We will now announce the winning films of the Semboku International Drone Film Festival 2023.
Prior to the announcement, Mr. Taguchi, Chairman of the Executive Committee, will give the opening remarks.

Opening Remarks

Tomoaki Taguchi
the Chairman of the Executive Committee (Mayor of Semboku City)

Semboku City, Akita prefecture was designated as a National Strategic Special Zone in 2015, and since then has been working to promote the social implementation of near-future technologies in many fields. This festival has developed into a film festival where many works are received from all over the world every year, and where one can encounter wonderful videos. This year, I am again amazed by the advances in drone aerial photography and video editing technology. I wish all creators around the world continued success in their endeavors and further development of near-future technologies.

Representative comments from Supporting Organizations

Mr. Junichi Nakazawa
Director General, MIC Tohoku Bureau of Telecommunications

I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations on the opening of the Semboku International Drone Film Festival 2023. I am very much looking forward to seeing the many original and creative drone films that will be introduced at this year’s festival from all over the world. I sincerely hope that the festival will be a success and Semboku City will continue to grow and develop through such advanced and creative efforts.

Next, we would like to introduce the judges for this year’s competition.


  • Chief Judge

    Toshi Inomata

    Directed a wide range of films, from TV commercials to TV programs, films, web movies, and music videos.
    His film “OYAKO present for the future” won the Berlin Best Documentary at the International Film Award and NHK World “Forbidden Kyoto” Life as a TAYU-DIVA Beyond Geisha won the Silver Award in the Television category at the Chicago Film Festival.
    Has directed some number of films incorporating drone footage since 2015 after studying drone filming in the U.S.


  • Koji Iigura
    Professor of Composite Art at Akita University of Art

    Engaged in computer graphics research and related software development.
    Has been a university faculty member since 2011, and has been in his current position since April 2017.
    Dr. in Informatics.
    Awards received include the Digital Entertainment Program ‘96 and the Japan Society of Remote Sensing Engineers Award (Best Paper Award).

  • Naoteru Odano
    Director, Department of Tourism, Culture and Sports, Senboku City

    Has been working on the implementation of near-future technologies in Senboku City, which is designated as a special zone for the demonstration of near-future technologies such as drones.
    Currently, working on tourism promotions, green tourism, and cultural asset protection administrations.

  • Hiroaki Kudo
    Director, Content Center, NHK Akita Broadcasting Station

    Started working at NHK in 1994 As a reporter, mainly covered disasters, agriculture, and administration in Tohoku, including the Great East Japan Earthquake.
    Currently, in charge of all content at NHK Akita Broadcasting Station, including news reports and programs.

  • Youji Matuda
    Director, Cable Broadcasting Division, Broadcasting Department, Tohoku Telecommunications Bureau, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications

    Started working at the Tohoku Radio Control Bureau of the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (currently the Tohoku Bureau of Telecommunications of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications) in 1981.
    In the Tohoku and Tokai bureaus, being responsible for licensing radio stations, including those in the broadcasting field, dissemination and promotion of information and communication technology, and support for research and development in information and communication, etc.
    Has been in his current position since 2023.

  • Hiroshi Kuriki
    Writer/director, Warabi-za (Theater Company in Akita)

    Joined Warabiza in 1986.
    Worked as a member of the literary group and directed many plays after working as an actor for 8 years.
    In 2014, he directed the opening ceremony and festival for the 29th National Culture Festival Akita 2014 and received the Akita Prefecture Arts Award in the theater category.

Now it’s time to announce the award-winning entries!
First, we announce the “Rookie of the Year” award!

Award-winning works

Rookie of the Year award
Souvenir:CreateMate Card case with memory card reader function
by Kumagai Printing
Discover your Shizuoka
location: Shiraito Falls, Suruga Bay, Lake Hamana, and others
  • Nobuko Muto
    (Shizuoka Prefecture)

    Drone history:about 3 years

    Total flight time:about 20 hours

    Aircraft used:DJI Mavic 2 Pro+G15:G20

  • During the time when I could not travel due to the pandemic, I wanted to convey the charm of Shizuoka, so I gradually started to send out messages with drone images. Even though I live in Shizuoka, there are many places I have never been to, and I was impressed by the wonderful scenery. Although my skills are not yet up to par, please discover your favorite Shizuoka and visit Shizuoka.

