Apa Khabar, Adiguru? (How Are You, Grand Master? 23 min, Malaysia) by Badrul Ismail– A young Muslim scholar is torn by the fact that religion is used to kill local art, culture, and traditions. He goes on a journey to visit the Grandmasters of a dying art called Mak Yong to hear from themselves what the old tradition means to them.
Badrul Hisham Ismail studied in New York, where he shot his short film A Tale of a Mannequin (2014) with the help of a Kickstarter campain. Together with Amir Muhammad, also from Malaysia, he directed his first feature-length documentary Voyage to Terengganu (2016). His films were shown among others at Freedom Film Fest, Malaysian Shorts and Thai Short Film & Video Festival. Besides his filmwork, he is also a Program Executive for the Malaysian nonprofit organisation IMAN. (Go Back)
Baby Boy (24 min, Singapore) by Jessica Heng– In this coming-of-age film, 17-year-old Zaki’s ambitions are disrupted by his troubled family past. He now has to wrestle with the idea of fatherhood when he learns that his ex-girlfriend is pregnant.
Jessica is a Singaporean filmmaker interested in tellings visceral stories that resonate with empathy. Her documentary short, Koon Seng Road, won the URA Heritage Short Film Award in 2017. She is also interested in film criticism; she has contributed to local publications SINDIE and ZYRUPMAG, and participated in the Singapore International Film Festival Youth Jury and Critics program. (Go Back)
Bangkok Department (23 min, Thailand) by Nuttawat Attasawat– Towards the end of year 2016, Noom meets Jane when he helps her throw garbage at the mall’s disposal area. Their relationship grows at a noodle house. Roaming around the Memorial Bridge and smoking, Jane unlocks some repressed feelings about her family.
Nuttawat Attasawat earned his degree in Mass Communication in Rajabhat University. besides his short films such as Gruel Lens Believe Ripple (2015) and White You Play (2019), he has also assistant directed a number of feature films such as By the Time It Gets Dark (2016), Ten Years Thailand (2018), and Krabi, 2562 (2019). (Go Back)
Betrayal (ເນລະຄຸນ, 11 min, Laos) by Sansany Keosavanh– Vone stuggles to come to terms with her friend’s betrayal until she finds solace in the beliefs and practice of her culture.
Sansany Keosavanh used to work in the hotel and is a yoga teacher. She learnt about film making for the first time in 2011 and had a chance to join a workshop at My Library in 2020 during the COVID-19 lockdown. (Go Back)
(dis)appearance (3 min, USA) by Julie Thi Underhill– This short experimental film considers how an indigenous people’s departure from the political map threatens to erase them from academic relevance. Performed in 2016 by a graduate student at UC Berkeley.
Julie Thi Underhill is an interdisciplinary artist, scholar, and educator interested in Cham vocabularies of remembrance. Born in the United States to a refugee mother, Underhill learned at an early age that her maternal people, the Cham, were indigenous to Việt Nam. Underhill’s forthcoming monograph Descendants of Champa: Portraits of Việt Nam and Cambodia will feature a historical essay and her documentary portraits from 1999 to 2010. She has screened excerpts of two Cham documentary films at universities and conferences across the US and in Canada. Underhill has published in Inheriting the War: Poetry & Prose by Descendants of Vietnam Veterans and Refugees and Troubling Borders: An Anthology of Art and Literature by Southeast Asian Women in the Diaspora, among other books and journals. Underhill holds a B.A. in Liberal Arts from The Evergreen State College and an M.A. in Comparative Ethnic Studies from the University of California-Berkeley. She teaches multidisciplinary courses in the Writing and Literature department at California College of the Arts. (Go Back)
Eja (20 min, Indonesia) by Muhammad Andriandino Nugraha– Reza, a child who loves playing football, wants to represent his school in a tournament in Jakarta. However, he must first pass an unfair selection process.
Muhammad Andriandino Nugraha, called Dino, is from Samarinda. Dino has been familiar with the film industry since 2016, and he produced a short film “Memori” which won Best Film in a Short Film Competition. He played major roles as director, cinematographer, and editor in “Memori.” Dino has had a great interest in moving images since he was ten years old after his parents bought him a camera. Dino obtained great experiences in photography, in awe of how a picture contains deep meaning or story, which eventually led him to film making. His recent activities are being an active film student in Multimedia Nusantara University, Tangerang. (Go Back)
Forest-Coast-City (ป่า–ฝั่ง–เมือง, 10 min, Thailand) by Weeraya Wichayaprasertkul and Narudol Sittirat– A documentary reflecting the beauty of three groups of people in Thailand; people in the city, along the coast and in the forest. Each group has their own methods in helping to reduce CO2 and Methane which are two of the gases responsible for global warming. (Go Back)
The Giving (ການໃຫ້, 7 min, Laos) by Montry Phommachanh– Max’s needs and lack of money lead to unthoughtful action until unforeseen events lead him to reconsider what is important.
