30 x 3 virgin remy: $200 OBO (United States, 10 min) by Sarah Nguyễn – 30 x 3 virgin remy: $200 OBO is an experimental dance short film, and craigslist ad, following Hoàng’s memories of her auntie’s long hair and how it came to be a symbol of luxury and malevolence in rural Vietnam. Auntie was the only family member who accepted Hoàng’s parents’ forbidden mixed Teochew / Vietnamese marriage. After their father was imprisoned by the Communist party and their mother was banned from bringing her mixed heritage children into her parents’ home, Auntie generously took Hoàng and her siblings in. Six year old Hoàng and her siblings were forced to perform child labor to support their livelihood through bamboo weaving and sugar cane foraging on Auntie’s farm. Movement and music follow the story’s disjointed narration that is common to many immigrants’ stories of the past. It took Hoàng more than 45 years to accept, recall, and feel comfortable to share these fragmented memories. Ten years after growing it out, the dancer is advertising their virgin (no chemicals) and remy (cut and tied in its natural direction) hair for sale to raise funds for Hoàng’s oldest sister, the only sibling who could not make it out of Vietnam after the war.
A Little Closer (Singapore, 15 min) by Cheryl Mong – Ashwin, an Indian young man, works as a Stay-Home Caller during the pandemic. In his duties, he forms an unlikely friendship with a Chinese elderly lady, who is wandering alone in the streets of Singapore. Through this encounter, Ashwin learns the importance of tradition and family.
เรื่องของเรา (About Us, Thailand, 19 min) by Chanintorn Pensute – Stories about “Us”, students with disabiities who live in Chiang Mai, northen part of Thailand.
Access To Justice: Stories From A Pro Bono Lawyer (Singapore, 5 min) by Amrit Kaur Jastol – When a crime is committed, we tend to focus on the act itself and forget that there are other related problems that can push one to commit these crimes in the first place. Chengying shares the challenging situations her clients face through her journey as a pro bono lawyer at Law Society Pro Bono Services.
Amrit Kaur joined Our Grandfather Story (OGS) as a video journalist where she has had the privilege of listening to the stories and experiences of people from all walks of life. In all her work, she strives to translate the emotions behind these stories into visuals as a way to remind us — and herself — that we’re all connected through our experiences in some ways after all. She continues to explore storytelling through animation and comics in her current role as content lead at O+ by OGS.
All That Glitters is Bronze (United States, 8 min) by Jinji Sayson – All That Glitters Is Bronze is a love letter to the Philippine tradition of Kulintang. Around the Bay Area in California, a local band called Kulintang Dialect is keeping the tradition alive. This short documentary offers a brief glimpse of the cosmos through clips of performances interspersed with interviews from the band.
Jinji is a Cebuana Filipina-American filmmaker based in the Bay Area, California. Her many passions include playing piano and percussion, as well as performing Kulintang music, writing essays, poetry, cultural critiques and activism.
An Affair in One February Morning (Myanmar, 8 min) by Anonymous – A man and a woman in a romantic tryst wake up in a beautiful morning on 1st of Feb, 2021 in Burma, the day of military coup, oblivious to what has occurred.
Mimpi Besar Di Balik Layar Kecil (Big Dreams Underneath The Little Screens, Indonesia, 10 min) by Rininta Ayurianti – In a pandemic situation, the shift in learning activities from face-to-face to online has forced various parties to “re-learn” and adapt to conditions that are far from ideal. For some people, this is exacerbated by the limited access to electronic devices. Moreover, the teacher’s responsibility seems to shift to the hands of each parent who supervise learning activities directly at home. Like most people in his school environment, Zaidan and his family is left with no other choice but to be content with this ineffective education system.
