Freedom to explore the uncharted in film competition

The cast and crew of ‘Colourless’ with Sashi (left) and BMW Group Malaysia managing director Harald Hoelzl (eighth from the left). ‘Colourless’ by Ananth Subramaniam won the grand prize in the BMW Shorties 2018.

BMW Group Malaysia has announced the 13th instalment of the BMW Shorties, its popular short film competition.

“The BMW Shorties has discovered more than 900 talents for the film and digital content industry in the last 12 years, ” said BMW Group Malaysia corporate communications head Sashi Ambi.

“As Malaysia’s most established and celebrated short film competition, the BMW Shorties will continue providing emerging filmmakers and digital content creators with a platform to express their creativity once again this year.

“We are proud to be part of countless milestones achieved by the alumni the BMW Shorties has cultivated since 2006.

“With successes in the likes of Shanjey Kumar’s Jagat, Quek Shio Chuan’s Guang and Zahir Omar’s Fly By Night, we are excited to discover more talent from BMW Shorties 2019, ” he said.

The theme for the 13th edition is “Uncharted”. The grand discovery and the celebration of pursuit, “Uncharted” symbolises the perfect combination of curiosity and tenacity.

“Our aim with ‘Uncharted’ is to allow the creative minds of our nation the freedom to explore, ” said Sashi.

“When we first introduced the BMW Shorties 13 years ago, we waded through uncharted waters to give an opportunity to local up-and-coming film talent when opportunity was not present.

“That unprecedented leap ahead by BMW Group Malaysia has and continues to elevate undiscovered filmmakers and digital content creators so that they may also chart new frontiers in the industry for the future.”

This year’s line-up of judges comprises award-winning filmmakers and veterans of the local film industry.

They include Saw Teong Hin (Puteri Gunung Ledang and Rise: Ini Kalilah); Indrani Kopal (The Game Changer and Incarcerated Rhythm), Amanda Nell Eu (Lagi Senang Jaga Sekandang Lembu), as well as panel advisers for the National Film Development Corporation (Finas) – Nadira Ilana (The Silent Riot) and Adrian Teh (Ice Kacang Puppy Love and Paskal The Movie).

“BMW Shorties has provided an excellent platform to empower talents in this industry, and as such, a great number of quality content have come out of it, ” said Indrani.

“With this year’s participants, I hope to see quality narrative and I think it is important that they are not intimidated to tell their stories.”

Amanda added, “I hope to see this year’s participants take a lot of risks when it comes to narrative, style or genre; perhaps a retelling in a fresh perspective or a vision that is unexpected – a bold, new voice.

“The Malaysian film industry needs someone who is not afraid to be themselves and who will say things the way they want to say it.”

Nadira said, “Storytelling is a powerful tool that our generation of filmmakers today have the privilege to wield, so being vocal and unapologetic in the things they create is essential.”

The BMW Shorties 2019 will award the grand prize winner a production grant of RM80, 000.

Recognition for filmmaking talent will also be awarded in an extensive range of supporting categories, including Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, Best Editing, Best Sound Design and the People’s Choice Award, along with this year’s new category for Best Student Award.

Aspiring filmmakers and digital content creators have until Oct 11 at 6pm to submit their entries.

This year, the BMW Shorties will also be leading the film segment of Urbanscapes – Malaysia’s longest-running creative arts festival.

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