Montry Phommachanh is from Luang Prabang, Laos. He is currently studying at the Hanoi Pedagogical University 2, and likes to make films. (Go Back)
Hãy tỉnh thức và sẵn sàng (Stay Awake, Be Ready, 14 min, Viet Nam) by Pham Thien An– A motorbike crash happening before the street stalls on a street corner was embedded in the mysterious story of three young men. *Available May 10 to 14.
Pham Thien An is a film director, producer and screenwriter, born in November 1989 (Lam Dong Province, Vietnam). After four years of undergraduate studies in Information Technology at Lotus University, Ho Chi Minh City, he realized his interest in cinematography and filmmaking. In recent years, he has won several film awards in Vietnam. In 2015, he moved to Houston, Texas (USA) and continued working as a freelance filmmaker. His short film The Mute (2018) has travelled across several film festivals (Winterthur International Short Film Festival, Palm Springs International ShortFest, Uppsala International Short Film Festival, Encounters Film Festival). His latest short Stay Awake, Be Ready, official selection at Quinzaine des Réalisateurs 2019, was produced with the support of CJ Short Film Making Project. He is currently working on his first feature film Inside The Yellow Cocoon Shell. (Go Back)
Ikapitong Awit (The Seventh Song, 17 min, Taiwan) by Mark Sherwin Maestro– A phenomenon wherein people of different races sing a Filipino song in spite of being unfamiliar with the language in a Catholic church in Taiwan. Discover the spectacle of how a community has been unified that breaks cultural and language differences through music and religion.
A filmmaker, an artist, and educator based in Kaohsiung, Taiwan from the Philippines. Won and Exhibited films in different film festivals like Castlemaine State Festival 2017, Australia, .MOV International Film Festival, Active Vista Film Festival, Pelikultura Film Festival, Cinemarehiyon and CCP Independent Film and Video Tilt. Some of his works were recognized in the said film festivals, in consequence, his film ‘Pikit sa Alas-Tres’ (Uncertainties at 3) won Best Experimental film in the 24th CCP Independent Film and Video Tilt and ‘Sa Gabi Nahihimlay Nasaan Ka Aking Madaling-Araw’ (On Night’s Sleep, Where Are You My Daylight?) won honourable mention for its artistry. The films were also exhibited in Cinemalaya 2013 as part of ANI (Harvest) Experimental and Animation. He is a also a Creative Director serves in various government sectors for agencies like the Department of Energy, Department of Health, Department of Budget and Management, and the Office of the Presidential on the Peace Process, in which I see the need to create more projects that correlates to the ease of problems experiencing by countries belong in the third-world. In addition, I also worked in many campaigns for the rights of children and energy sustainability with International Non-Government Organizations like Save the Children, Compassion International, and USAID. (Go Back)
I’m Adopted (15 min, Singapore) by Chong Jiawei– The story follows Joan, a teenager who discovers that she’s adopted and leaves home. Joan’s escapade begins when she meets a domestic helper, a Bangladeshi worker, and an old man with dementia who mistakes them for his family. Determined to bring the old man home, Joan goes on an adventure with the trio. (Go Back)
In Search of Hope (18 min, Singapore) by Fié Neo- What hope can you find when everything is messed up? Our ecosystems are collapsing and 2020 welcomed us with a global pandemic. With her journey interrupted by the lockdown, the filmmaker starts a podcast documenting change making efforts worldwide, reflects on actions that people are taking towards regenerative futures, and reminds us that we are not alone.
Fié Neo is an interdisciplinary filmmaker. Her works revolve around human connection and the human condition. Through various mediums, she offers platforms for unheard stories to be heard. She also founded International Network for Socially Engaged Practitioners to connect change making agents and currently hosts a podcast (Onions Talk) (Go Back)
Jalan-Jalan Sore (Evening Stroll, 16 min, Indonesia) by Candra Aditya– A couple rediscovers their love through evening conversations about life, politicians, rich people, and sandals. (Go Back)
Joy Is My Mother’s Name (10 min, Philippines) by Carlo Enciso Catu– In transit, Carlo reminisces the blissful memories of his beloved mother, Joy, who died three months ago while the country was in lockdown facing a worldwide pandemic. As he returns to his hometown Pampanga to reunite with his family, he will be celebrating his birthday without his mother for the first time.
