Pro­duc­tion prodi­gies

Two tal­ented young film­mak­ers have been se­lected to rep­re­sent Malaysia at a pres­ti­gious re­gional work­shop.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - R. AGE - By CLAIRE GAUNT fb. com/ thes­tar­RAGE

IT’S not al­ways the out­spo­ken film di­rec­tor who takes the glory. Tal­ented young film­maker Kathy Tan has just won a place at an in­ter­na­tional film work­shop fol­low­ing her dis­play of quiet bril­liance at the Next New Wave ( NNW) young film­mak­ers’ work­shop.

As one of the most re­served par­tic­i­pants at the work­shop, cin­e­matog­ra­phy stu­dent Tan, 22, was as­signed the role of pro­duc­tion de­signer. But that didn’t stop her from con­tribut­ing the big story idea for her team’s short film and be­com­ing a ref­er­ence point for many cre­ative de­ci­sions.

Film­maker and mu­si­cian Pete Teo, one of the judges of the NNW work­shop, said he could see the po­ten­tial in her de­spite her quiet de­meanour.

“At the be­gin­ning of the week she couldn’t speak. She was so painfully shy,” said Teo. “But she is an ex­tremely tal­ented young lady.”

The work­shop she will take part in, the ASEAN- ROK Film Lead­ers In­cu­ba­tor ( FLY2016), is a 14- day event de­signed to nur­ture Asian film­mak­ing tal­ent. It is in­cred­i­bly com­pet­i­tive as only 22 par­tic­i­pants are se­lected ev­ery year - two from each Asean coun­try and two from Korea.

The in­ten­sive, hands- on pro­gramme will be over­seen by in­ter­na­tion­ally- renowned in­dus­try men­tors who will de­liver spe­cial lec­tures, pro­vide one- on- one men­tor­ing and de­sign film ex­er­cises to help par­tic­i­pants reach their po­ten­tial.

A panel of men­tors at the NNW work­shop se­lected the Malaysian rep­re­sen­ta­tives to FLY2016 based on the qual­ity of their teams’ films, their in­ter­ac­tion with other team mem­bers and one- on- one con­ver­sa­tions with their men­tors.

“It’s re­ally a big sur­prise! I didn’t ex­pect it at all as I’m a shy per­son,” said Tan, clearly ill at ease with all the at­ten­tion she has been re­ceiv­ing.

De­spite her re­luc­tance to talk about her own achieve­ments, those who worked with her said she de­serves the op­por­tu­nity.

“She’s an in­tro­verted per­son,” said her in­dus­try men­tor Rasiguet Sookkarn, an award- win­ning pro­duc­tion de­signer from Thai­land. “But I no­ticed her from the be­gin­ning. She has a strong sense of vi­su­als – an im­por­tant skill for film­mak­ers.”

It was Sookkarn who en­cour­aged the six other men­tors to con­sider her dur­ing their long de­bate to de­cide who would win the cov­eted work­shop spots.

He was keen to en­sure that not just the most out­spo­ken were recog­nised, re­mind­ing the men­tors that peo­ple learn at dif­fer­ent rates and given a chance, even the qui­etest can make a big splash.

Saba­han film­maker Putri Pur­nama Sugua, 23, got the sec­ond Malaysian spot at FLY2016.

“Even be­ing in this work­shop is al­ready a big gift for me be­cause I love to make con­nec­tions with other film­mak­ers,” said Putri, who re­cently won the KKIFF2016 Golden Kinabalu Award in the Indige­nous Lan­guage cat­e­gory for her short film, Dream to Fly.

“But to be se­lected as a par­tic­i­pant to rep­re­sent my own coun­try – I don’t know how to ex­press it. We will make Malaysia proud.”

Tan and Putri will fly to Cam­bo­dia in Oc­to­ber to take part in FLY2016, where par­tic­i­pants who ex­cel can look for­ward to even more op­por­tu­ni­ties to learn and con­nect with other peo­ple in the in­dus­try.

Ac­cord­ing to Choi Yoon, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of the Bu­san Film Com­mis­sion, which co- or­gan­ises FLY 2016, Tan and Putri will gain in­ter­na­tional ex­pe­ri­ence from fa­mous and ex­pe­ri­enced men­tors.

“You also have to co­op­er­ate with other stu­dents from other coun­tries, so you will gain re­ally good in­ter­na­tional ex­pe­ri­ence,” he said. “It will be some­thing to be re­ally proud of when they go back to their own coun­tries.”

On top of all that, Putri and Tan will also stand a chance to be se­lected for the Asian Film Academy ( AFA) in Bu­san, which is a 17- day pro­gramme de­signed for Asian film­mak­ers, and has close ties to the Bu­san In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val ( BIFF), ar­guably Asia’s most pres­ti­gious film fes­ti­val.

This pro­gres­sion of work­shops could ul­ti­mately see Tan and Putri rep­re­sent­ing the Malaysian film in­dus­try as they work their way to­wards land­ing a screen­ing at BIFF.

With her heart set on a film­mak­ing ca­reer, Tan is al­ready look­ing for­ward to the fu­ture.

“I’m grate­ful to my men­tor, who helped me by giv­ing me this op­por­tu­nity,” said Tan. “I will use this chance to learn more about screen­writ­ing and direct­ing be­cause I’ve al­ways wanted to make films that make peo­ple happy.”

Teo, sound men­tor at NNW, said he wished all the NNW par­tic­i­pants could go to AsEAN- ROK as they had worked so hard dur­ing the work­shop.

par­tic­i­pants at the Next New Wave ( NNW) young film­mak­ers work­shop were chal­lenged to com­plete two short films in just eight days.

Top in­dus­try pro­fes­sion­als from across the re­gion were brought to­gether to men­tor the NNW par­tic­i­pants and se­lect the win­ners of the two AsEAN- ROK spots.

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