Rininta Ayurianti was born in Jakarta on October 21, 2001. Since childhood, her interest in cinema emerged through the various films that she and her family watched every week in theaters. She found that movies can be entertaining and also spark conversations. She then started to show interest in becoming a film director when she formed a small production crew to make her very first film in 2012. In 2014, she tried to pursue her dreams by joining cinematography class and taking the role of a director. She is currently majoring in Film at Multimedia Nusantara University. By learning more about filmmaking, she hopes to be able to entertain and inspire audience through film.
The Blank Horizon (Indonesia, 18 min) by Pekik Wenang – Hendro is driving his motorbike with his friend Teguh to visit his uncle which his home is located in a remote area, a few hours from the city. Hendro, who had not seen his uncle for dozens of years, nearly forgot the road to get there. They drove around in circles having no idea where the right direction is. When they reached a large tree, Hendro remembered his uncle’s words; there had been a mass slaughter in the past.
Pekik Wenang graduated from film academies in Yogyakarta. He joined one of the city’s major film communities after feeling he lacked knowledge of film on his campus. In this community, he began to learn a lot about visual language and film production. His interest in Indonesian history led him to make his debut film, The Blank Horizon.
Sa Layag ng Bangkang Paurong (The Boats that Sail Backwards, Philippines, 15 min) by Mark Giddel Liwanag – a documentary created by students of the Alaminos City National High School which discusses the challenges facing young students who work as boatmen in the province’s tourist destination Hundred Islands.
Cipinang Fashion Week (Indonesia, 4 min) by Vandy Woo – Fashion Show is an event put on by a fashion designer to showcase their upcoming line of clothing and/or accessories during Fashion Week. Well, In Pasar Induk Cipinang, one of the biggest rice market in Jakarta, a fashion show found its way.
Vandy Woo is a fan of comedy. He swears to capture the absurdity of daily life through his work.
Desert Lotus (United States, 4 min) by Lava Buckley – When I was 8 years old, my mother, sister and I lived in a shelter. Only recently, my mom has been able to open up about the experience.. This is an interview not about why we were in the shelter, but my mom outlining being a single mom as an immigrant and overcoming hardship. My mother reminds me of one of our beloved symbols in Buddhism, the lotus. The lotus is rooted in mud and pushes its way through a difficult environment to become a beautiful flower.
Lava Buckley is an award winning Asian American filmmaker, with an invisible disability, based in New Mexico. She is driven to create films for her community that encourage overcoming challenges and identity journeys. Currently, Lava is creating a documentary about honoring traditional clothing, editing a documentary about her journey with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, and writing a dramedy about an Asian American Daughter with CRPS living with her immigrant mother. When not creating films, Lava loves spending time off the grid in a camper van and taking photos of her dogs.
The Future is Fabric (Australia, 4 min) by Julia Martin – The tumultous and triumphant life of Lao Master Weaver, Khaisy Sophabmixay. Born in the midst of conflict, Khaisy began a woman-led enterprise with one loom and two weavers. After decades of championing traditional, sustainable textile design, she has now been recognised as one of Asia’s greatest artisans.
Julia Martin is an Australian film-maker with a strong interest in sustainable textiles and traditional fibre crafts. Julia is also passionate about using film to amplify voices and create social change. In 2018, she collaborated with innovative Lao-Australian designer, Samorn Sanixay, to make the short film ‘Creative Activism’, which screened at TedX Canberra and Sydney Fashion Revolution Week.
Haya (Lithuania, 12 min) by Ugnė Alaburdaitė – A Vietnamese girl Haya struggles to find happiness growing up in a foreign country. One thing that kept her going was her love for dance.
Born in Vilnius, Lithuania, Ugnė is a young filmmaker studying at Skalvija film school. Via her films, she seeks to find the beauty in life.
Homebound (Indonesia, 17 min) by Ismail Fahmi Lubis – Tari longs to return home to Indonesia after more than 10 years working abroad in Taiwan. When the Covid-19 pandemic struck her plans unraveled, revealing a lack of rights for vulnerable migrant workers and systemic misinformation. Homebound is an intimate portrayal of a migrant worker’s experience abroad and is an urgent wake up call for those who have contributed to a system that takes advantage of 1000s of women each year.