Carlo Catu is a director and writer, known for Kung paano hinihintay ang dapithapon (2018), Ari: My Life with a King (2015) and Laut (2016). (Go Back)
Kalinga (Care, 29 min, Canada) by Kent Donguines– Kalinga tells the story of several Filipino caregivers and nannies in Canada, sharing their struggles and sacrifices to be reunited with their families while helping filmmaker Kent Donguines understand why his mother left him to be a nanny at 6 years old.
Kent Donguines is a Filipino-Canadian filmmaker based in Vancouver, BC. He produced the award-winning CBC short documentary The Ink Runs Deep, which premiered at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival. He wrote, directed, and produced the Telus Storyhive short, Kalinga (Care), a documentary about the sacrifices Filipina nannies make to work in Canada. He also produced award-winning short films Iridescence, Small Fish (Crazy8s film), and Grey. Donguines has worked for production companies in Canada and the Philippines, including Cedar Island Films Inc., Black Cap Pictures (Ten17p), Viva Entertainment, and Star Cinema. (Go Back)
Kami sa Lahat ng Masama (Gulf, 41 min, Philippines) by Cristian Tablazon– A young couple’s life in a coastal town is disrupted when the landlord’s grandchild goes missing, presumed to have been taken by a malignant sea spirit.
Cristian Tablazon works across video and other photo-based media, installation, and text. His projects have been shown at the Museum of the Moving Image (US), GAMeC di Bergamo, the Jorge B. Vargas Museum, Image Forum Festival (JP), Artspeak (CA), Animistic Apparatus (TH), the Ayala Museum, PHotoESPAÑA, Spaceppong (KR), ArtCenter College of Design (US), and The Wrong Biennale, among others. His research interests include memory and autobiography in moving-image practices, intermediality and notions of the contemporary in local regional and folk artistic productions, representation of historical traumas in visual media, and the construction of modernities through interventions in art and natural history in the so-called East Indies under martial-colonial rule. He co-runs Nomina Nuda, a small nonprofit curatorial platform and exhibition space in Los Baños, Laguna in the Philippines. He is also a member of the Film Desk of the Young Critics Circle. (Go Back)
Left Unsaid (3 min, United Kingdom) by Mei Lian Hoe– Left Unsaid is an experimental animated film about cultural dysphoria and the disconnect between grandfather and grandchild caused by an ever-growing language barrier.
Mei Lian Hoe is a character animator and freelance comic creator from Malaysia. Mei wishes to use writing and animation as a way to explore the self. After graduating from a BA in English Literature, Mei chose to pursue animation as a way to bridge the gap between their love of storytelling and their love of art. (Go Back)
Lonesome (17 min, Malaysia) by Justice Khor– The COVID-19 Lockdown as a metaphor for queer existential invisibility. LGBTIQ people are no strangers to isolation. The film ‘Lonesome’ by Justice Khor is a documentary that explores the intersection of queerness and isolation. The film weaves together stories left as voice mails that talk about loneliness, seeking love and connection, and ultimately, self-acceptance.
Justice Khor is a copywriter, LGBTQ activist and social filmmaker. His life mission is to produce captivating narratives that stimulate social changes. He is a Film and Broadcasting graduate from the School of Communication, Universiti Sains Malaysia. (Go Back)
Mẹ (Mom, 6 min, United States) by Hien Dinh – A young Vietnamese American girl struggles to communicate to her immigrant mom about an altercation with a bully.
Hien Dinh was raised in Fort Worth, TX after immigrating from Vietnam in the late 1990s. Growing up, she was influenced by Disney, Studio Ghibli and anime. As an Asian-American filmmaker, she strives to tell Asian/Asian-American stories that resonate with larger audiences. Currently, she is working on graduating with her BFA from the University of Texas in Arlington and developing her first feature film. (Go Back)
Những Con Voi Trong Thành Phố (Elephants in the City, 18 min, Viet Nam) by Dam Quang Trung– In this intimate portrayal of the lives of workers migrating away from home to the city in Vietnam, a young woman goes to the zoo to meet ex-boyfriends, and a married teacher has a secret relationship with a security guard. (Go Back)
Ode to a Seafaring People (3 min, Canada) by Joella Cabalu– Featuring spoken word artist Sol Diana, this film poetically reveals the often hidden world of Filipino seafarers and in so doing, celebrates the resiliency of the Filipino community. *Available May 10 to June 2.
