21 June 2009

Short Circuit - London [filmmakers biography + statements]

Hong Khaou / Summer
Hong Khaou is Hokkien Chinese, he worked in Singapore for 4 months with Glen Goei on Forever Fever as a director’s assistant. He studied fine art and eventually settled for film. He currently works for a film distribution company that has distributed three Singaporean films, Be With Me by Eric Khoo, 15 & 4:30 by Royston Tan. He is currently adapting one of his plays into a feature film.

2004 - ‘Waiting For Movement’ – short film which won the Film London Digital Pulse Award. It is currently touring festivals.

2006 - ‘Summer’ – Short film which won the funding from Tower Hamlets and Hackney Film Award

Rae Lyn Lee / Lola
Rae Lyn Lee started working professionally as an in-house editorial photographer for Singapore Press Holdings Magazines, straight after graduating from Temasek Polytechnic Design School. Having shot for titles such as Her World, Shape and ICON magazine for over a year, she moved on to a lucrative career in commercial stills photography and was inducted into the Professional Photographers Association of Singapore. However, she decided to take a hiatus from the still photography industry to pursue her passion for Cinema. She is currently on an MDA scholarship pursuing a Masters in Filmmaking at The London Film School.

Charmaine Wong / Pink IC
Charmaine Wong’s Pink IC premiered at the inaugural Short Circuit in 2006.

Her vision is this: there will come a day where Singapore will have its own “Queer Cinema” where queer filmmakers or filmmakers dealing with queer issues are able to share ideas, resources and showcase their films locally and internationally.

In the meantime, she is paying her dues as a writer/producer for a production house, making safety videos on how not to board a vessel.

Director's Statement:
The Time Asia Magazine interview was significant because PM Goh mentioned it voluntarily or at least it seemed so. To many, including myself, it was an official acknowledgment of Singapore’s gay population.

I started to wonder if in the process of re-defining who we are, would the gay population—it’s hopes, dreams and woes—form part of the picture? Also, when he said “gay”, was he referring to the full spectrum of the rainbow or more vocal and visible groups within the gay population?

This brings us to another issue—the lack of voices from the queer female population.

To this end, Pink IC offers a glimpse into the lives of 5 queer female Singaporeans, it is a platform for them to voice out; tell others what it means for them to be queer, female and Singaporean.

Tan Wei Keong / White
Born in 1984 in Singapore, Wei Keong’s first animated short film White was awarded Special Achievement Award at the 20th Singapore International Film Festival. He had previously received a Gold Award at the 34th Singapore Youth Festival for sculpture design. Wei Keong has also freelanced as a cartoonist for the local papers and, being an animation enthusiast, assisted at Animation Nation, Siggraph and Siggraph Asia. Granted the Media Education Scholarship by the Media Development Authority of Singapore, he is currently in his senior year at Nanyang Technological University, School of Art, Design and Media, pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Animation. His latest work, Hush Baby(2009), which incorporates a gamut of techniques such as pixilation, stop motion, 2D drawing and 3D modelling, marks his second animated short film effort.

Director's Statement:
Would you much rather be someone else?

Victric Thng / Locust
Victric Thng is known for creating atmospheric and dreamlike short films. His works have traveled extensively to film festivals and won many short film awards. He was named as one of the next new wave of filmmakers in Singapore.

Director's Statement:
“Locust” was shot during a holiday trip to Hong Kong in 2003. The images I captured randomly inspired me to do a something about it. Upon returning to Singapore, I sat down one afternoon and wrote the script within an hour and the film was edited in 1 day. In retrospect, there was not much of a thinking process, everything was done very spontaneously and very quickly. In all honesty, this is the film that started my affair with filmmaking.

Eva Tang / Don't Say Farewell Again
Eva had a career as a journalist for Singapore's major Chinese newspapers, before headed to England to study filmmaking. Don’t Say Farewell Again was a film she made while she was at the National Film and Television School.

Brian Gothong Tan /Asian Girls Vol 2 (Memoirs of a Geisha)
Brian Gothong Tan is perhaps one of the most exciting and prolific multimedia artists that has emerged from Singapore in recent years. Trained in Fine Arts, Multimedia and Animation at the California Institute of Arts under the NAC-Shell Arts scholarship, Brian's works are renowned for their icy, high gloss finish subverted by play and parody.

