is the submitter’s responsibility to track the status of their submission.

The releases for all content including, but not limited to, music and talent must be obtained by the filmmaker. Tokyo Cowboys Quarterly Film Festival is not liable for any copyright infringement or unauthorized usage. We may contact you with anything we view as a potential copywrite infringement.If your film is selected to screen at Tokyo Cowboys Quarterly Film Festival, the following conditions also apply:

You will need to provide at least a digital HD fine cut of your film without any interactive menus, bars or tone. Digital transfer/download only!





インターナショナルな映画祭のため、なるべく英語字幕を入れた作品の応募をお願いしています。(多国籍の観客に楽しんでいただくため)当映画祭では英語字幕を入れる翻訳サービス(1作品 ¥5000)も行っております。





応募作品の中から選ばれたノミネート作品は FilmFreewayより発表が行われます。(ダイレクトメールが送られ、サイト内で発表があります)Tokyo Cowboys のサイトからはお問い合わせの受付はできません。



Overall Rating
  • Sadly I was unable to attend in person but everything suggests to me that this is a really good festival and I am well chuffed they selected my animated music video 'She's So Spector-Eque'. Communication was excellent and I look forward to participating again in future.

    February 2024
  • Tokyo Cowboys Quarterly Film Festival is a good film festival.
    Film Festival staff is all very friendly.
    Hospitality for guests is great.
    I want to go be sure next time.

    September 2019
  • Tokyo Cowboys Quarterly Film Festival was a wonderful experience to screen with, and I have previously participated in several small and large festivals. Everyone in attendance was kind and engaged in the festival, and so supportive of one another. The smaller size and flexibility of the screening venue seemed to lend itself to a more intimate viewing experience, which I found quite enjoyable. The atmosphere was both professional and casual. The projection and sound was great, and sending the final screening files was easy. The communication and support from the festival organizers - a critical factor often taken for granted - was simply phenomenal, and really made me feel valued and cared for, both as a filmmaker and individual. After getting to know the festival team a bit more, I have a great deal of respect for their process and collaborative attitude in a challenging and very competitive industry. The Tokyo Cowboys are a rare breed of creators - truly supportive of other artists, other film festivals and the filmmaking craft in ways I find genuinely inspirational. They also take entertainment of any scale very seriously, which is refreshing. I highly recommend this festival, and am very glad I submitted. Thank you, Tokyo Cowboys - we were truly honored to have "The Love 愛 Project" world premiere with you in Tokyo!

    June 2019
  • Michael Williams

    A fantastic festival run by a lovely crew! A real community spirit is in the air and it was great to mix and talk with other directors.

    June 2019
  • Yangon Media Professionals

    That was great event! Thank you for selection!

    June 2019