Changes to Film Festival Schedule and Postponement of Submission Deadline

Dear Filmmakers and Supporters,

It is with great regret that we announce the decision to postpone the submission deadline for our film festival by one year. This decision stems from the unfortunate circumstance that we received a limited number of entries meeting the quality standards necessary for screening.

Despite hosting online screenings during the pandemic, it has become clear that many filmmakers express a strong desire for their works to be showcased on the grandeur of a large cinema screen. To facilitate this, a minimum number of entries is required to make the theater screenings viable. Furthermore, to maintain a certain standard of quality in the films presented at the festival, a competitive selection process is essential.

In light of these challenges, we have made the difficult decision to extend the application period. This ensures that we can garner a diverse and high-caliber selection of films for our audience to enjoy on the big screen. Filmmakers who have already submitted their works need not worry, as their entries will remain valid.

For those who intend to submit their films in the future, we kindly ask you to take note of the updated festival schedule once it is released. We deeply appreciate your understanding and support as we navigate these adjustments to provide a more enriching and fulfilling film festival experience.

Should you have any inquiries or concerns, please feel free to reach out to us. Thank you for your continued commitment to the art of filmmaking.






2022 ~ 2023 Winners!

KJFF - Feature: The Haunted Jizo of Shimo-Mizuno, Sayama City - Mitsuo Kurihara
KJFF - Feature - Best Director: What I Learned from Cycling - Kenji Ogusu
KJFF - Best Short: Shoes and Signpost - Takahiro Yamaguchi
KJFF - Best Short: Cinematography: The Entertainer - Sola Kuwabara
KJFF - Best Short: Best Actress: Farewell Wedding Dress - Kyusaku Ichida
KJFF - Best Short: International: Odurajet - Johan Henrik Markus Andrén
KJFF - Best Anything Goes - Yoshimi & Daigo - Mitsuo Kurihara
GBLB - Best Documentary Short - "Sanh Peace Garden" dir. Tinh Mahoney
GBLB - Best Short - "Get a Boyfriend" dir. Shuho Takase


"A True Celebration of Budget-Constraint Creativity." - Elliot Grove (Raindance)

The Good, the Bad, & the Low Budget - Japan Low-Budget Film Festival has been renamed the Kaminari Japanese Film Festival!

In Japan, few foreign films are ever screened and indies film directors are squashed whether they are Japanese or foreigners. There is no where to turn if you haven't the big bucks to remake the next Star Wars. To take down this "Good Ol Boy" system in Japan is the goal of the Kaminari Japanese Film Festival!

The Kaminari Japanese Film Festival is for everyone with a dream to become a filmmaker! Our only requirements are that your film is low budget. Our judges just love low budget movies because they've made them themselves (one time too many as a matter of fact!)

No major film studios are welcomed. We are a truly independent film festival designed for lovers of films and people who can use great ideas to make new and interesting projects instead of throwing cash down the bin faster than a Yakuza chopping off his pinky.

Consider us your first step towards Raindance Film Festival (our Godfather partners in London) and the Japan Indies Film Festival (JIFF) as these two festivals are our big sisters - and they support us - in this game of indies films. Winners get fee waivers to BOTH festivals!

The Kaminari Japanese Film Festival celebrates the best in Indies films and the screenings will be held at theater Guild in Daikanyama (depending upon the Covid Situation), and we will also broadcast your films worldwide on the internet.

So, stop what you are doing right now... You know, that old home movie of your kids? Could be gold! That cinema project in high school or college? Win an award, that'll show them! Just piddling around with your dream while working full time? OK, great! And how about that cat video you shot with your iPhone? It's a Grammy winner!

But don't be scared away, we also accept films from serious filmmakers!

Join with us indies folks who are making a dream come true and NOT spending a sh*tload of money on crappy movies like Marvel Comics does.

Because great ideas can take the place of big money anytime!

PS: Silent films MOST welcomed! Films shot on iPhones very welcomed!

The screenings will be held at Theater Guild in Daikanyama (depending upon the Covid Situation) to be announced.

Best Feature

Best Documentary Feature

Best Short

Best Documentary Short

Eraserhead Award (Best Horror Movie)

Anything Goes Award

Rules & Terms (Read carefully).

· Selected films must be in English or Japanese (or subtitled).

· All Entries must include a press pack including a one-paragraph synopsis and short staff biography with a photo of director and producer for promotional use.

· All Entries must include a list of cast including high-quality photos for promotional use.

· Every submission has to pick one main category.

· Multiple entries are allowed for each filmmaker and each entry may be entered in multiple categories.

· All movie entries should be sent via FilmFreeway. Please do not send discs or any downloadable files to us.

· By entering festival, filmmaker agrees that The official "Paus Kaminari Japanese Film Festival." - Japan Low-Budget Film Festival has the right to use any movie stills or promotional photos for The official Paus Kaminari Japanese Film Festival - Japan Low-Budget Film Festival promotional purposes.

* Films made after Jan. 2019 eligible

*Films must be in NTSC format.

*Films in theaters, TV, online streaming services, sales or distribution representation in Japan or winners in any Japanese film festival not eligible.

*Winners may get distribution offers in Japan (in airlines in-flight movies, theaters and Asia's biggest satellite TV network). We will help you.

*Winners get Fee Waivers to Raindance Film Festival and Japan Indies Film Festival if filmmaker so desires (See? I told you this is the step to big film festivals.)

* We do not pay any screening fees.

*All music rights must be cleared through proper channels.

*Entry fees are non-refundable

* A project being Selected by the Selection Committee does not guarantee screening at the festival. Many factors can cause non-screening of projects, though we do our best to eliminate them.

*Rules are subject to change due to current circumstances (Covid).

Overall Rating
  • Tinh Mahoney

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for chosen "The Khe Sanh Peace Garden" as Best Documentary. Mike Rogers is a great program director and the communications is top notch. The people at Paus Kaminari Japanese Film Festival seems like a great group of people and it would have been fun to be able to meet everyone in person if not for the pandemic. Hope to meet you all in person and in the near future. Great festival.

    February 2022
  • Masanari Sasaki

    The organizer was very nice and encouraging. They provided and excellent planning map of how to promote the festival for all participants. Unfortunately there was no follow up during or after the event, thus the lack of networking possibilities.

    February 2022
  • Julie Misaki

    Communication was superb with the organizers despite the ongoing covid situation. We were very pleased to receive an award from them, and we can't wait to celebrate when the trophy arrives in Hong Kong! Thank you.

    December 2021