Shows for Day 1 Film Screenings
- Between Pudukkottai & Singapore
- Aku Mau Skola
- DEM DEM!
Shows for Day 2 Film Screenings
- Poets on Permits
- Selfie with the PM
- Defying the Odds in Dadaab Refugee Camp
- Son of Kali
- Tea Land
About Our Films
Day 1 (15 December, 7 - 10 PM, The Arts House, Screening Room)
Between Pudukkottai & Singapore (19min)
(dir. Vishal Daryanomel, 2017, Singapore, PG13)
Originally from Pudukkottai (India), Rengarajan works in Singapore’s construction sector. Featuring three of his poems which subtly elucidate the realities of migrant life, this documentary short also highlights pertinent issues such as employment processes, exorbitant agent fees, financial debt, and commonly held perceptions of migrant workers. Through Rengarajan’s perspectives, the film navigates through themes of loss, sacrifice, and the strengths and dreams inherent in all of us, regardless of occupation, nationality, race, and class.
Director Bio: Vishal Daryanomel has spent time with various NGOs in Singapore, and has been part of the organising committee of migrant poetry events since 2014. His interests include exploring how film can be used as a tool of testimony and empowerment for minority and marginalised voices. His documentary short, Between Pudukkottai & Singapore, has been screened in various festivals in Southeast Asia, Europe, and North America.
Aku Mau Skola (20 mins)
(dir. Putri Purnama, 2018, Malaysia, Rating to be advised)
In a baking hot shack with a leaky roof, over 70 stateless children squeeze in daily to study under the guidance of their teacher, Rujiah Sami. Rujiah founded a school four years ago to provide basic education to those living in her community. Her determination is mirrored by some of her students who have to go beyond normal lengths to attain basic reading and writing skills with the hope of a better future. Aku Mau Skola reveals how stateless and marginalised children in Sabah have an incredible desire to pursue learning.
Director's Bio: Putri Purnama Sugua is a passionate filmmaker from the 'Land Below the Wind', Sabah, Malaysia. After completing her undergraduate studies in Film and Animation , she pursued her career in the film industry by freelancing. While freelancing, she established her own production company named DREAM TO FLY. Under her production banner, she directed a few commercial webfilms for a government organisation. Growing up in an underprivileged area made her to to be the filmmaker she is today. She wants to be the voice of the marginalized struggling and powerless people through her film. She’s currently developing the story of her first feature film entitled 'Rumah Tidak Bertanah' (A House without Land). It is a story about the struggles of stateless child who, due unfortunate circumstances, had been separated from his family.
DADYAA: The Woodpeckers of Rotha (17min)
(dir. Pooja Gurung and Bibhusan Basnet, 2017, Nepal/France, Rating to be advised)
Atimaley and Devi’s village is haunted by memories. When a dear friend leaves the village without saying “goodbye”, the old couple faces a dilemma; to keep living with the memories or to leave the village for good?
Directors' Bio: Based in Kathmandu, the duo of Pooja Gurung and Bibhusan Basnet have been working together for the past 6 years. Their first short film ‘The Contagious Apparitions of Dambarey Dendrite’ was screened in numerous international film festivals including Abu Dhabi, Tampere, Locarno and Kurzfilmtage Winterthur among others. It also won the ‘Golden Comma for Fiction’ at the Alpavirama Short Film Festival in Ahmedabad, India.
DEM DEM! (26min)
(dirs. Pape Bouname Lopy, Marc Recchia, Christophe Rolin, 2017, Belgium, Luxembourg, Senegal, Rating to be advised)
Matar, a Senegalese fisherman, finds a Belgian passport on a beach in Dakar. On his way, he crosses paths with N'Zibou a crazy wise man who measures the clouds. He questions Matar about his search for identity.
Day 2 (16 December, 7 - 10 PM, The Arts House, Screening Room)
Poets on Permits (24 min)
(dir Upneet Nagpal Kaur, 2017, Singapore, G)
'Poets on Permits' is a documentary on migrant workers in Singapore, and their poetry. Read between their lines. Five captivating people from Bangladesh, Philippines, India, China and Indonesia, share their personal stories and views on the local migrant worker life. The documentary features their poetic talent, and hopes to bring us closer as a society - realising that at the end of the day, we all have common goals - of home, love and happiness.
