Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia (SSFF & ASIA), international short film festival accredited by the Academy Awards® is pleased to announce the 9th Book Shorts Award winner selected for the short stories project. View the prize-winning novel in English on the Book Shorts website.
This award is held as part of the 2022 Japan Cultural Expo sponsored “Creation of Stories All Around Japan” project.
While maintaining the themes of the previous Book Shorts Award, we especially collected more than 700 submissions for “stories from various regions of Japan”.
The winner, “Sunset Road” by Uda Tamaki, is a short story based on the children’s song “Kono Michi” (This Road). Based on a melody and lyrics that many people in Japan have heard before, the story depicts memories and the relationship between the main character and his father, who has not seen each other since high-school graduation.
Book Shorts Award Selection & Comment
Having distanced himself from his father since graduating from high school, the main character receives a call from the hospital. The doctor tells him that his father has the possibility of early onset dementia. But the only feelings the main character could feel after his father spent his life gambling and drinking was a long-standing feeling of hatred. Unable to bear it anymore, the mother disappears while the main character who was in elementary school alone with his father. As a result, the father gave up his drinking and gambling and pours his love into the young protagonist, but the sadness of losing his mother and the hatred towards his father never really goes away.
But change will come. On the day of discharge from the hospital, the main character walks along the sunset path leading to his parents’ home with a father who has only vague memories of his son. In his mind, the memories of walking this road with his family comes flooding back. And then the nostalgic clock tower chimes.
It looks like it will take a little more time for me to forgive everything for this family to be able to live a happy, quiet life.
Award winner Ms. Uda Tamaki has submitted works with dementia motifs many times to book short-related awards, and has had “best book short” selections, but this time she has won the Grand Prize for the first time.