Japan’s Skip City International D-Cinema Festival – an indie film festival that highlights achievements in digital cinema – has announced a lineup that celebrates its achievement and embraces the future for its 14th edition (July 15-23).

The festival will open with Takahiro Horie’s Anima! (ANIMAを撃て!), a drama about a ballet dancer who works with a contemporary drummer to come up with a unique routine of her own. Horie was in the feature length competition last year with wrestling drama Hurt (いたくても いたくても).

The 12-film feature length competition – chosen from 617 entries from 85 countries and regions – includes three Japanese titles – Yoshio Kato’s fantasy drama 3ft Ball & Souls (三尺魂), Thunder Sawada’s black-and-white drama Dream of Illumination (ひかりのたび) and Yusaku Matsumoto’s ensemble drama Noise. The competition also includes the China-Netherland co-production China’s Van Goghs (中國梵高), a documentary about a painter who specializes in creating replicas of Van Gogh’s paintings, and Nepali drama White Sun (सेतो सुर्य).

All the films in the feature length competition are Japan premieres. Director Kiyoshi Kurosawa will lead the competition jury, which also includes film producer Seigo Fukada, Udine Far East Film Festival president Sabrina Baracetti and journalist Liz Shackleton.

The festival is also celebrating some of the filmmakers it discovered with the Filmmakers Making Waves program. The section features six films that were previously screened at the festival, including Kazuya Shiraishi’s Lost Paradise in Tokyo (ロストパラダイス・イン・トーキョー), Ryuta Nakano’s Capturing Dad (チチを撮りに) and Yuichiro Sakashita’s Kanagawa University of Fine Arts, Office of Film Research (神奈川芸術大学映像学科研究室). All three directors will attend the festival for a discussion seminar.

At the same time, the festival is embracing future trends with an installation for VR films from Japan and abroad – including a five-minute VR sequence from opening film Anima!. The six VR shorts will be available for free to audiences from July 16th to the 18th.

The Skip City International D-Cinema Festival will be held Kawaguchi in Saitama Prefecture, just north of Tokyo.