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SeaShorts Film Festival 2020 Announces Full Programme Line-up

18 August 2020

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SeaShorts Film Festival 2020 Announces Full Programme Line-up

The SeaShorts Film Festival has announced the full details and Official
Selection for its fourth edition to be held this 12th to 20th September. In the most accessible version of the annual event yet, audiences will be given the opportunity to connect over an entirely digital series of live and online activities throughout the nine-day run.

In adapting to the new normal of social distancing, the Festival continues to shine a spotlight on the enormous depth and diversity of short filmmaking from across Southeast Asia. The pulse of emerging talent can be seen in the competition section. Chosen from 544 entries, the 30 nominees will vie for the coveted SeaShorts Award, with the best Malaysian effort walking away with the Next New Wave Award.

In addition to the top honours, the shortlist will be in contention for prizes in direction, screenwriting, cinematography, editing, sound, and acting. Winners will be decided by a jury composed of Cambodian-French filmmaker Davy Chou, Indonesian cinematographer Anggi Frisca, Philippine producer Bianca Balbuena, Singaporean sound engineer Rennie Gomes, and Malaysian historian Dr. Farish A. Noor.

The daily schedule of screenings is further complemented by other curated highlights, offering compelling insight into the cinematic landscape of the region and beyond. On the bill are showcases of selected works from Japan’s Image Forum Festival, Taiwan’s Golden Harvest Awards and Kaohsiung Film Festival, Singapore’s National Youth Film Awards, as well as the early oeuvre of rising names in the Malaysian scene.

Omnibus film Mekong 2030 will serve as the curtain-raiser for the Festival, encompassing different outlooks on the eponymous river from the five countries that straddle it.

As always, engagement is at the heart of the SeaShorts experience. Each screening is accompanied by a Q&A session, with forums, masterclasses, and workshops delivered by prominent industry players also on the cards.

“In posing the theme, Reimagining Short Films, Reinventing Southeast Asia, we wanted to challenge filmmakers to deliver truly original narratives and techniques,” said Tan Chui Mui, Festival Founder and Director. “The line-up has exceeded our expectations, and we are excited by their potential in portraying important issues and pushing the boundaries of the medium.”

Nicholas Chee, Festival Co-Director, added, “We are fortunate every year to share some of the most inventive storytelling from the creative voices that call this land home. Filmmakers across the region are constantly upping their game as they provide unique ways of investigating history, exploring the current, and envisioning the future.”

SeaShorts is made possible with the support of The Japan Foundation Asia Center, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Malaysia, Taipei Ministry of Culture, Singapore National Youth Film Awards by *SCAPE, Purin Pictures, National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (Finas), Da Huang Pictures, Sinema Media, Aputure Imaging Industries, Deity Microphones, and Zoom Corporation.

Festival passes are now on sale at the early bird price of USD5 until 23rd August and USD10 thereafter. For more information, visit seashorts.org.


Official Selection For The 2020 SeaShorts Award

A Closed Mouth Catches No Flies
Dir. Destian Rendra Pratama, Indonesia
A family becomes the talk of the village’s women after a theft.

A Day Will Come
Dir. Tinshine Mont and Christine Flemming, Thailand
A young reporter is confronted with visions of internalised fear and paranoia when interviewing the sister of a missing activist.

A Remembering of Disremembering
Dir. Cris A. Bringas, Philippines
The journey of Manila’s oldest movie theatre from gradiosity to obsolescence is told through the romance between a retiring projectionist and late-blooming actress.
Aishah
Dir. Sayyid Hannan, Malaysia
Two siblings deal with the death of their mother while hosting her mourning ceremony.

BURA
Dir. Eden Junjung, Indonesia
While danger lurks in a time of political unrest, a scholar leaves his guard post to meet with his lover.

By The Southern Sea
Dir. Vincent Kong Yentao, Malaysia
A boy tired of hometown life comes of age when he meets a mysterious woman at the beach.

Elsa
Dir. Lim Jen Nee, Singapore

Six-year-old Stanley has a year left to play Disney’s Queen Elsa to his heart’s content, before he has to
start schooling.

Evening Stroll
Dir. Candra Aditya, Indonesia
When a couple loses their wallet during a picnic, they rediscover the beauty of their love through conversation.

Gimbal: A Bet Between Tradition and Pride
Dir. Sidiq Ariyadi, Indonesia
Superstition and ritual surround a farmer’s daughter who wears dreadlocks.