Director Bio: Upneet Kaur-Nagpal is a Singaporean filmmaker who thrives on the buzz of new experiences. Since 2004, Upneet has led projects, across television, film and documentary, as well as transmedia projects worldwide. Equipped with the desire to refresh tired perspectives, her documentaries find themselves amidst diverse communities - from Romany gypsies to homeless walking guides in London as well as poet migrant workers and the Sikh diaspora in Singapore. 'Poets on Permits' captures the talents and struggles the migrant workers in Singapore - in their own words.
Selfie With the Prime Minister (22 min)
(dir. Nor Arlene Tan & Grace Cho Hee Won, 2017, Malaysia, Rating to be advised)
Ziaur Rahman, like most millennials in Malaysia, loves to take selfies and is active on social media. However, he is no ordinary youth. He is a Rohingya refugee who grew up in the Bangladesh refugee camp, and was kidnapped and trafficked seven times. In the quest for freedom of his people, he turns to activism. Despite having no rights as a refugee living in Malaysia, he finds an unlikely ally for his cause, the Prime Minister of Malaysia.
Director Bio: Nor Arlene Tan is a journalist and the co-founder of Hidden Asia Media. Her refugee-themed film “Selfie with the Prime Minister” was the grant winner at the FreedomFilmFest 2017. She was also selected for Crossing Borders 2017, a Europe-Asia documentary network. In addition, she also assisted the production of “The Cut: Exposing FGM Worldwide” (2017).
Director Bio: Grace Cho is the co-founder of Hidden Asia Media, which aims at bringing greater understanding about Asia to the world. She was recently selected as the grant winner for the Freedom Film Festival 2017 on a documentary about refugee (“Selfie With The Prime Minister”) and a participant at the Crossing Borders 2017.
Defying the Odds in Dadaab Refugee Camp (5min)
(dirs. Abdullahi Mohamed Noor & Abdirisack Osamn Hassan, 2018, Kenya, Rating to be advised)
This documentary short focuses on the efforts of two women in Kenya's Dadaab and Ifo refugee camps to rebuilt their lives after being forced into early marriages. Through education, and their chosen occupations, they question gender based stereotypes, and provide hope for younger Somali women across the refugee camps. The film is part of the efforts of Kenya FilmAid to equip young Kenyan filmmakers with tools to tell their own stories.
Son of Kali (17 mins)
(dir. Amit Agarwal, 2017, India/Singapore, NC16)
Fleeing a genocide against Hindus in Bangladesh, Probir reaches India in the middle of a major Hindu festival. An evening of intense religious euphoria follows and Probir feels he is like a child in a religious Disneyland. He is being accompanied by his childhood Muslim friend Anuar, who is enjoying the Hindu festival in his own hedonistic way. But Mother Goddess has other plans for him.
Director's Bio: Amit Agarwal is a filmmaker, curator and film speaker based in Singapore. His international award winning short film "Son of Kali" examines global issues of migration and religious minorities in the Indo-Bangladesh context ."Farewell Goddess"( 2017) a 6 minute long documentary, asks a big question about mans abusive relationship with nature as seen through the prism of the conclusion of a major religious festival. He pursues “Film Evangelism” at mostlycinema.com and has published articles and photographs related to cinema in leading national dailies. In Singapore he serves as the Artistic Director of the Singapore South Asian International Film Festival and is pioneering a unique Image-literacy program for children.
Tea Land (27min)
(dir. Tseng Ying-Ting, 2018, Taiwan, Rating to be advised)
In Taiwan, five run-away migrant workers from Thailand and Vietnam work illegally on a high-mountain tea farm. Facing the same struggles, they consider themselves family. Until one of them is found dead, and his savings lost.
Director Bio: Tseng Ying-ting holds a graduate degree in filmmaking from the National Taiwan University of Arts and was a member of the directing class of the 4th Golden Horse Film Academy. He received the Excellent Screenplay Award twice, as well as the Golden Harvest Awards for Outstanding Short Films. For The Cat in the Closet, Tseng won the Best Photography, Best Editing, and Best Sound Awards from the 51st Golden Bell Awards. For The Last Verse, the director was selected for “New Currents” of the Busan International Film Festival.