Ismail is one of Indonesia’s most experienced and decorated documentary film directors. He enrolled in the Institut Kesenian Jakarta (IKJ) in 1993, majoring in Film and Directing. Upon his graduation, he directed several Indonesian television drama series before switching his focus to documentary in 1998. As a cinematographer, Ismail has worked with notable filmmakers including Dutch filmmaker Leonard Retel Helmrich (Shape of the Moon, 2004) and Australia’s Cathy Henkel (The Burning Season, 2008). He has directed three feature documentaries including “Masked Monkey”, “Tarling Is Darling” and “Help Is On The Way”. His films have screened at Rotterdam IFF, Busan IFF, Jean Rouch IFF, Doc Point Documentary Film Festival and Taiwan IFF amongst others. His films have been broadcast on PTS Taiwan, EBS South Korea, Al Jazeera and GoPlay Indonesia. With Ismail’s first two documentaries nominated for Indonesia’s Best Feature Documentary Award at Festival Film Indonesia, his film Help Is On The Way won the award in 2019.
Interference (Thailand, 8 min) by Methas Chanthawongs – This avant-garde film is about music and social class. When the conductor comes to various areas that run on different activities, nobody knows about the surrounding sound, except him. Suddenly, an unexpected situation occurs.
Methas Chantawongs was born in 1994, based in Bangkok. he graduated in B.F.A. Film and Digital Media at KMITL in 2016. Then he started working as a composer along with filmmaking. Methas is interested in an experimental video to share and explore social topics. His works were exhibited and won the prize internationally.
Journey Across The Bridge (United States, 2 min) by Stefie Gan – A Malaysian Chinese immigrant mother and daughter journey across the bridge and reconnect across generations and cultural divides in New York City. During a train ride home, a mother compares her daughter to the “successful” children of her friends. The daughter doesn’t say anything, and the mother continues to talk about her homeland. At the end, they find a connection of love and understanding.
Stefie Gan is an NYC based illustrator, animator, and filmmaker. She has traveled to many countries and made films about Malaysia, Beijing, and India. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Barnard College, Columbia University and Master of Fine Arts from the University of Southern California. As an artist and writer since youth, she brings a cultural, spatial, and story sensibility to her work. Stefie values deeply connecting with people with her artwork. Watercolors are one of her favorite mediums. The properties of watercolors are emotional and beautiful. It’s one of her goals to use her artistic gifts to share meaning and joy.
Kemanten (Into The Happiness, Indonesia, 15 min) by Imam Syafii – Lilis was trapped in a dilemma situation, when her marriage was ready, she had to face a problem that made her hesitate to continue the marriage she had prepared.
Imam Syafi’i is a filmmaker born in Klaten, Indonesia. He is a graduate of the Jakarta Institute of Art with a major in Directing. His work Topo Pendem (merged with the ground) was nominated in the 2018 Best Short Indonesian Film Festival, Works such as Gabul & Lilakno were able to penetrate the 2018 Asian American International Film Festival nominations, as well as his latest work Kemanten (into the happiness) entered as a Semifinal at the Student Academy Awards 2020, Nomination Best Short Movie Indonesia Film Festival 2020 and Official Selection at Jogja Asian Netpac & Film Festival 2020. The work, which was produced with the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, premiered at Nabifilmex, Philippines 2021 and made the best film at the FVE Education Ministry of Education and Culture indonesia 2021. After that, his latest short film ”EMBEK” (The Silent Of Goat) received the best choice of film at the Ganesha Film Festival 2022.
Anak Bakau Terakhir (The Last Mangrove Seed, Malaysia, 9 min) by Rayhan Ahmad – The futuristic animation Anak Bakau Terakhir tells the story of 3 indigenous Seletar children, namely Bagong, Tiara and Deli, sneaking into the Pirate Ship to recapture the last mangrove seed and save the wisdom of seafarers’ lives. The conflict started when the Pirates captured the Buntal Submarine owned by the 3 children of Seletar, then they were manipulated by the Pirates’ own tricks. Can this little children save the last mangrove seed?