Here, Here
Dir. Joanne Marian B. Cesario, Philippines
A boy and and his mother await the fate of his father after a mining accident.

How He Met My Mother
Dir. Colin Huang Ruobin, Singapore
A young man attempts to reconcile with his girlfriend’s disapproving mother before the couple has to break up for good.

Hush, tonight the dead are dreaming loudly
Dir. Kong Pahurak, Thailand
On the anniversary of a political massacre, an unexpected guest sends the memorial into an uproar.

Kampung Gajah
Dir. Yoeng Kuok Hong, Malaysia
Wei Hong returns to his hometown, as he seeks to come to terms with old memories and find an old flame.

Ladies’ Choice
Dir. Celina Peñaflorida, Philippines
While grieving the loss of a long-term relationship, Miriam confides in her mother, leading to a tense argument about motherhood.

Last Time I Was An Actress
Dir. Grace Constance Song Jia Ern, Singapore
The director visits her aunt, a former amateur Chinese street opera actress, and the two recreate the heyday of the dying cultural art.

Mary, Mary, So Contrary
Dir. Nelson Yeo, Singapore
A phantasmagoric narrative about a Chinese woman named Ma Li who dreams she is Caucasian and called Mary instead.

Peon
Dir. June Wong, Shaiful Yahya, and Syaz Zainal, Malaysia
A true story told entirely through a phone screen, a delivery rider gets more than he bargained for when he receives an order to deliver passports.

Prelude of the moving zoo
Dir. Sorayos Prapapan, Thailand
A documentary recounting the last day Dusit Zoo was open before it closed to the public in 2018.

Ruwatan
Dir. Ernest Lesmana, Indonesia
Sri’s weekly routine of accompanying her blind mother to alternative therapy may soon come to an end.

Shitpost
Dir. Wimar Herdanto, Indonesia
A motorcycle freestyler tries his hand at being a YouTuber on the wishes of his much younger girlfriend.

Star
Dir. Carla Pulido Ocampo, Philippines
Glitches, linguistic differences, and the political incorrectness of the 1950s get in the way as a farmer attempts to communicate with a showbiz star trapped inside a television.

Stay Awake, Be Ready
Dir. Pham Thien An, Vietnam
Three young men are engaged in conversation at a street corner, until a motorcycle accident turns their night into something more.

Sunny Side of the Street
Dir. Andrew Kose, Indonesia
Amidst the 1998 Jakarta riots, two strangers find themselves sharing a journey home.

The Cloud Is Still There
Dir. Mickey Lai Loke Yee, Malaysia
A young woman grapples with clashing religious beliefs as she prays for her terminally ill grandfather.

The Graduation of Edison
Dir. Pham Hoang Minh Thy, Vietnam
In a village where every child is born with trees on their heads, problems arise when a girl rejects a traditional rite of passage.

The Man Who Isn’t There and Other Stories of Longing
Dir. Rom Trishtan Perez, Philippines
Short and innocent glimpses of human connection told through the lens of a photobooth.

The Quiet
Dir. Radheva Jegatheva, Malaysia
An astronaut comes to a startling realisation as he ponders in the quietness of space.

The Slums
Dir. Jan Andrei Cobey, Philippines
The colourful lives of the Reyes family come under the intense scrutiny of a documentary crew.

This Is Our Land
Dir. Nonilon Abao, Philippines
An indigenous mountain community make a stand against a foreign mining company and the destruction of their ancestral land.

Uncle Goose Waits For A Phone Call
Dir. Kew Lin Qin Zhi, Singapore
The lonesome Uncle Goose goes to incredible lengths to ensure he never misses an old friend’s phone call.

Official Selection For The 2020 Next New Wave Award

Aishah
Dir. Sayyid Hannan, Malaysia
Two siblings deal with the death of their mother while hosting her mourning ceremony.

By The Southern Sea
Dir. Vincent Kong Yentao, Malaysia
A boy tired of hometown life comes of age when he meets a mysterious woman at the beach.

Kampung Gajah
Dir. Yoeng Kuok Hong, Malaysia
Wei Hong returns to his hometown, as he seeks to come to terms with old memories and find an old flame.

Peon
Dir. June Wong, Shaiful Yahya, and Syaz Zainal, Malaysia
A true story told entirely through a phone screen, a delivery rider gets more than he bargained for when he receives an order to deliver passports.