Joella Cabalu is a Filipino-Canadian documentary filmmaker based in Vancouver. It Runs in the Family (2015) was her first mid-length documentary as a producer and director, receiving Audience Choice Awards at the Seattle Asian Film Festival and Vancouver Queer Film Festival and an honourable mention for the Loni Ding Award for Social Justice at CAAMFest. Since then, she has developed a track record as a creative and collaborative producer working with emerging women directors on compelling short documentaries. Currently, she is producing her first feature documentary Back Home with support from the Telefilm Talent to Watch fund and leading the curated photography project First Photo Here with the National Film Board Digital Studio. Ode to a Seafaring People is a welcome return to both directing and exploring the lives and identities of the Filipino community. (Go Back)
Our Own Wind (22 min, Cambodia) by Chheangly Yeng– The verse “I’m a thousand untold stories” echoes on the image of a dancer who, at the edge of a mountain, talks, through the movements of his body, with the Cambodian sky. The film “Our own wind” is a collection of visual poems that propose new perspectives and experiences of the country’s landscapes based on the manifestations of poetry, singing, music and dance, traditional expressions of the Khmer culture. They interact and at the same time give a new shape to the natural elements of the land, water, rain, wind, but they also reconfigure the urban landscape, with its new skyscrapers and bare feet people that wander around the city.
Chheangly Yeng was born in Kandal Kandal province located in the north of Phnom Penh City. He holds BA in Management from Human Resources University (HRU) and he is known as a Cambodian poet. He was one of the Co-founders of Magic Library, a library comprising a bike and a box of books which volunteers would take to kids in the rural villages. He is also one of the co-founders of Slap Paka Khmer (Khmer Collaborative Writers group). Chheangly and his team often promote literary events, including poetry nights and writing workshops in Phnom Penh. In addition, Chheangly is also involved in the Khmer Literature Festival which has taken place annually since 2017. Chheangly currently lives in Phnom Penh, and often returns to his village in Kandal province on the weekends. (Go Back)
Petani Bukan Pemalas (Farmers Are Not Lazy, 17 min, Malaysia) by NurFitri Amir– A rural smallholding rice farmer from Alor Pongsu in Malaysia, Azhar rues the bitterness of an exploitative system where farmers like him are shortchanged with expensive commercial seeds that increasingly yield poor harvests despite all their hard work and dedication. Angered by the declining harvests and rising costs, Azhar takes matters into his own hands by cultivating rice seeds, an age-old farming practice long since forgotten after the government started aggressively marketing commercial seeds. However, he faces a battle to correct government-sown misconceptions of farmers being failures due to laziness and unwillingness to learn modern techniques.
Fitri Amir is a freelancer who does research and social work in the field of community empowerment and development. Amir has been involved in activism since graduating from Universiti Sains Malaysia in 2007. Amir has produced research reports, doing advocacy, and involved in social work on issues of social ills, poverty, paddy farmers, and rubber tappers. He is the Coordinator of the Malaysian Food Sovereignty Forum. (Go Back)
Pinatay Nila si Hesus (They Murdered Jesus, 6 min, Philippines) by Karl Castro– In the Philippines, there is a culture of impunity giving rise to incidents of police brutality. Current Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Debold Sinas was the architect of deadly systematic crackdowns on activists in Negros Island. All the killings remain unsolved; in the meantime, Sinas was promoted to PNP Chief in 2020. We dedicate this song to the memory of Jesus “Dondon” Isugan, one of the victims in Negros. Born to a family of farmers on December 25, 1991, he was killed with five others in separate but related incidents on December 27, 2018. We continue to seek justice for Jesus and all victims of this murderous administration.
Karl Castro helps cultivate conversations and interventions across various creative fields, with a focus on art, design, and cinema. His areas of interest include culture, books, travel, craft, history, and Filipino identity. He is an acclaimed book designer for cultural and scholarly volumes, and poster designer for diverse works of Philippine cinema. He has designed, curated, and participated in exhibitions on institutional memory, contemporary issues, and community-based creative work. He creates art in various media, including painting, weaving, and photomedia. (Go Back)
Red Aninsri; or, Tiptoeing on the Still Trembling Berlin Wall (อนินทรีย์แดง, 29 min, Thailand) by Ratchapoom Boonbunchachoke– A queer espionage film made in the tradition of Cold-War-era Thai dubbed films. A ladyboy prostitute-cum-spy is assigned a mission to disguise himself as a cis-masculine gay to acquire important information from an idealistic student activist. Ratchapoom Boonbunchachoke is a Thai filmmaker of Teochew-Hainanese descent. Born, brought up and based in Bangkok, he graduated from the film department of Chulalongkorn University. Currently he works full-time as a scriptwriter for the studio, writing commercial
features and television series. Apart from writing he also teaches film theory and scriptwriting in the universities and works as a film critic. Yet most importantly he has been nurturing his own project, a film series of varying lengths investigating the colonial history and postcolonial situation of Thailand. “A Useful Ghost”, the last film of the series, is his first feature that he’s developing the screenplay. The project won ‘Most Promising Project’ at Southeast Asian Film Lab in Singapore International Film Festival 2017, also participating in
Open Doors Lab, the producer workshop in Locarno International Film Festival 2019. In 2020, Ratchapoom was selected to participate in Berlinale Talents program as part of Berlin International Film Festival. His short film “Red Aninsri; Or, Tiptoeing on the Still Trembling
Berlin Wall” is selected to be in Pardi di Domani at Locarno 2020. (Go Back)
Ritmo ng Palahaw (Rhythym of an Outcry, 7 min, Philippines) by Ronaldo Vivo, Jr.– A short film stitched together from found footage, clandestine voice recordings, and sit-down interviews from a mysteriously abandoned documentary about an unidentified corpse found at the apartment of a man who claims to be a police informant.