Kasih Sayang Untuk Layla (Love For Layla, Singapore, 15 min) by Nur Munawarah Hussain – Set in Malaysia in the 2000s, Layla wakes up knowing that her mother has already left the country to work abroad. As she does groceries with her grandmother, she longs for her mother. Layla asked her grandmother if she could call her. However, she was rejected by her grandmother as they could not afford to pay for an international prepaid card. Her grandmother also wanted to toughen her up as her mother frequently travelled to Singapore as a sole provider for the family. Layla attempts to steal the prepaid card and was caught in the action. She was punished by sleeping on the floor mattress at night. As the days go by she got reminded of her mother again through a song on a radio. Layla quietly sobs into her pillow at night, that her grandma notices how fondly she misses her mother. Her grandmother called her mother with the international prepaid card that she secretly bought to ease her longing.
Nur Munawarah (Muna) is a Singaporean filmmaker and photographer who is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in Media Industries and Technology at Northwestern University in Qatar. She obtained a Diploma in Screen Media from Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in Singapore. Since then, she has been active in film sets to develop and challenge herself further as a filmmaker. She thrives to create film and documentaries that hits close to home. Her documentary about her grandmother, Plintik, has won several awards and has screened in film festivals in Japan, Singapore, Indonesia and Vermont. Besides filmmaking, she also has a passion for photography. She has won Gold and Silver awards for Singapore Photographers Award 2019 and represented Singapore in the World Photographic Cup 2020. She also won the 3rd Prize for the Non-Professional Children Portrait Category at the International Photography Competition 2019 held in New York. Her photograph has also won the Grand Prize for Mellow Art Award 2020.
Love, Laugh, Doom, Tears (United States, 25 min) by Nhung Thi Cam Nguyen – Filmmaker Nhung Nguyen turns camera on herself to take us through her dating journey as a single, 30-year-old Vietnamese woman coming to Los Angeles (and the US) for the first time. It starts with high hopes and excitement but takes a spiral downward turn when she gives in to the sexting game of the man she loves.
Born in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam, in 1989, three years after the Doi Moi, Nhung Nguyen grew up with her curiosity about the change in women’s roles around her experience. From serving the men in the army, now, it was the first time they came out to society to work. Even though she is a fan of cinema and traditional Vietnamese soap operas, she never thought of being a filmmaker. She worked in Advertising for ten years as a copywriter before actually experiencing the urgent call of telling true stories of the women she knew since her childhood. Coming to the U.S in 2019 to pursue an MFA in Documentary Directing at UCLA, she starts expanding her mind and walking out of her comfort zone to look more profound and brutally honest into female sexuality and the pain of being a woman of color. What is the individual’s reality versus the stereotype that pop culture has depicted? In her latest personal experimental documentary, she bears her soul and body. She shares her voice (both in the singing and narration) to provide us with a visceral experience thanks to the raw emotions and unfiltered images. While being disruptive in her work, Nhung maintains an almost dull life. You can catch her at the swimming pool, trying to swim without the floating belt attached against her waist. For more information, please visit www.cargocollective.com/nhungnguyen
Ang Amomonggo sa Aton (The Monster Among Us, Philippines, 16 min) by VinJo Entuna – During the Marcos Dictatorship in Negros Island, Philippines of 1985, a family of dumaan farmers and their community faces a brutal threat of the Amomonggo. While the community struggles for their rights and safety, the Magbuelas family is haunted by the tragic loss of their first-born Isio in Escalante and the trouble of preserving the childhood life of their remaining child Ani.
