SENSEI, much like its city of origin Tokyo, is vibrant, unique and abundantly fun! SENSEI Tokyo FilmFest's passion is not to only recognise independent film directors and content creators for their high calibre work that they produced without any help or support, but to create a festival experience that makes them feel like the superheroes that they are!
SENSEI's ordeal is to empower independent filmmakers in forward-thinking ways, a lot of the film festival's proceeds are reinvested into the festival platform to engine an impressive opportunity for exposure with a big audience, not to mention press coverage and articles to advance many filmmakers and content creators' agendas. To have your name and work featured across the most prestigious press outlets is a big battle won for an independent filmmaker or content creator.

If you have competent original content in your hands, you're hungry for success and also would like to experience a fun film festival that you'll never forget, and will want to return to, SENSEI is your best destination.


IMDb accredited awards.
Laurel kit for winners, nominees and finalists.
Diploma for winners.
Press coverage.
Stream power, best films streamed with a paid media push of 3/4 of 1 million people.
DRM-encryption/protection in place.
Ambitious and empowering global film competition.
Live audience for winners.
Unforgettable festival experience.


After competing in any given main award category, submitted projects are automatically considered across technical categories.


Best Narrative Feature Film (45 mins on)
Best Narrative Film (20 to 45 mins)
Best Narrative Short Film (5 to 20 mins)
Best Narrative Micro Short (up to 5 mins)
Best Series or Pilot Episode
Best Feature Screenplay (written 45 pages on)
Best Short Screenplay (written up to 45 pages)
Best Animated Film
Best Feature Documentary (45 mins on)
Best Short Documentary (up to 45 mins)
Best Music Video
Best Ad/Commercial
Best Film Trailer
Best New Media
Best Podcast
Best Fashion Film
Best Dance or Poetic Film
Best Live-Recorded Media
Best Fan Film
Best International Film
Best Independent Film
Best Experimental Film
Best Cult
Best Student Film
Best Low-Budget Film
Best Mobile Film
Best Queer
Best Drama
Best Comedy
Best Action, Sci-Fi or Fantasy
Best Horror
Best Thriller


Best Directing
Best Directorial Debut
Best Young Filmmaker
Emerging Filmmaker Award
Best Documentary Directing
Best Commercial Directing
Best Original Screenplay
Best Original Concept
Best Cinematography
Best Documentary Cinematography
Best Commercial Cinematography
Best Editing
Best Documentary Editing, Archival Usage & Assembly
Best Music Video Montage Editing
Best CGI & Visual Effects
Best Character Design
Best Created Environment
Best Animation Style
Best Sound Design
Best Original Score
Best Original Song
Best Production Design
Best Commercial Scenography
Best Costume Design
Best Makeup, Hairstyling & SFX
Best Lead Actor
Best Lead Actress
Best Supporting Actor
Best Supporting Actress
Best Ensemble Cast
Best Music Video Artist


1. Submission procedure, SENSEI has $ submission fees.

Submit your audiovisual project via the platform.

All submissions are final, no refunds.

All film genres and durations accepted.
No limits in regards to the project's production year.

The submission of works in progress will be accepted for recognition only, not showcasing. The current production status must be pointed out when submitted to the platform.
You authorise that your work is cleared for festival exhibition (all music, fonts, visuals etc. are cleared worldwide, in perpetuity, multi-platform), and the intellectual property is yours, or if acting as distributor — you have acquired permission from the copyright owner. If you don't own all rights, SENSEI can still recognise the film across the award categories, but we won't be able to exhibit it.

DVD / Blu-Ray are not accepted. Likewise, viewing links received outside the platform will not be taken into consideration.

2. SENSEI will charge a submission fee for viewing. This fee does not include any submission taxes that the platform might apply.

Payment will be made at the time the submission is done via the platform.

3. The submission deadline for all categories is 1 October, 2022.

4. SENSEI will contact the selected films for online exhibition. This first communication may take place up until the beginning of October.

5. SENSEI will send an automatic notification on 5 October for all the projects that have NOT been selected nor made the finalist ranks across the various award categories.

6. SENSEI will host a fun announcement process of all finalists across all award categories in the run-up to the festival week-long event's kick-off on the 1 December.

7. Your audiovisual project can make the finalist ranks in many award categories, and still not make online exhibition. Many projects will land finalist ranks, nominations and wins. Only around 50 projects will make exhibition and get streamed for the entirety of the week of the 1 to the 9 December.

8. The team behind the audiovisual project can, but is not always required, to provide SENSEI with high quality advertising materials: stills, posters, press-books, trailers, etc., so that SENSEI can promote the project adequately. You consent to the posting of stills and short clip fragments from the film on the festival's website/platform plus social media channels, for solely promotional, non-commercial and educational purposes. Stills from your film could be used for example within our final list of winners/nominees, and short clip fragments from your film could be used within our festival trailer.
There may be instances where the programming team will require access to download your projects to facilitate offline study/viewing, and will send you a request via the platform. You don't have to approve it, and we can continue considering you for recognition/exhibition, but whenever possible, please work to facilitate offline study/viewing.

9. If you make online exhibition, DRM encryption is in place (Google Widevine DRM encryption and Apple Fairway DRM) and password protection.

10. More than one project pertaining to the same institution or independent filmmaker/creator can be submitted.

11. Audiovisual projects can be submitted in any language. Spanish-speaking projects don't require subtitles in any language, English subs will be required if the project makes online exhibition. English-speaking projects don't require subtitles in any language, English subs may be required if the project makes online exhibition, but not always.

12. No inquiries or arguments will be entertained regarding non-selected films. SENSEI reserve the rights to disqualify any contestant if in breach of the UFFO's code of conduct for all creative individuals, filmmakers and film festivals (the 'Universal Film & Festival Organisation').

13. You agree to have read and accepted SENSEI's rules, regulations and code of conduct.

Overall Rating
  • Thank you so much for hosting us! It was thrilling to be a part of SENSEI and we feel extremely honored to be awarded for our acting so much!

    January 2023
  • Brilliant festival, lots of great networking, and a wonderful team that really celebrates film. Very proud to have my work be part of the festival ...

    January 2023
  • Colin Skevington

    We were very thrilled to receive 6 nominations for our film 'The Lossen'. The festival team were very encouraging and kept in touch with us. We were very pleased to be part of the festival and grateful for the nominations.

    January 2023
  • Dale Crawford

    Thank you Sensei for championing our art. We appreciate all your support and your excellent festival.

    January 2023
  • Abhineet Gogne

    Fantastic Festival! Prompt and effective communication. Diverse selection of films. Quality online presentation. Cheers to the MTV of indie films!

    January 2023