Ronaldo Vivo Jr. has a degree in Political Science major in Local Government Administration from the University of Makati. He is both a musician and a novelist. He is the drummer of Hateure and The Insektlife Cycle, both of which are internationally signed bands. Ronaldo is one of the founders of UngazPress, a collective of writers focusing on transgressive literature. Together with his brother Ronnel, they both founded Sound Carpentry Recordings, an independent Record Label and Recording Studio. In 2013, The brothers founded Rezbak Filmz, a guerrilla filmmaking outfit based in Pateros. Rezbak Filmz was responsible for the short film “Kwento ni Happy” (The Story of Happy), Bendor (Vendor), Kulay Abo ang Ilog ng Gunita (Ashen River of Remembrance), Hindi Man Tayo Manalamin (We Who Do Not Contemplate) and the stop motion animation “Guyam” (Slave) all shown at multiple film festivals internationally. (Go Back)
Rumah Ndak Bertanah (The House Without A Ground, 18 min, Malaysia) by Putri Purnama Sugua– Toteng is an 11-year-old stateless child. He works with his mother at a garbage disposal center in Sabah. One day, he finds a book and takes the book to show his sister. The question raised by his sister made him feel curious about the contents of the book. He became determined to steal 50 cents from his mother so that he could attend school. Unaware, his action changes his life forever.
Putri Purnama Sugua is a passionate filmmaker from the Land Below the Wind, Sabah. Growing up in an underprivileged area made her realize her dreams of wanting to become a filmmaker. She wanted to be the voice of the struggling powerless people through her film. Her short documentary entitled Aku Mau Skola was a film grant recipient from the Freedom Film Festival. It won the Most Outstanding Film Grant Recipient Award and also had a jury special mention for the Best Short Documentary category. Aku Mau Skola was also in official selection and in competition at the SEA X Seattle Film Festival, Seattle, USA, London Eco Film Festival, London, Roshd International Film Festival, Iran, and Guangzhou International Documentary Film Festival, China. Her most recent short film entitled Rumah Ndak Bertanah received Best Director award and Best Screenplay in Pesta Filem Kita 2019. In total she has directed seven short films; five fiction and two documentaries and currently preparing for her debut narrative feature film title Hidup Aku Curi and her feature documentary film Aku. (Go Back)
Same Same and Different (25 min, USA) by Seok Wun Au Yong– A docu-dramedy four-part short series of a young international film student from Thailand discovering her sexuality in a 21st century’s U.S college setting.
Seok Wun Au Yong is a queer filmmaker, educator and underwater cinematographer from Malaysia. She is interested in telling compelling human stories by combining both fiction and non-fiction elements, exploring identities, LGBTQ, family dynamics and sense of belongings. Her films have been screened in film festivals in Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, Myanmar and United States. She has conducted various community filmmaking workshops as well as teaching acting and filmmaking at a school for underprivileged children in Malaysia. Currently, she is pursuing MFA in Film at Syracuse University under Fulbright scholarship. Seok believes in the importance of telling personal stories. An avid meditator and yoga practitioner, she sees acting as a spiritual practice that enhances understanding between people and creates more empathy. Her latest project, ‘Same Same And Different’ is a semi-autobiographical project about international students navigating gender, sexuality, and cultural identity(ies) in a U.S. college setting. (Go Back)
Selai Kayu Yek (Roots of My Land, 12 min, Malaysia) by Apa Kata Orang Asli– Aleh, a young Orang Asli woman, struggles to find support from her village when her family’s ancestral land is encroached. In fear of losing her land that she also uses to grow ubi kayu, she seeks out famous Orang Asli YouTuber Rien to expose and share her story. But Rien refuses at first as she believes that their community should pursue a better life in the city instead of farming on their land. Aleh and Rien eventually realise that they share similar struggles because of their identity. Together, they find their voice and speak out.