My Clouded Mind (Indonesia, 10 min) by Annisa Adjam – Alone, afraid, and betrayed by someone she used to trust, 19-year-old Naura struggles to emerge from despair and find more reasons to face a new day. Indonesian filmmaker Annisa Adjam’s poignant animated short “My Clouded Mind” is part of EngageMedia’s “Tech Tales: Films about Digital Rights in the Asia-Pacific”. Naura, 19, ended her long-distance relationship after her boyfriend revealed a different side of him and violated her trust. Today, she grapples with the trauma of having compromising photos of her leaked online, and fights to find more reasons to face a new day.
Annisa Adjam is an Indonesian film producer, writer and director who previously worked on short animation, documentary, fiction, and VR films highlighting social issues since 2018. She taught Transmedia Storytelling for Film and Animation students and established a creative community called Inteamates that supports gender equality and inclusivity in the film industry. She is an alumna of Kingston University London, School of Arts and participated in BIFAN NAFF Fantastic Film School 2021, IF/Then Southeast Asia Documentary Lab by Tribeca Film Institute 2020, Singapore Film Commission Feature Film Clinic 2020, Objectifs Short Film Incubator Singapore 2020, Kyoto Filmmakers Lab 2019 and Raindance’s Director Foundation & VR Filmmaking course 2017.
Omnibus Law (Indonesia, 20 min) by Achmad Rezi Fahlevie – The Omnibus Law also known as Undang-Undang Sapu Jagat was first introduced by The President of Republic Indonesia — Joko Widodo in his presidential inauguration speech for the 2019 to 2024 period. The Omnibus Law was created to simplify various regulations so that it is easier to achieve goals. However, this law received many rejections from various circles of society, especially Indonesian Manpower Law, because it was considered detrimental. This action of rejection did not make Joko Widodo and the Indonesian Parliament cancel the discussion of the law. Finally, the Omnibus Law was passed and officially entered into force after being signed by Joko Widodo on November 2, 2020.
Achmad Rezi Fahlevie was born on July 11, 1996 in Kendawangan, Kalimantan Barat, Indonesia. He is a writer and director, known for short film ASU Prokontra (2018), Cerita Masa Tua (2018) and Pintu Harap ditutup Kembali (2019). He studied communication science (broadcasting) at Muhammadiyah University of Yogyakarta where he made his first short film, Wangsul (2016). His documentery Lethek (2018), won the best cinematography award at HAK-IS 8th International Short Film Contest in 2019.
Orphée & Eurydice (Belgium, 5 min) by Garance Giang Giang Vo – Orpheus and Eurydice are in love, but Eurydice dies. Orpheus decides to embark on a journey through Hell in order to find his lover.
After spending the majority of my adolescence in Vietnam, I moved to Paris for high school. I spent those years drowned in boredom, constantly missing what my life used to be in Hanoi. That melancholia lead me to develop a certain sensitivity, which expressed itself mostly in drawings and songwriting. It took me quite some time before I realized that animation was the most fulfilling activity for me (the perfect mix between drawing and music). After that enlightenment, I moved to Brussels and started my animation course at La Cambre. Since I moved here, I’m continuing my path in musical experiment and animated pictures.
partitions (Singapore, 16 min) by Vishal Daryanomel – partitions is a short film about a Sindhi woman’s migration to Singapore following the Partition of India in 1947. The film takes an observational approach, juxtaposing fragmented recollections of the past – drawing on photographs, state documents, oral histories – with enduring practices of the present.
Vishal is a Singaporean filmmaker whose works have explored themes of migration, labour, identity and belonging. His first documentary short “Between Pudukkottai & Singapore” (2017) premiered at the Singapore Writers Festival, and was an award winner at the inaugural Citizen Cinema programme organised by Freedom Film Festival, Singapore. It went on to screen at various other festivals in Southeast Asia, Europe, and North America. His second short film, “partitions” (2021)”, tells a story of Sindhi migration to Singapore following the Partition of India in 1947, juxtaposing fragmented recollections of the past with enduring practices of the present. He has been part of the organising committee of migrant poetry events in Singapore since 2014, and he curated the short film programme as part of Global Migrant Festival in 2018.