【comments】Youji Matuda

The judges highly evaluated the potential of this work as a work of ideas and originality. As a tourism promotion video, the work was well put together to tell a story of a trip to Shizuoka, full of blue and green, which is soothing to the senses. We look forward to seeing more drone videos from you in the future and hope that you will continue to produce wonderful works of art.

Congratulations to Mr. Muto!
Next is the announcement of the “Semboku Mayor’s Award”.

Semboku Mayor’s Award
Souvenir: Kabazaiku business card case
by Semboku City
Four Seasons in Japan ~Beautiful four seasons of JAPAN~
location: Zaō in Yamagata, Tsubosaka-dera in Nara, Mt. Kita-Hodaka in Nagano, botanical garden in Hyogo, and others
  • Kento Hirota
    Osaka Prefecture

    Drone history : about 4 years

    Total flight time:about 500 hours

    Aircraft used:DJI MAVIC3 and DJI AIR2S GEPRC iFlight

  • “The Four Seasons” is one of Japan’s most chic cultures. Over a period of two years, I traveled all over Japan to take drone photographs to dynamically depict the fascinating seasonal landscapes. The film is rich in emotion, showing the different seasons. I hope you will enjoy the beautiful sky views of each season.”

【comments】 Tomoaki Taguchi

I chose this film because it captures the beauty of Japan’s wonderful four seasons, and because it fosters a sense of pride in one’s hometown. I know it was a long shoot, but the aerial photography and editing techniques were truly outstanding.

Congratulations to Mr. Hirota!
Next is the announcement of the “Jury’s Special Award.”

Jury’s Special Award
Souvenir: OneGo Air Backpack 20L
by Art System.Co.,Ltd
Corsica, vision of tomorrow
location: Corsica, France
  • Mel Pierre
    Grenoble, France

    Drone history:about 10 years

    Total flight time:about 1,000 hours

    Aircraft used:DJI Mavic 2 Pro and Dauch Vega

  • The captivating video showcases the natural beauty of Corsica, highlighting its enchanting landscapes and ecological diversity. However, it also sheds light on the tragic ecological disaster caused by devastating fires. This contrast underscores the urgency of environmental preservation and calls for concrete actions to protect this Mediterranean island.

【comments】Hiroshi Kuriki

The film depicts the richness of Corsica’s nature and its inhabitants, interspersed with news footage and a story about what was lost in the fire and the hope for its restoration, all skillfully constructed with narration. The shots of the dog’s lonely eyes, the statue of Mary standing alone, and the Corsican flag were all effective. This film was a heartbreaking reminder of climate change.

Congratulations to Mr. Mel Pierre!
We will now announce the winners of the Excellence Awards in each category. First up is the “Nature Division.

Nature Division, Excellence Award
Prize 50,000 yen
Kelp fishing heralds summer
Location: Akkeshi in Hokkaido, Lake Akkeshi, Akkesshi Bay , and Pacific Ocean
  • Kazuyuki Miyakawa from LOVE.PHANTOM

    Drone history: about 3 years

    Total flight time: about 200 hours

    Aircraft used: DJI MAVIC3

  • The beginning of the fishing heralds the start of the short northern summer, and the sight of the powerful simultaneous departure of the fishermen and the kelp neatly laid out on the drying ground is a sight to behold. I tried to capture and depict the sea as it comes alive with the arrival of summer, and the people who enjoy the bounty of nature and the sea and live off of it.

【comments】 Hiroaki Kudo

It was a surprising work of art. It may be a familiar sight for the town of Akkeshi, but it is breathtaking when seen from above. The sight of many boats setting sail at once and the kelp neatly laid out on the drying ground can only be captured by a drone. It is a fine work of art that depicts a lively harbor and people enjoying the bounty of the natural sea.

Congratulations to Mr. Miyakawa!
Next is the announcement of the Excellence Award in the Creative Division.