Apa Kata Wanita Orang Asli is a collaboration with young Orang Asli women from various indigenous groups in Malaysia composed of Lungey Uda, Rosdila Ngah Roslan, Rosita Dollah, Selindang Seliman, Sylvia Ordina Othman , Diana Tan, Yaliyana Lenab, Analisa Atang, Maranisnie Mohsin, Ada Along, Arni Natasya Ibrahim, Sherry Tan , Natasya Robut, Niwani Sari, Nora Kantin, and Azie Suzana Ibrahim. Through a unique participatory and creative production process, the young women tell stories of the Orang Asli identity, their community’s struggles and their vision for a better future. By telling their stories and participating in its creative process, the Orang Asli young women have been empowered to rise up for equality. They are claiming more spaces for discourse to give visibility to their community, thereby enriching our narrative on nationhood and inspiring more young women from their community to speak out and share their stories. (Go Back)
Sending Grandfather’s Spirit Home (7 min, Laos) by Yaxengly Chuechonglee– An intimate, visual portrayal of the customs and dignity of the funeral of a Hmong Shaman, the filmmaker’s grandfather. In accordance with custom, the funeral Khene, drum, and sounds of grieving were not recorded.
Yaxengly Chuechonglee is an Hmong filmmaker and photographer teaching filmmaking and photography at My Library in Luang Prabang, Laos. (Go Back)
Shin Hua (15 min, Indonesia) by Andreas Erick Sutanto– Shin Hua, a barbershop since 1911, used to be a well-known favorite. Among the 12 brothers, only Freddy, the fourth son, was willing to continue the family business. Year after year, Freddy preserves the place without the help of his brothers. Even his descendants were adamant in taking up their grandfather’s mantle. As the years continued to pass, the number of clients dwindled, and today’s Shin Hua is nearing bankruptcy. A love for the simple act of a barber is keeping Freddy from closing Shin Hua forever.
Born in Surabaya, Erick Sutanto is a full of dream student who is currently majoring in Film at Multimedia Nusantara University, Indonesia. For him, film is a powerful medium that can change perspectives and cause various feelings to the audience. Currently, Erick is pursuing his path of being a director. He also loves music which he then implements into his films, to bring certain nuance. His vision for every single of his film is, to make sure his voice can be heard throughout every message and elements that are implied in the scenes. (Go Back)
Simfoni Reformasi (Symphony of Reform, 15 min, Indonesia) by Daffa Amrullah- In September 2019, there were large demonstrations by students in front of Indonesia’s People’s Representative Council Building which led to riots around Jakarta. Chants of criticism, yells of unity, and curses are one of the atmospheric lives that buzz throughout the big days. The unity of the aspects echoed like a symphony that was lilting amidst student riots, an invisible spirit that reverberated across the demonstrations at that time. The filmmaker captures all the audio visual elements as well as the real experience, weaving them together with the spirits he felt that day.
Daffa Amrullah is from Pati and is currently studying at the Jakarta Institute of Arts, Faculty of Film and Television, majoring in script writer. Current activities are focusing on Behind The Scenes photography on short film projects and making documentary films independently. Several documentary films that have been produced include Simfoni Reformasi (2020) and LOCKDOWN (2020) and POSITIVE (2021). His photographic works are published on Instagram @theamruphotography (Go Back)
Sisig and Puchero (23 min, Hong Kong) by Christine Vicera and Michael Rivera– This short film documentary follows the story and COVID-19 experience of Julie, the owner of a Filipino restaurant and karaoke bar in Hong Kong.
Dr. Michael Rivera is a Filipino-Chinese Hongkonger working in food ethnography and biological anthropology. Christine Vicera is Filipino researcher and writer based in Hong Kong. (Go Back)
Sunyi Bersama (Lonely Together, 11 min, Indonesia) by Rendro Aryo– The filmmaker goes outside with his Mother in the new normal conditions in Jakarta, finding the city lonely.
Rendro Aryo is an Indonesian Film Director with a big passion for filmmaking. He was born in Batam, Indonesia on October 5, 1993. He studied film directing at the Faculty of Film and Television, Jakarta Institute of the Arts. His short films have been selected and win in national and international film festivals. He worked as Director and writer for production companies in Indonesia. In 2019 he established his own production company “Cahaya Films”. He continues making short films, documentaries and commercials and is now preparing his first feature film. (Go Back)
Super-Able (20 min, Philippines) by Arjanmar Rebeta– Marites Burce, a victim of polio outbreak in 1970’s, is now a mother, a wife, an employee & a national para athlete who is preparing for her journey to represent Philippines in ASEAN Para Games to be held in her own country & to be qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics until the CoViD-19 pandemic happens.
