First for Malaysia: Anti-sexual harassment short film wins Asian Pacific Cinema award at Busan film fest

·2-min read
Anti-sexual harassment short film ‘The Boys Club’ won the Asian Pacific Cinema award at the Busan International Short Film Festival. — Picture courtesy of Chen Yih Wen
Anti-sexual harassment short film ‘The Boys Club’ won the Asian Pacific Cinema award at the Busan International Short Film Festival. — Picture courtesy of Chen Yih Wen

KUALA LUMPUR, May 9 — Malaysian filmmaker Chen Yih Wen’s The Boys Club has won the documentary award at the 39th Busan International Short Film Festival.

The documentary maker and journalist took home the Network for the Promotion of Asia Pacific Cinema (Netpac) award which is the first for a Malaysian documentary.

The Boys Club follows Chen's journey in making her first feature documentary and reveals her harrowing experience of enduring sexual harassment, bullying and misogyny.

“I’m honoured by the recognition from the festival at our world premiere.”

“As a journalist myself, it was even more meaningful to receive the news on World Press Freedom Day,” said Chen in a statement.

According to her, media freedom is one of the issues highlighted in The Boys Club.

“Journalists shouldn’t be harassed at the workplace, or for doing their work.”

Chen and her executive producers hope to use the film for a greater cause — to provide an educational toolkit for sexual harassment awareness, and to lobby for a more comprehensive Anti-Sexual Harassment Bill.

Chen is working with the Women's Aid Organisation on the film's impact campaign.

She is also working with award-winning Indonesian film producer Mandy Marahimin to run a similar campaign in Indonesia.

The Netpac Award is given at select international film festivals to promote Asian cinema, highlight exceptional films and discover new talents.

The Boys Club will make its Oceania premiere at the Doc Edge Festival 2022, an Oscar-qualifying international documentary festival, which will celebrate its 17th edition as a hybrid festival, in-theatre and online with 113 films over 40 days, from June 1 to July 10, 2022.

The documentary will also make its US premiere at the 21st San Francisco Documentary Festival, as part of the Shorts 7: She Dares to Defy programme.

It will also be made available to Malaysian audiences via virtual cinema.

Tickets can be purchased on the festival’s website over here.

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