Films In Competition
For the Southeast Asian Short Film Competition, 11 out of the 18 selected films are by directors who are in this competition for the first time. Films from the region come together to present such diversity that only elevates the competition this year. These delightful, some critical, and some coolly non-judgemental short films are not to be missed.
The Asian Feature Competition has nine films by directors making their first, second or third feature films. This year, five of those films mark the directorial debuts of some exciting new talents in Asia. Collectively, the films offer a diversity of bold and thought-provoking stories that reflect our changing societies, and are expressed with rewarding beauty.
SOUTHEAST ASIAN SHORT FILM COMPETITION
Short films No One is Crazy in This Town, Mary, Mary, So Contrary, Cobalt Blue and Gallery will be screened together under the Southeast Asian Short Film Competition Programme 1 (Runtime: 81 mins).
A hotel owner orders Marwan and his team to remove the mentally ill people from the streets, and cast them into the forest so as not to disturb his guests. However, Marwan has another plan.
Repurposing and manipulating classic film footage and the filmmaker’s personal footage, the film weaves a phantasmagoric narrative of a Chinese lady named Ma Li who dreams she is a Caucasian named Mary.
In Yangon ‘98, a young boy and his mother await the return of his father to relocate. On their last night, the boy tries to grasp the relationship between his mother and their neighbour.
Short films Stay Awake, Be Ready, Lanny, Diary of Cattle, Sunday, and Sweet, Salty will be screened together under the Southeast Asian Short Film Competition Programme 2 (Runtime: 90 mins).
On a street corner, a mysterious conversation takes place among three men at a street stall. Meanwhile, a traffic accident occurs, and the night brings forth a multicoloured frame of reality.
Following the death of a young girl’s beloved grandmother and pet, she is to relocate to the city with her parents despite their estrangement. While being told how to think, feel and behave by her parents, she reveals love in its rawest form.
A herd of cattle has made a man-made waste landfill their home. They call plastics their resting pasture, wooden bark amidst foliage their food, and the scenic trash mountain their graveyard.
A young woman with a full body rash is driven to violence during a forbidden encounter with her sister’s boyfriend.
Short films Bura, Dossier of the Dossier, SICK, Birth of Golden Snail, and Adam will be screened together under the Southeast Asian Short Film Competition Programme 3 (Runtime: 99 mins).
In the thick of the 1998 political tension in East Java, Indonesia, a guard leaves his post despite rumours of ninjas terrorising the town at night, to meet with his lover.
A director and a producer are working on the dossier of their new film, hoping to get funding from a potential investor. What happens next leads to questions about the dreams and realities of making their film.
Aung Naing’s health is deteriorating, and he has to be transferred to a hospital due to inadequate facilities at the local health centre. While his friend is desperately searching for the money needed, he is losing the will to live.
Banned at the Thailand Biennale Krabi 2018, this film is based on the history of Khao Kha Nab Nam, Krabi. Filled with fantasy and historical facts, it treads the line between fiction and folklore.
Short films I’m Not Your F***ing Stereotype, Piece of Meat, California Dreaming, and The Graduation of Edison will be screened together under the Southeast Asian Short Film Competition Programme 4 (Runtime: 78 mins).
As a Muslim girl from Southern Thailand, Maryam falls prey to racism in school. She begins spiralling into an identity crisis, and starts resenting her name, religion and birthdate.
Enslaved in a surreal world of living objects, a lamb cutlet does whatever it takes to make ends meet.
Two women of different backgrounds encounter one another at an oceanfront resort. They then discover a hidden bond that allows them to escape from their realities.
Minh lives in a village where every child is born with a tree on their heads, except for him. On graduation day, students who have turned 18 will get their tree cut to signify adulthood. Problems arise when Minh’s sister decides to keep hers.
Retirement is tough, as an Israeli man learns in this docu-fictional study of wounded masculinity and the anxiety of ageing.
Gitanjali Rao’s Bombay Rose is a stunning animated epic that sees love emerge from the hustle and bustle of Mumbai’s streets.
Four brothers face their futures as their mother succumbs to dementia in a provincial Chinese city, itself dramatically changing.
An ensemble of down-and-outs brings this boisterous comedy to a rolling boil on the surface of urban Japan.
The boundary between fiction and reality is blurred for a prison guard who insists he is about to uncover a domestic conspiracy.
A young girl defies her village’s harsh and chauvinistic traditions to prove her worth in this stunning mythical tale.
This dreamy film explores the moon landing conspiracy set in an Indonesian village and the effects of historical negationism.
A highly conceptual film that thoughtfully frames the spectrum within binaries of life and death, and then and thereafter.