Following a successful two-year online run, SeaShorts Film Festival, the flagship programme of SeaShorts Film Society, will return as a physical event from 21 (WED) to 25 September (SUN) 2022 at MMU Cyberjaya, in partnership with the Faculty of Cinematic Art.
This upcoming sixth edition of the festival continues to champion new ideas and talents from Southeast Asian and beyond.
Revolving around the festival theme of Future, this edition features a special focus spearheaded by programme director Jacky Yeap that explores potential new cinematic technologies, such as the usage of Virtual Reality (VR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in developing film content, as well as the introduction of a new festival sidebar titled Re:View, led and curated by programme manager Alfonse Chiu, that highlights works by artists and filmmakers which further challenge the possibilities of the short film format to explore ideas of environments, politics, society, and contemporary life.
Beyond screenings, festival-goers can also enjoy a diverse selection of programmes such as workshops, masterclasses, and forums facilitated by esteemed practitioners from across Southeast Asia, as well as interactive exhibitions and performances.
This edition of SeaShorts will feature the return of three main competitive segments: the SeaShorts Competition, which showcases emerging regional voices; the NextNewWave Competition, dedicated to highlighting local talents; and the Malaysia Student Film Competition, which aims to platform promising practitioners based in/from Malaysia.
Out of 469 submissions from 12 countries, 20 shortlisted titles will compete in the SeaShorts Competition, judged by a distinguished panel comprising multi-hyphenate artist and filmmaker Khavn Dela Cruz (Philippines), film producer and distributor Teng Lee Yein (Malaysia), and esteemed film critic Kong Rithdee (Thailand).
Other festival highlights include Beyond Mirage, a VR exhibition curated by Dr. Lim Kok Yoong that features works from across Southeast Asia and Korea and a special showcase of Taiwanese work presented by a special showcase of Taiwanese works presented by Kaohsiung Film Archive VR FILM LAB; the Japan Foundation Kuala Lumpur will present a selection of cheeky screenlife shorts from Japan and Southeast Asia exploring the medium’s playful and inventive potential for cinematic storytelling curated by programme director Jacky Yeap; and a special programme curated by artist Chloe Yap that features short films and experimental videos by young Malaysian artists and filmmakers which probes at diverse subject-matters including our existential boundaries between the virtual and corporeal, and our collective desire for connection in a time of incomprehensible technology advancement.
Broadening SeaShort’s offerings, this edition also features a robust expanded programme that includes new presentations from esteemed local filmmakers Amir Muhammad and Ridhwan Saidi; an audio-visual essay by artist Gan Siong King; as well as community documentary work by Okui Lala and Nasrikah.
Last but not least, in response to the youth-oriented academic space of MMU, SeaShorts will also present Open Screen, a non-curated platform for open public showcases of works by aspiring practitioners.
Other programmes include masterclasses and workshops such as a roundtable discussion by Malaysian film educators; a talk on Machinima; and a Generative AI workshop by artist Eddie Wong.
The SeaShorts Film Festival is an annual celebration of Southeast Asian short films. Founded by award-winning filmmaker Tan Chui Mui in 2017, it has become a permanent fixture on the regional film landscape.
Since its inaugural edition, SeaShorts has shown over 500 short films and travelled to three different cities in Malaysia.
Among the names that have been members of the competition jury include Lav Diaz (Philippines), Rithy Panh (Cambodia), Philip Cheah (Singapore), Pimpaka Towira (Thailand), Mira Lesmana (Indonesia), and Sharifah Amani (Malaysia).
The Festival is the annual marquee event of the SeaShorts Film Society, officially registered in Malaysia in 2019.
Get your tickets to experience SeaShorts Film Festival 2022 here.
Cover image sourced from SeaShorts Film Festival / Facebook.