The Pillar Of Strength (Malaysia, 8 min) by Ayie Ibrahim – When human beings value the life of nature, where they respect and learn from it, then it can strengthen the loving relationship between nature and human. ‘The Pillar of Strength’ is a wonderful story that touches on topics about family, natural relations and human identity as well as the patterns and culture of life in the Borneo archipelago. This short animated film brings narrative storytelling in promoting cultural forms, life patterns and spiritual energy between human relationships with nature as well as unearthing the conflict of family relationships between a father and his son in recognizing the origin of their lineage. In addition, the film also brings the audience to an element of belief from generations that regard wildlife as a deity revered and elevated to its dignity. Rentap is the son of an Iban tribal warrior in the Borneo archipelago where his father, Kanang was a respected warrior and held fast to the hereditary beliefs of his ancestors. When an accident occurred while hunting in the jungle, Rentap got the encouragement from the War God ‘Sengalang Burong’ who helped him identify his origins and led him to take responsibility as an Iban child who set an example to his people by holding the slogan ‘Agi Idup, Agi Ngelaban’.
Ayie Ibrahim is currently holding a number of positions including as Producer, Animation Director and animator at his own Creatvtoon Studio and as a senior lecturer for drawing & animation at University Technology Mara, Malaysia since 2009. He also work as Toon Boom instructor & Online Trainer under Toon Boom Inc. Canada. His love for the art and long experience in the field of animation led him to build up his own studio since 2010 with the purpose of expanding the local industry and putting Malaysia on the world map as a source of content creation and development.
Please…See Us (Thailand, 28 min) by Chaweng Chaiyawan – Suthit and Noonae are a Lahu married couple struggling to make a living and dream of better opportunities. But the more they try, they both fall into a vicious cycle of state oppression.
Chaweng Chaiyawan is a filmmaker, independent media producer, and Special instructor in Thailand. In 2016, his film ‘Sinmalin’ won Best Foreign Documentary Short at TMC London Film Festival. In 2018, his film So-Khin won Best Short Film at Bangkok Underground Film Festival. In 2021, his film Please… See Us won NIGHT AWARD at 19th International Festival Signs of the Night – Berlin (7th Edition). In 2021, his film Please… See Us won MAIN AWARD International Festival Signs of the Night – Bangkok In 2021, his film Please… See Us Special Mention Sea Shorts Film Festival. In 2021, his film Please… See Us The R.D. Pestonji Award winner Thai Short Film & Video Festival.
Seeking Wombs for Rebirths (Myanmar, 25 min) by Lin Htet Aung – A boy went to a town. He went to find his next life.
Lin Htet Aung is a 98 born filmmaker and video artist based in Myanmar. In his earlier days, he wrote avant-garde poems and published the underground poetry books. He started making short films in 2017. In 2018 and 2019, he won Best Film Awards with “Silence!” and “Shower at 1 AM” at University Students’ Film Festival, respectively. In 2020, his experimental short film “Estate” won “Silver Screen Award – Best Director” at Southeast Asian Short Film Competition at 31st Singapore International Film Festival ( 31st SGIFF ) and “ Best Creative Sound Award “ at Wathann Competition at 10th Wathann Film Festival. In 2021, his video artwork “Last Night I Dreamt of Having Sexual Intercourse With My Dad’s Dog” was shown at SCREENSAVER_ ART EXHIBITION. He is now working on his next short film project “Once Upon A Time, There Was A Mom”. This short film project won a grant of SGIFF Southeast Asian-Short Film Grant (SEA-SHORTS) 2021.
เสียงกลางนา (Sounds of the Field, Thailand, 12 min) by Phapop Saengkong – A documentary unfolds conversations among Huai Hut farmers during the growing season in Uttaradit, Thailand.