Arjanmar H. Rebeta is a Filipino filmmaker. He is a recipient of “Harvest of Honors” Award for Cinema by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Film Ambassador by Film Development Council of the Philippines & Gawad CCP para sa Alternatibong Pelikula at Video by Cultural Center of the Philippines. His short films include Palabas (A Country in Moving Pictures), Super-Able, Viral Kids, The Complicated Dance to the Wheel of Life, A Boxing Country, At Home and Mr. Whistle. Some of his significant awards are: Best Director (7th Hak-İş ISFF – Turkey), Signs Award (17th Signs of the Night – Germany), Best Film (15th Mini Film Festival – Malaysia), Silver Award (25th ifva Award – Hong Kong), Jury Award (10th Kota Kinabalu IFF – Malaysia), Best Documentry Film (3rd Asia Peace Film Festival – Pakistan). (Go Back)
Tadau om Vuhan Kopisoomo (Were the Sun and the Moon to Meet, 15 min, Malaysia) by Nadira Ilana– A pair of young lovers rendezvous as the sun sets on the coastal city of Kota Kinabalu. Emory is a Kadazan traditional dancer struggling to make ends meet whereas Eleanor is an aspiring singer, raring for bigger things. She reveals to him that she is moving to Kuala Lumpur and as a final farewell, sings to him ‘Terang Bulan’, an Indonesian folk song that resembles the Malaysian national anthem.
Nadira Ilana is a filmmaker and independent film programmer from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. She is best known for Freedom Film Fest winning political documentary, ‘The Silent Riot’. She uses film as a way to explore her indigenous Borneo heritage. In 2015, Nadira committed to a year-long film residency in rural Sabah as part of an Australian community-participatory project, Big Stories Bongkud-Namaus, which culminated to a film premiere of community-made films attended by 1000 people with support from FINAS, the Malaysian film council. Nadira is a 4-time judge for the BMW Shorties and was Lead Programmer for their first regional film festival, Tayangan BMW Shorties held in collaboration with Urbanscapes 2019. She is an alumni of the Berlinale Script Station, Bucheon Fantastic Film School, Singapore International Film Festival SEA Film Lab and Luang Prabang Film Festival Talent Lab. In 2016, Nadira founded her production company, Telan Bulan Films. (Go Back)
Tamu (The Guests min, 15, United States) by Azalia Muchransyah– As an example of the success Indonesian diaspora, a group of film students come to make a short documentary about Novi, an Indonesian woman who is married to an American man and opens a small batik shop in downtown Buffalo, NY. At the same time, two Indonesian women come to the shop and interrupt the film shoot. Things turn sour when prejudices are slowly revealed.
Azalia Muchransyah is pursuing a Ph.D. in Media Studies at University at Buffalo (SUNY). She is a recipient of 2017 DIKTI-Funded Fulbright Ph.D. Scholarship. Her area of interest is advocacy media, specifically AIDS Media in Indonesia. Her short films have been officially selected and screened in international festivals and academic conferences. In 2019, she is chosen as a Social Impact Fellow at University at Buffalo as well as a Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival (FLEFF) Diversity Scholar at Ithaca College. She is also a contributor for vcinemashow.com, an online platform for Asian film, media, and culture. To know more about her works, visit https://azalia.myportfolio.com/ (Go Back)
The 3 Day Nun (7 min, United States) by Lava Buckley– This is a video about Lava’s journey as a Novice Nun for 3 Days at Wat Phaputthothiyan in Ubon Ratchathani with her mother and auntie. Lava’s family wanted her to follow the tradition of their family being a nun (or monk) in a forest temple in Thailand. Lava was on a healing journey but ended up with a life changing experience being among their Thai tradition of a giving community.
Lava Buckley is a filmmaker based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She works as a Production Coordinator for studio productions, but during her free time she directs stories she has written. Although Lava did not have traditional film schooling, she learned about film making while working on sets. Lava was fortunate enough to have a vast career working on studio productions to gain insight how film projects are made. The handful of short films she has completed were done on a shoestring to continue learning how to make films with what resources that she had available. Regardless of not having the best production assets, Lava participated in the 72 Hour Shootout with the Asian American Film Lab. In 2016, she created a short film, “Call Me Mary”, that won Top Ten and Most Original Use of Theme. Her second film at the 72 Hour Shootout, “Same Same”, won Most Original Use of Theme in 2019. Lava’s drive to make films regardless of resources encouraged her to embrace what she could create with herself and her cat. That film, “Rescue”, went into multiple festivals and won awards. It even went on a nationwide tour to help raise funds for shelter cats. (Go Back)
Thuyền Nhân (Boat People, 7 min, United States) by Long Tran– A short documentary film produced during the COVID-19 crisis for a second-year Vietnamese summer language program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The film was produced with archival footage and materials obtained online, cut together at home during quarantine. The film is in Vietnamese/English for accessibility and simply presents general information about the Vietnamese “Boat People,” refugees fleeing the Việt Nam War. The film is narrated by the son of one of these refugees, Vietnamese and Vietnamese Americans, and a refugee. (Go Back)
Upekkha (ອຸເປຂາ, Equanimity, 14 min, Laos) by Somkiet Siyangvongsar– Noy wrestles with the judgements of society and her own shortcomings until her Abbot’s ancient Buddhist teachings provide her a path towards peace.