Creative Division, Excellence Award
Prize 50,000 yen
Autumn in Akita -Cinematic Japan-
Location: Semboku City, Akita Prefecture
  • Hiroyuki Suzuki

    Drone history: about 3 years

    Total flight time: about 35 hours

    Aircraft used: DJI AIR 25

  • Traveling Cinematically” is the theme of my annual trip with a drone and camera as my partner.The images of the beautiful autumn leaves of Semboku City and the cobalt blue Lake Tazawa shot from a drone are breathtaking! In fact, this work was shot the day before I participated in the same video contest last year and received the Rookie of the Year Award. Also, I put some messages in the end the film.

【comments】 Naoteru Odano

The creator of this work is Hiroyuki Suzuki, who won the Rookie of the Year Award at last year’s Drone Festival. The work was shot in the interval before the award ceremony in Semboku City. It is a wonderful work that beautifully captures the autumn leaves and the beautiful scenery of Lake Tazawa. As the title “Cinematic Japan” suggests, it is a travel-themed work with the beautiful nature of Lake Tazawa in the background.

Congratulations to Mr. Suzuki!
Next is the announcement of the Excellence Award in the Tourism Promotion Division.

Tourism Promotion Division, Excellence Award
Prize 50,000 yen
Touring the four seasons of iwate
Location: Various locations in Iwate Prefecture
  • Juri Terasawa
    Iwate Prefecture

    Drone history:about 3 years

    Total flight time:about 100 hours

    Aircraft used:DJI Mavic3

  • I filmed a variety of scenes throughout the year and edited them to create a car trip through the four seasons in Iwate. I differentiated my video from other sightseeing videos by including not only the usual tourist attractions, but also scenes of rice cultivation and snow removal, which you would not normally see. In addition, I shot a wide range of scenes from sunrise to late at night.

【comments】Koji Iigura

This work is not only a beautiful landscape shot by drone, but also functions excellently as a tourism promotion video. In particular, the winter scene introduces not only Iwate’s beautiful ski slopes but also snow removal and expresses the life of local people. I have comprehensively evaluated these elements and selected it for the Excellence Award in the Tourism Promotion Division.

Congratulations to Mr. Terasawa!
Now it is time to announce the “Grand Prix”.

Grand Prix
Prize 300,000 yen
Welcome to Komebukuro / Welcome to the Universe of Rice Bags
Location: Nihonmatsu City, Fukushima Prefecture Fukushima Manufacturing Department, Siko Co.
  • Susumu Kataoka
    Hiroshima Prefecture

    Drone history: about 5 years

    Total flight time: about 1,000 hours

    Aircraft used: Home-built CineClover85lite

  • We filmed the manufacturing process of rice bags, which support the distribution of rice by using a micro drone. Demand for rice bags is shrinking due to declining rice consumption. In this situation, Mr. Shiraishi, the new president of Siko Corporation, sought a growth strategy that seeks uniqueness. He decided to create a video that adds an entertaining color to the inside of the factory. The scene at 1 minute and 35 seconds is especially a must-see.

【comments】Toshi Inomata

This film shows the freshness of the subject matter by depicting the manufacturing process of rice bags and the new possibilities of drones, which can be made so much more interesting by using a micro-drone. Furthermore, the skillful use of filming techniques to shoot the entire film in a single scene cut has resulted in a wonderful degree of perfection. It is a very significant work that showed us that drone film has still potential.

Congratulations to Mr. Kataoka!


Killing Me Saltly

For any enquiries,
Please: drone-fes@cna-catv.co.jp

Organized by Semboku International Drone Film Festival Executive Committee
(Semboku City, Akita University of Art, Warabi-za Theatrical Company, Akita Drone Community, Kumagai Printing, Art System, Cable Networks Akita)

Co-organized by Tohoku Telecommunications Round-Table Conference

Supported by Akita Prefecture, Semboku City, MIC Tohoku Bureau of Telecommunications, NHK Akita Broadcasting Station, Japan Cable and Telecommunications Association in Tohoku Branch

Sponsored by Cable Networks Akita Co.Ltd.