S-EXPRESS 2022 NETWORKS
- Nurain Abdullah, BRUNEI
- Fransiska Prihadi. INDONESIA
- Xaisongkham INDUANGCHANTHY, LAOS
- Yow Chong Lee, MALAYSIA
- Thaiddhi, MYANMAR
- Oggs Cruz, PHILIPPINES
- Leong Puiyee, SINGAPORE
- Thai Short Film and Video Festival, THAILAND
- Marcus Manh Cuong Vu, VIETNAM
The selection depicts Brunei youths’ passion for the arts and the social expectations put on them.
||WITA (+8 GMT)
THE BUNGSU STORY // Aznniel Yunus / Brunei / 2018 / Fiction / 37:00 // Two millennial youths are facing difficulties in meeting the expectations of their family – in pursuing the challenges of academic life, employment, friendship, and love affair. // Awards/Screenings: Best Asian Drama, Asia Contents Awards (nominated).
ATROPHY // Adib Emran / Brunei / 2022 / Fiction / 16:00 // A story of a married couple, Ava works while Ezra’s at home writing his next book. However, there’s more than meets the eye with this seemingly picture-perfect relationship.
PART OF ME // Hazrul Aizan /2022 / Brunei / 36:00 // An aspiring singer is conflicted between chasing his dreams and following his family’s expectations to pursue a decent career. He struggles to see which one is right for his path.
Here are five selected short films from Indonesia to recharge your festival experience. Hopefully, the projection screens can spark a forum celebrating these films.
Fransiska Prihadi, Minikino
LIKA LIKU LAKI (Makassar is a City for Football Fans) // Khozy Rizal / Indonesia / 2021 / Fiction / 20:00 // In a city when the ‘men’ have to go crazy about football, Akbar has to pretend to love football to prevent rejection.
PEDHUT (A Grandpa’s Uniform and the Other Things of Fear) // Christian Banisrael / Indonesia / 2021 / Fiction / 21:42 // An old man who’s trapped in his past, stole the army uniform to chase away the ghosts that terrorize his long nights.
JAMAL // Muhammad Heri Fadli / Indonesia / 2020 / Fiction / 14:30 // Nur’s husband had just left for Malaysia for a few months as a migrant worker. He was suddenly sent home in a lifeless condition.
LAUT MEMANGGILKU (The Sea Calls for Me) // Tumpal Tampubolon / Indonesia / 2021 / Fiction / 17:25 // A young boy, Sura, lives in a fishing village. One day he finds a broken sex doll washed ashore and tries to fix it.
NUSA ANTARA (The Archipelago) // Azalia Muchransyah, Firman Widyasmara / Indonesia / 2021 / Documentary, Animation / 07:07 // An interpretation of contemporary Indonesian society from the perspective of four Indonesian filmmakers.
S-Express Laos is a small collection of new short films selected from LanXang Shorts – a newly established short film festival held in Vientiane, Laos, and one short film funded by the Lao Filmmaker Fund. They are made by young aspiring filmmakers. Coincidentally, the stories involve around a theme “home” – be it physical or feeling.
LOSER BOY (Phuak Khi Phae) // Thanva KOUNLAVONG / Laos / 2022 / Fiction / 13:56 // When a man discovers that he has a lung cancer, he hires his close friend to take pictures of him for one day.
ONLY HAPPINESS CAN SAY (Phiengsouknun Thi Euiy Wao) // Apple SUKA / Laos / 2021 / Fiction / 11:00 // Upon on receiving the news about her father’s death, Jia returns to her hometown. She realizes things that were once familiar to her have now become so unfamiliar.
DAUGHTER OF THE SALT MAKER (Louk Keu) // Bountom SAIDARA / Laos / 2020 / Fiction / 08:00 // A young man returns to Laos to persuade his former lover to leave her salt making job and work with him in Thailand.
THE BLANKET (Pha Hom) // Mitpasa SITTHIHAKPANYA / Laos / 2021 / Fiction / 18:17 // A seven-year-old boy from rural Lao village becomes responsible for his younger siblings and mother, when his father goes off to city in search of a work.
A FRIEND REQUEST (Mou Tem) // Wravong PHRACHANH / Laos / 2021 / Fiction / 07:00 // A Friend Request’ is another cliché love story between Nalin, Tao and Bank. But with all these endings in their heads, they still choose to let themselves fall.