Somkiet Siyangvongsar, Monk Obee, is a gap years student and founder of Keep Helping Each Other in Luangprabang Province. (Go Back)
The Waves Now Calm (14 min, Malaysia and United States) by Dominique Teoh and Khoa Truong- A Malaysian filmmaker documents the remains of a Vietnamese refugee camp on an island off the coast of Malaysia, while a Vietnamese American filmmaker documents his mother’s memories of that same camp. (Go Back)
Wido (17 min, Indonesia) by Dewi Prastiningrum– Widowati is one of the multitalented art workers in the Magelang region, Central Java, Indonesia. She plays traditional opera, dancing and singing, and others to support her family’s life. This film shows the daily life and the ups and downs of an artist in the area of Magelang, Central Java, which is now starting to become increasingly scarce.
Dewi Prastiningrum, born in Magelang on December 11, 1990. After graduating from high school in 2009, she studied on the television community of Magelang TV Grabag and is still active today. His interest in the broadcasting world, led his interest to explore film. Since he was active in Grabag TV, in addition to his main duties in the secretariat and Main Responsible for Program Division, he also produced several films both fiction, ILM, video clips, documentaries, and TV programs. Grabag TV broadcast content through www.grabagtv.net and Youtube – Grabag TV channels are still managed and produced by it. In addition to production, he teaches students and students who are interns / PKL /internships in their place of work. He was also given the opportunity to be a speaker and judge for workshops, training, seminars in the field of film. (Go Back)
With Whom Shall We Live? (3 min, United States) by Long Tran- A meditation on today’s situation concerning Asian Americans. (Go Back)
Yai Nin (13 min, Thailand & United States) by Champ Ensminger– Ninlawan Pinyo is the matriarch of a Thai American family, who hustled for her fortune by founding a naem (pork sausage) factory in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Champ Ensminger is a Thai American filmmaker born in Chiang Mai and raised in Spokane, Washington. After graduating from the University of Washington in Seattle with a degree in comparative literature and anthropology, he moved to New York City, where he worked at the video hosting site Vimeo and then as a freelancer and production assistant at the web agency m ss ng p eces. He returned to Chiang Mai in 2013, where he spent time as a volunteer and workshop instructor at Documentary Arts Asia, a nonprofit aimed at bringing agency and exposure to Asia-based media artists. Ensminger recently earned the Emerging Artist Fellowship at the Jacob Burns Film Center. He is currently part of the production team at World Famous in Seattle, creating content for brands like T-Mobile, Microsoft, and Amazon. (Go Back)
Young Filipino-Hongkongers (14 min, Hong Kong) by Joni Gutierrez– Portrays the subjectivities of young Filipino-Hongkongers in two parts, namely, direct cinema coverage and shots from interviews on their aspirations. Part of Joni Gutierrez’s Life-world Series project.
Dr. Joni Gutierrez is a filmmaker based in Renton, Washington. He immigrated to the United States to join his family in 2018 when he earned his PhD (Communication & Film Studies) from Hong Kong Baptist University. Aside from being a filmmaker who constantly engages with the Filipino American experience cinematically, he is also a photographer and media educator. He is the director of the film Green (2013, 69 mins), in which he used the direct cinema style to re-familiarize himself with his family who immigrated to the United States eight years before the time that he was able to start visiting them. As a result of this process of behavioral study through filmmaking, this documentary intimately portrays a phenomenology of Filipino American experience as well as his personal perspective as an outsider looking in. In the same year that this film was released, his article “Philippines, Migration, 1948 to Present” was published in The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration (2013), edited by Immanuel Ness, Blackwell Publishing. Dr. Gutierrez’ book chapter, “Cinematic Contemplation Online: The Art and Philosophy of Life-world Series (2017),” which is based on his dissertation, has recently (2020) been published. His contemporary practice as a filmmaker-researcher-educator is defined by a continuing exploration of cinematic realism. Joni has been included in the Filipino American Artist Directory since August 2020. (Go Back)