FESTIVALS & COMPETITIONS

SeaShorts Film Festival Announces 2020 Dates and Theme

4 November 2019

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SeaShorts Film Festival Announces 2020 Dates and Theme

The SeaShorts Film Festival has announced the dates and city for its fourth edition in 2020, which will take place from 25 to 30 August in Ipoh, Perak.

Members of the film community will descend upon the former tin-mining township for an extensive programme set within the theme, “Reimagining Short Films, Reinventing Southeast Asia”. Over six packed days and nights, attendees can expect screenings, industry sessions, art experiences, experimental projects, and other highlights dedicated to the new wave of cinema from around the region.

The theme is two-fold. “Reimagining Short Films” challenges filmmakers and viewers alike on their perception of the myriad forms that titles can take in the current digitally connected world. “Reinventing Southeast Asia” meanwhile invites creative voices to come together in sharing stories that are unique yet familiar, and to weave the future narratives of this land they call home.

(Tan Chui Mui and Nicholas Chee)

In another development, Tan Chui Mui – who has led the SeaShorts team since the first iteration in 2017 – will be joined by Nicholas Chee as Festival Co-Director in 2020. Previously serving as the Partnership and Engagement Director, he has contributed significantly to the cinematic landscape of his native Singapore.

2006 saw him make his name with full-length feature Becoming Royston and the launch of independent film blog Sinema.SG. The following year, he co-founded Sinema Old School, the island nation’s first community theatre. Chee is also behind the creation of the biannual ciNE65 short film competition and National Youth Film Awards. He now runs The Flying Kick Asia, a content production company headquartered in Singapore with overseas presence in Taiwan and South Korea.

“Short films are not merely defined by duration. Instead, they embody the free spirit of filmmaking in ways that longer works can ill afford to abide. I am excited to see how far the many film scenes of Southeast Asia will push the boundaries, and can imagine the mammoth task on our hands in deciding the next official selection. I therefore welcome Nicholas’ input in an extension of his already comprehensive role,” said Tan.

“I am honoured to come onboard and work alongside Chui Mui and the founding team to take SeaShorts to new heights,” commented Nicholas. “Over the past three editions, the Festival has grown rapidly and become an important platform for Southeast Asia’s up-and-coming talent behind the camera. My vision is to build on that momentum and establish it further among global audiences through innovative storytelling.”

The 2019 Festival, held earlier in September, proved to be hugely popular as more than 200 cinema enthusiasts gathered in the historical city of Melaka to watch over a hundred short films from 10 different countries.

The line-up comprised a heady mix of screenings, talks, forums, masterclasses, workshops, and an exhibition by participating guests. On the competition front, Indonesian drama Ballad of Blood and Two White Buckets picked up the coveted best of the fest SeaShorts Award while Vinegar Baths beat nine other Malaysian contenders to win the Next New Wave Award.

Photo Credit: SeaShorts Film Festival Facebook Page

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