These four films are the awards winning films at the 17th Mini Film Festival (2021). Tackling a wide range of subject matters ranging from displacement, identity, and legal vs illegality in Malaysia, these films were presented with unique cinematic approaches. Featured in one programme, they certainly offer a glimpse into Malaysia’s contemporary (independent) cinema.
Yow Chong Lee, Mini Film Festival
TADAU OM VUHAN KOPISOOMO (Were the Sun and the Moon to Meet) // Nadira Ilana / Malaysia / 2020 / Fiction / 14:44 // 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.
BAGAN (Sudden Uncertainty) // Firdaus Balam / Malaysia / 2021 / Fiction / 24:35 // Frankie lives at home with his grandma while his peers go off to school. When a Government notice arrives one day announcing land reform of his village, Frankie is unable to read it. Too proud to ask his best friend Gamat for help, he spirals into rage and later, regret. Bagan tells the story of the final days of a dying village, told through the eyes of a pair of adolescents; when innocence clashes with the harsh reality of growing up and moving on.
AYAHKU, DR. G (My Father, Dr. G) // Hidayah Hisham / Malaysia / 2020 / Documentary / 17:00 // In a country where possession of cannabis is punishable with death, Siti finds herself pulled into the unfamiliar world of lengthy legal proceedings and prison visits when her 60-year-old father is arrested for allegedly using medical cannabis to treat his chronic illnesses.
PULANG // Yam Kin Wai / Malaysia / 2020 / Fiction / 24:58 // Yao-Wei returns to his hometown in Malaysia with his girlfriend Yu-Ying who is visiting the country for the first time. After his parents pick them up, Yao-Wei decides that it’s the perfect moment to tell his parents about his engagement with Yu-Ying. As the monsoon sweeps in, language barriers break into happy tears, and the parents gain a whole new perspective on the young couple.
This year I try to select two very different interesting filmmakers from Myanmar. One focuses on narrative film related to his own personal experience and another filmmaker who interested to explore the narrative structure and try to find his own way of storytelling.
Thaiddhi, Wathann Film Festival
SEEKING WOMBS FOR REBIRTHS // Lin Htet Aung / Myanmar / 2021 / Experimental / 22:24 // A boy went to a town. He went to find his next life. Awards/Screenings: ASEAN SHORT FILM COMPETITION – Bangkok ASEAN Film Festival 2021 (BAFF).
NANDAR // Mg Bhone / Myanmar / 2020 / Fiction / 30:00 // Nandar, a hairdresser, is stuck at work during holidays. Struggling with an intensely personal problem, she tries to find a possible escape from her next-door neighbor. Awards/Screenings: Wathann Film Festival 2020.
AMPANGABAGAT NIN TALAKBA HA NIKOL (It’s Raining Frogs Outside) // Maria Estela Paiso / Philippines / 2019 / Animation, Experimental / 14:00 // A girl resist her childhood home’s attempts to destroy her using her own personal history. // Awards/Screenings: Berlinale 2022 Competition, QCinema 2021.
I GET SO SAD SOMETIMES // Trishtan Perez / Philippines / 2021 / Fiction / 20:00 // In the small town of Pagadian, a gay teenager eagerly waits for a mature man to finally reveal his face after developing an anonymous sexual relationship with him online. // Awards/Screenings: QCinema 2021.
THE HEADHUNTER’S DAUGHTER // Don Josephus Raphael Eblahan / Philippines / 2022 / Fiction / 15:01 // Leaving her family behind, Lynn traverses the harrowing roads of the Cordilleran highlands to try her luck in the city as a country singer. // Awards/Screenings: Sundance 2022 Winner.
DAYS OF THE NEW // Keith Deligero / Philippines / 2021 / Fiction / 18:48 // Two cops, an artist, a series of murders and some weird shit. Welcome to the new world after the pandemic. // Awards/Screenings: Bucheon International Fantastic Film Fest 2021.
Experience the world of art, myth and horror in this eclectic mix of films featuring works by curators and filmmakers.
Leong Puiyee, Objectifs
I TOOK A NAP AND I MISS YOU // Shelby Kho / Singapore / 2021 / Mockumentary / 12:12 // Recently widowed Liz struggles with grief while raising her two daughters – Gigi, a cynical teen venturing into romance, and pre-teen Stacy, whose imaginary boyfriend is her getting bullied at school. A coming-of-age, drama-comedy mockumentary about three women, all operating on what-ifs and varying circumstances of the heart. // Awards/Screenings: SEAShorts 2021 (Malaysia), Singapore Shorts 2021 by Asian Film Archive (Singapore).
