Four Asian Short Films to Catch on Streaming Platform FILMPIXS5 min readReading Time: 4 minutes
Looking for entertaining and enriching content to accompany your train and bus rides home? FILMPIXS might be just for you. The streaming platform presents an extensive selection of short films and documentaries from emerging filmmakers around the world. For $5.99 a month with an annual subscription priced at $49.99, subscribers gain access to more than 100 films from premier film festivals such as Cannes, Berlinale and Sundance, with new content arriving every week.
Additionally, FILMPIXS will be the home of select online film festivals, such as the upcoming Dublin Independent Film Festival which will be held from 19 to 21 March. Besides its website, the platform’s content is also accessible through its app, available on iOS, Android, and other formats.
Interested film buffs looking to try out FILMPIXS can sign up for a 7-day free trial. As a potential taster, we highlight four Asian short films to check out from its selection.
I’m Not Your F***ing Stereotype
Director: Hesome Chemamah
Awarded the best Southeast Asian Short Film award at Singapore International Film Festival 2019, Thai director Hesome Chemamah makes a bold statement with his debut I’m Not Your F***ing Stereotype.
The short film centres around Maryam, a Muslim Thai teen, who moves away from her hometown and attends a Buddhist-majority school. She is soon plunged into an identity crisis, caught between society’s Islamophobia and her mother’s religious dogmatism.
While the subject matter is unfortunately still painfully familiar, the short’s exceedingly fresh approach is anything but. Themes and struggles are spelt out in the most fuss-free and effective ways. The most apparent technique is its use of a pinhole view. Hardly able to accommodate more than one subject at a time, the perspective emphasises Maryam’s isolation from both her schoolmates’ insensitive comments and her mother’s intolerance for even attempts at reaching out to understand other religions.
It’s only when Maryam attempts to renounce her religion where the frame finally opens up — yet, by the short’s conclusion, even with her hijab off, she still finds herself trapped beneath society’s ignorance. I’m Not Your F***ing Stereotype is a finely-crafted short that expertly captures the confusion and alienation felt by teenagers during their first brush with intolerance.
Catch the short on FILMPIXS here.
May and June
Director: Chew Chia Shao Min
Exquisite, understated, resounding — May and June brings to attention a frustatingly neglected issue, told fittingly through locales and a sport unfamiliar to most Singaporeans. Instead of the heartlands, the short is placed in the world of fencing, detailing how a coach takes advantage of his student May’s emotional vulnerability. Even when her classmate June attempts to reach out to help, May, conflicted between her attraction to her coach and her loneliness, morphs her confusion into bitter rivalry.
In between the sport’s impactful moments, attention and confidence are dedicated to the nuanced performances of the cast, allowing their exasperation and pain to seep into the frame. Equally tremendous is the short’s cinematography, gracefully nailing down the tension of its characters with DOP Yuchao “Robbin” Feng at the helm.
An official selection from Singapore International Film Festival 2018, May and June is a powerful character study that leaves its mark with its style, sophistication, and ambition. Chew Chia Shao Min, the short’s director, is one to watch from Singapore’s burgeoning filmmaking scene.
Catch May and June on FILMPIXS here.
Stray Dogs Come Out at Night
Director: Hamza Bangash
Stray Dogs Come Out at Night details a slice-of-life surrounding the lesser-known side of Pakistan. The short follows Iqbal, a young maalishwala or masseuse and sex worker, looking to come to terms with a contracted illness. He lives with his uncle Khurrum, and together they take a trip to the beach to find solace from his uncertain future.
Striking hues radiating under the sunlight leave just as much of an impression as the meditative tale. Iqbal’s story is paralleled with the stray dogs of the seaside city of Karachi. Faced with an overpopulation of strays, the city has taken to culling the animals. Iqbal’s profession as a sex worker leaves him just as unwanted in the conservative society, wandering around the night for survival.
Moving at a poetic pace, Stray Dogs Come Out at Night is a heartrending short balancing its tragedy against enchanting visuals and haunting soundscapes. Brought to life by award-winning filmmaker Hamza Bangash, the short film has been showcased around the world, including at Clermont-Ferrand and Fribourg.
Stream Stray Dogs Come Out at Night on FILMPIXS here.
Errorist of Seasons
Director: Rein Maychaelson
Concluding the list on a more lighthearted note is Indonesian short film Errorist of Seasons. With the flooding season approaching, retrenched colleagues Pulung and Hardi decide to use their retrenchment benefits to fund an inflatable boat rental business. Yet, the weather defies predictions with no rain in sight despite the pair’s investments and preparations.
Playing with the irony of an unemployed duo capitalising on rainy days, Errorist of Seasons is a humorous short that doesn’t downplay their plight as much as it injects an air of levity. Warm, welcoming pastel colours reminiscent of the 1970s effortlessly spring to life amidst the downcast atmosphere, with enough control to pull the film away from being weightlessly whimsical.
Stream Errorist of Seasons on FILMPIXS here.