SeaShorts Film Festival to make Melaka debut in September

Melanie Chalil
The annual film festival now in its third year will feature emerging and renowned talents in South-east Asia in celebration of short films. — Picture courtesy of Next New Wave

PETALING JAYA, July 19 — The SeaShorts Film Festival will be held in Melaka for the very first time this September.

Organised from September 25 to September 29, the annual film festival now in its third year will feature emerging and renowned talents in South-east Asia, all for the love short films.

Film buffs will be pleased to know the five-day affair will include a series of film screenings, forums, master classes and other film-related activities such as a two-day animation trade workshop.

Ten countries from the region will be participating — Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam — in line with the festival’s S-Express guest programme which highlights the region’s filmmaking scene.

“SeaShorts represents an opportunity for people of different backgrounds to unite in their love of cinema and short films,” said festival founder and director Tan Chui Mui.

‘Halal’ by Liew Seng Tat is one of the films featured in ‘15Malaysia’ which will close the film festival. — Picture courtesy of Next New Wave

“From individuals directly involved in the filmmaking process to enthusiasts and audiences, it allows them to gather in enjoyment of never-before-seen releases, engage in discussion, and hopefully spark collaboration.”

Two competition prizes are up for grabs, the SeaShorts Award for Southeast Asian short films and the Next New Wave Award for the best Malaysian short film.

Filipino filmmaker and Venice Film Festival Golden Lion winner Lav Diaz has been selected as head jury for the SeaShorts Awards while celebrated Indonesian director Garin Nugroho will lead the jury of the Next New Wave Award.

The Next New Wave Award’s best three entries will earn a place at the Finas Film Incubator Programme.

Other prizes include Aputure lighting equipment, Zoom field recorders and Deity Microphones.

This year’s festival received 352 submissions and the results will be announced on August 1.

The SeaShorts Film Festival will kick off with Ten Years Thailand, a four-part anthology envisioning the Land of Smiles’ future a decade from now.

Closing the film festival is 15Malaysia, 15 short films released in conjunction with Merdeka in 2009 that deals with taboo topics such as racism, paedophilia and corruption.

The SeaShorts Film Festival is organised by Next New Wave, an initiative founded in 2015 to nurture young and emerging filmmakers in Malaysia.

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