There To Document: A Decade of FreedomFilmFest in Singapore (Singapore, 27 min) by Celeste Tan – I felt inspired to make this film because of the people in it. Freedom Film Festival has lasted ten years in Singapore through the solidarity and hope of organisers, supporters and friends who continue to believe that a better world is possible. At the same time, I want to honestly show the challenges of being an activist, filmmaker and organiser in Singapore. These can easily lead to burnout. By facing this reality, we can figure out how to keep going together.
Celeste is an aspiring documentary filmmaker and mutual aid organiser outside of her bullshit day job. Her interest in Anthropology and Southeast Asian studies have shaped her approach to listening and stories.
Tito (United States, 4 min) by Arsenio Salvante – Tito means uncle in Tagalog. He, along with the filmmaker’s family immigrated to the United States from the Philippines in 1971. Exactly 50 years later, he begins his reminiscence with, “What to get out of America?” A multigenerational odyssey.
Arsenio Salvante is a filmmaker born in Honolulu, Hawaii. He loves things best described as blue and spicy poke from Foodland. When asked about the future, he often responds, “I dream of a space with big windows and a balcony in which I can sit for hours on end.”
Trails (United States, 6 min) by Chris Nguyen – Trails is a personal and elliptical portrait of Orange County’s Little Saigon exploring “re-memories,” embodiment, and self- representation in regards to history of war, displacement, and colonialism. This experimental short documentary was made in Visual Communications 17th Armed with a Camera Fellowship for their 35th annual Los Angeles Asian American Pacific Film Festival, and explores these histories and memories through landscapes, home videos, & community archival.
Chris Nguyen is a documentarian & community builder based in Los Angeles. Born and raised in Orange County, he has a B.A. in English, Creative Writing from UCLA, where he divided his time between indie sets and creating content supporting education, access, and retention. Following a brief stint at Walt Disney Imagineering and the Olive Tree Initiative, a conflict resolution program, he now focuses primarily on independent documentary. He is currently a production coordinator on Equal, and volunteers with A-Doc, the Asian American Documentary Network. His recent documentary credits include: Walk Run Cha-Cha, Inventing Tomorrow, A Woman’s Work, Trial By Media, and Whirlybird.
Vince (Finland, 4 min) by Jacob Nguyen – Set in the rural area of Helsinki, Finland, Vince is an intimate portrait of bespoke tailor and Vietnamese immigrant Vince Huong. This personal project delves into Vince’s art practice and personal belief, exploring the battle of love, hope and despair.
Filmmaker Jacob Nguyen grew up in Saigon, Vietnam and moved to Helsinki, Finland at the age of 19 to pursue filmmaking. After working as a director on several spots for a Finnish/British agency, VINCE is his first self-funded production. His main career goal is to tell stories and hope they with help people explore new perspectives of their life.
Wawan’s Prayer (Indonesia, 23 min) by Robert Lemelson, Chisako Yokoyama – Wawan is an autistic boy from Banjarmasin, Indonesia. Struggling to meet his needs at home, his parents make the difficult decision to send him to a brand new school on another island to receive specialized education and therapeutic support. Together Wawan and his teacher, Yasin, learn how to build an inclusive community for youth on the spectrum that accommodates their differences and celebrates their abilities. As the school grows, Wawan matures into a young man respected for his skill in prayer recitation.
WFH (Indonesia, 3 min) by Azalia Muchransyah – When there is a lockdown due to a pandemic, a teacher must overcome challenges in order to successfully work from home.
Azalia Muchransyah is a filmmaker, writer, and scholar from Indonesia. She is a Ph.D. Candidate in Media Study at the State University of New York at Buffalo, funded by the 2017 DIKTI Fulbright Scholarship. In 2019 she became a Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory (HASTAC) Scholar, a Social Impact Fellow at University at Buffalo, and a Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival Diversity Scholar at Ithaca College. Her research is on activist media, specifically for people living with HIV in Indonesian prison settings. Her short films have been officially selected and screened in international festivals and academic conferences.
What You can’t Take with You (Canada, 2 min) by Shirley Camia – A reflection on a life left behind – and at what cost.