Yeo Lee Nah / Crocodile Journals
Yeo Lee Nah is a performer at heart, whose love for performance found its channel in filmmaking, animation and design. Having studied at the California Institute of the Arts, she received a Bachelor’s in Scene Design and a Master’s in Experimental Animation.

Basically, she just wants to have fun making work that people can relate to.

Director's Statement:
This film was inspired by the late Qiu Miao Jin, the author of a semi-autobiographic novel “Er Yu Shou Ji”. As I have heard, she tragically ended her own life shortly after the publication. Intrigued by the stories within and without the novel, I wanted to use the subtleties of human/inhuman gestures to highlight the ways we deal with everyday communication. And how that could inadvertently affect all of us on an emotional and psychological level.

At the same, I had injected my own sense of loss and displacement while making the film. It is thus a very personal film as well.

But this film is not about the loss of hope, rather it is an opportunity to say to some amongst us, to take heart, for you are not alone.

Ezzam Rahman and Ghazi Alqudcy / Miss A Shot
The duo, Ezzam Rahman and Ghazi Alqudcy have been collaborating and partners in crime in telling and sharing stories of their own personal encounters and experiences. Miss A Shot is one of their own interpretations from similar encounters that they had.

Michael Tay / Wet Season
Born 21st July 1983, Singapore, Michael graduated from the School of Film, Sound and Video at Ngee Ann Polytechnic in 2003, where he learnt about screenwriting, editing and cinematography. He was the cinematographer for the award-winning student short film, Cell 118, before he pursued his degree in the School of Art, Design and Media at Nanyang Technological University. In 2005, he began actively making short films and has made five short films to date. His films are often shot on a shoe-string budget and his crew has never included more than five people. He usually multi-tasks in his production and Wet Season marks his first attempt at casting and directing himself in front of the camera.

Director's Statement:
When I first set out to make this short, it wasn’t meant to be a fully animated 6 minute short film. The original story of Wet Season was a 15 page script about a guy living in a fast paced world who dreams of sperms whenever he thinks of the girl of his dreams and is haunted at the same time by visions of his dead father in the form of a skeleton.

I was halfway through the second rewrite of the script that I decided to scrap the whole idea because I felt it wasn’t honest enough. If this is going to be a tribute to my dad, it better be just about my dad and my dad alone. So I deleted the entire 15 pages of material and just start writing the script in the most primitive method I know. In the form of a letter to my dad.

That letter which I wrote in Chinese over the course of nearly a week became the narration for “Wet Season”. And that letter went through many rewrites even till post production stage which became really scary for me then because I never take rewrites this far. Ultimately, I guess the effort is well paid off and this final output really feels like a tribute to my dad.

Boo Junfeng / Katong Fugue
Boo Junfeng is one of the most prolific short film filmmakers from Singapore in recent years. Since 2005, his films have received several awards at the Singapore International Film Festival, including all four of the main accolades: Best Film, Best Director, Special Jury Prize and Special Achievement Award.

His most recent short film ‘Tanjong Rhu’ was selected at the Panorama section of the 59th Berlin Film Festival. He is currently working on his feature-length debut with Zhao Wei Films, a production company helmed by internationally-acclaimed Singaporean director-producer Eric Khoo.

Director's Statement:
I was deeply moved by Alfian’s text in Katong Fugue when I saw Landmarks: Asian Boys Volume 2 in 2004. It was an experience that I will probably never forget. Besides realising as a 20-year-old that I wasn’t alone in the struggle to come out, I also realized for the first time the possibility of affecting someone else so deeply with good storytelling. I wanted to share that experience with a wider audience and was very glad when Alfian allowed me to complement his words with images.

Loo Zihan / Autopsy
Touted to be one of Singapore’s boldest filmmakers, Zihan is completing his BFA in Digital Filmmaking at the Nanyang Technological University’s School of Art Design and Media.

Director's Statement:
AUTOPSY is a personal documentary project. I have been very open about my films and the nature of them with my parents, and we had many conversations about it. This project serves to document my mother’s point of view, coming to terms with who her son is, and how she copes
with it.

Royston Tan / Monkey Love
Known for his distinctive cinematic style, Royston has received over 41 international and local film awards for both his feature and short films, notably 15 and Sons. He has been recognized in Asia with several awards including ASEAN Director of the Year (2001), Young Artist of the Year (2002) by the National Arts Council in Singapore and in 2003, Netpac Jury has recognized him as the Asia Most Promising Talents. In 2004, Royston Tan was cited as a “Top 20 Asian Heroes” by Time Magazine.