The Cloud Is Still There
Dir. Mickey Lai Loke Yee, Malaysia
A young woman grapples with clashing religious beliefs as she prays for her terminally ill grandfather.

The Quiet
Dir. Radheva Jegatheva, Malaysia
An astronaut comes to a startling realisation as he ponders in the quietness of space.

Introducing The Jury

Davy Chou, filmmaker, France and Cambodia
Born and raised in France, Davy’s oeuvre often follow the exploration of his Cambodian roots. In 2009, he established a filmmaking workshop at four Phnom Penh schools as well as a youth-driven collective of his peers, Kon Khmer Koun Khmer. The same year, he co-founded Vycky Films with Jean-Jacky Goldberg and Sylvain Decouvelaere. Golden Slumbers (2011), his first feature-length effort with the production company, was selected to more than 40 international festivals. 2014 saw the release of short film Cambodia 2099, which was featured at Cannes Directors’ Fortnight and won among others the grand prize at the Curtas Vila do Conde.

Anggi Frisca, cinematographer, Indonesia
Anggi marked her foray into shooting feature films in 2012 with Garin Nugroho’s The Blindfold, which premiered at International Film Festival Rotterdam. Since then, she has added 12 more credits to her name, picking up three nominations for best cinematography at Indonesia’s foremost film awards ceremony, Piala Citra. 2017 saw her take on an expanded role behind the camera, as she executive produced The Seen and Unseen and directed Negeri Dongeng.

Bianca Balbuena, producer, Philippines
Bianca stands as the CEO of Epicmedia Productions Inc., which counts Engkwentro (winner of the Lion of the Future and Orrizonti Award at the 2009 Venice Film Festival) and A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery (winner of the Silver Bear at the 2016 Berlinale) among the more than 25 feature films it has produced. Her portfolio has premiered and won at esteemed festivals worldwide including Venice, Berlinale, San Sebastian, Toronto, Busan, Tokyo, Rotterdam, Taipei, Sydney, and Karlovy Vary. Bianca’s claim to fame locally is Antoinette Jadaone’s That Thing Called Tadhana, which in 2014 became one of the country’s highest grossing films ever on a budget of just USD60,000. Her work has not gone unnoticed, as she became the youngest recipient of the FIAPF Award at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards and was nominated for Best Foreign Producer at the Madrid International Film Festival.

Rennie Gomes, sound engineer, Singapore
Rennie is an award-winning composer, sound designer, film mixer, and one-half of the founding team behind Yellow Box Studios, one of Singapore’s largest sound production facilities. His 20-year career has seen him pick up multiple advertising accolades, including eight D&AD nominations along with prizes at the Creative Circle Awards. Rennie has also built a sizeable body of work in film and television, with credits for Crazy Rich Asians, HBO’s Halfworlds and Foodlore, as well as Netflix’s Marco Polo and Nowhere Man.

Dr. Farish A. Noor, historian, Malaysia
Dubbed the ‘Rockstar Professor’ by a local newspaper, Dr. Farish is Senior Fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies of Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University and Affiliated Professor at Indonesia’s Universitas Muhamadiyah Surakarta. A political historian and human rights activist, he is also a prolific author of such titles as The Discursive Construction of Southeast Asia in 19th Century Colonial-Capitalist Discourse; The Tablighi Jama’at in Southeast Asia; The Madrasa in Asia: Political Activism and Transnational Linkages; Islam Embedded: The Historical Development of the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party PAS: 1951-2003; and Spirit of Wood: The Art of Malay Woodcarving.


About SeaShorts Film Festival

The SeaShorts Film Festival is an annual celebration of Southeast Asian short film, comprising screenings, forums, workshops, exhibitions, and other creative endeavours from guests across the region. Founded by
award-winning filmmaker Tan Chui Mui in 2017, it has grown into a permanent fixture on the calendars of cinema professionals and enthusiasts alike.

Since its inaugural edition, SeaShorts has showcased 375 short films and travelled to three different cities in Malaysia. Among the names that have been members of the competition jury include Rithy Panh (Cambodia), Philip Cheah (Singapore), Pimpaka Towira (Thailand), Mira Lesmana (Indonesia), and Sharifah Amani (Malaysia).

The Festival is the annual marquee event of the SeaShorts Film Society, officially registered in Malaysia in 2020. Visit seashorts.org for more information and follow the Festival’s Facebook page for the latest updates.