Shirley Camia is a Filipina-Canadian poet and filmmaker. ‘What You can’t Take with You’ is based on her poem of the same name, from her collection, The Significance of Moths (Turnstone Press, 2015). She is also the director behind ‘Novena,’ which has been selected for film festivals in Argentina, Canada, Germany, Greece and the US. She is the author of four collections of poetry, including Mercy (Turnstone Press, 2019), a finalist at the High Plains Book Awards, and Children Shouldn’t Use Knives (At Bay Press, 2017), shortlisted for a ReLit Award and a winner of The Manuela Dias Book Design and Illustration Award (Book Design) at the Manitoba Book Awards and an Honourable Mention at The Alcuin Society Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada. Her work has been featured in publications such as The New Quarterly, CV2, The Puritan’s the Town Crier, and TAYO, as well as anthologies such as Endlessly Rocking (Unbound Content, 2019) and My Lot is a Sky (Math Paper Press, 2018). Born in Winnipeg, Canada, Shirley has lived across Canada, the Philippines, Japan and Kenya. She currently divides her time between Toronto, Canada and Copenhagen, Denmark.
Where There Are No People (Philippines, 8 min) by Lyka Calingasan – Via is still grieving for her dead mother. Because of the pandemic, this hinders her to visit the cemetery but tries to remember her by spending time in her mother’s empty room. She then suddenly encounters a strange phenomenon.
Lyka Calingasan has always loved storytelling in any form. Films stand out to her most and now, she is studying Bachelor of Arts in Filmmaking at De La-Salle College of Saint Benilde. She has previously directed and produced short films that were selected to premiere in local film festivals. Whenever she can, she writes stories that disturb and resonate.
Year of the Rabbit (Cambodia, 12 min) by Akira Morita – Year of the Rabbit follows trailblazing deaf tuk-tuk driver Kong Sovannaro as he navigates the chaotic streets of Phnom Penh to support his growing family. It’s an exploration of love; the different and similar ways it is expressed in the “hearing” and “deaf” communities; and across the network of support Sovannaro has created around himself.
Akira Morita is a Cambodia-based Japanese director and design thinker. He believes sensing—an all-encompassing act, including seeing and listening—is a cultivated skill and an essential ability. He currently serves as a consultant at: Anakot Asia Academy, a training company based in Phnom Penh; and at School of Slow Media | TÁPI STORY as the Director of Community and Curriculum Development, where the work is creating conditions and experiences to sense together through the process and practice of storytelling.Year of the Rabbit (2021) is his directorial debut.
Neltah (The Missing Pages, Malaysia, 6 min) by Thiyagaraja Marimuthu – A girl from a rural village in Sabah (East Malaysia) shows proclivity towards reading, prompting her to use her active imagination to save herself after her favorite book is damaged in her daily commute.
Born & raised in Malaysia (of South Indian descent) Thiyagaraja set his foot into the world of filmmaking at the age of 18, interning at Astro & Tayangan Unggul Sdn Bhd. He’s a bachelor’s degree holder, graduating from New York Film Academy of the Los Angeles campus. He had written for and directed commercials, music videos, short films, tv series & telemovies; bagging awards & nominations in several film festivals all over the world including winning Best Scifi Short in Los Angeles Independent Film Festival Awards (Than All Else Ever), PROFIMA award for Best Short Film (Neltah: The Missing Pages) and selected for the Asian New Director at KLIFFS. He had directed a telemovie (Kilas) for Astro Citra and served as a supervising producer for a mini-series (Sembilan) for Astro GO as well as produced his first full-fledged feature film (Adam Ashburn’s Showreel) in 2021. Currently he is the show creator for an Astro Sooka TV series (Kamcing) which is due to release at the end of 2022. He is also currently a co-writer for an upcoming TV series (I Am Vash) for Revolution Media and another series (The Weight of Our Sky) for Disney+Hotstar.