A SPIDER, FEVER AND OTHER DISAPPEARING ISLANDS // Natalie Khoo / Singapore / 2021 / Experimental / 21:04 // A Spider, Fever and Other Disappearing Islands is an experimental documentary which connects my grandmother’s migration from the Indonesian Riau Islands to Singapore with a spider spirit’s migratory route, where memories of colonial ghosts, sisterhood, and disappearance are woven together. Emerging through this melange of media forms is a re-imagined archipelagic and family history that reclaims the act of story-telling as simultaneously generative and fluid. // Awards/Screenings: Objectifs Women in Film & Photography 2021: Inheritance – Installation Version (Singapore).
PROXIMITIES // Zulkhairi Zulkiflee / Singapore / 2021 / Documentary/ 10:13 // Proximities is focused on the trope of the Malay Boy found in the works of Singaporean artist Cheong Soo Pieng (1917 – 1983). The film attempts to locate the Malay male in art history while unpacking underlying systems of power that have shaped and naturalized understanding of difference. When exorcised from the framings of art history – one informed by overlapping lenses of pioneer artists and their Western predecessors, the Malay boy now stands as a figure (re)molded by contemporary currents and various intercessors.
STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE // Tan Siyou / Singapore / 2021 / Fiction / 09:51 // In Singapore, where even vapes are illegal, three rebellious schoolgirls are caught smoking by the principal. Their revenge prank takes a sinister turn. // Awards/Screenings: Locarno Film Festival 2021, In Competition, Clermont-Ferrand 2022.
The longer S-Express program, the more shorts can be presented. This year, we take this opportunity with various awarded shorts from the 25th Thai Short Film and Video Festival in 2021.
Thai Short Film and Video Festival
LITTLE MISS DUNGJAI // Primp Surapakpinyo & Pattama Homrod / Thailand / 2021 / Animation / 07:31 // The story of a Thai student who stood for what she believed when the idea of questioning things is not accepted. She ended up conforming to the norms and passing on violence to the next generation.
PLAY WITH ME // Kanyawee Sulaimarn, Janthima Saengsri, Pornsawan Rittiruth, Ramita Daomanee / Thailand / 2019 / Fiction / 05:54 // Every day, Chloe tries to do everything to make the bear play with her. But it didn’t work.
RED ANINSRI; OR, TIPTOEING ON THE STILL TREMBLING BERLIN WALL // Ratchapoom Boonbunchachoke / Thailand / 2020 / Fiction / 29:57 // The queer espionage film made in the tradition of Cold-War-era Thai dubbed film.
These recent short films from Vietnam by young filmmakers focus on different forms of encounters. Marcus Manh Cuong Vu, filmmaker, and programmer. Former festival director of Yxine Film Fest (2010-2014).
BÀI TẬP CARDIO (Cardio) | Nguyễn Đức Huy / Vietnam / 2022 / Animation / 04:07 // A man is jumping rope through different corners of the house, inside which there probably exist some other beings. // e: email@example.com
HỘP (In a Bookstore) | Ngô Kỳ Duyên / Vietnam / 2019 / Fiction / 17:23 // In a bookstore, a little boy who comes here often finds the fragments of an old man’s soul, which has been left with dust and spider web. // e: firstname.lastname@example.org
MAY (May) | Trần Trung Hậu / Vietnam / 2021 / Documentary / 07:39 // In a rural area of Vietnam during the Covid-19, people had to stay at home waiting for social assistance from the government and did repetitive work. // e: email@example.com
CÔI (Côi) | Anh La / Vietnam / 2020 / Fiction / 15:02 // A lonely boy lives in the graveyard and works as faking dead, laying in the coffin, there he falls in love with a recently dead Sino-Vietnamese girl. // Awards/Screenings: Voices Short – International Film Festival Rotterdam 2020.
MỘT CÕI ĐI VỀ (Retrace) | Trần Thị Hà Trang / Vietnam / 2021 / Fiction / 29:52 // During the flooding season, a city boy follows his dad to a mountainous village to attend the funeral of his grandfather according to the ethnic minority’s tradition. // Awards/Screenings: Best Short Film – Golden Kite Awards Vietnam 2021
THEO DÒNG CHẢY (Go With the Flow) | An Đặng / Vietnam / 2021 / Experimental / 10:24 // Fragments of memories about a group of young men who wanted to record their songs in the forest thanks to nature. // e: firstname.lastname@example.org