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A great line up for movie buffs in Penang, Malaysia next week. Tropfest SE Asia is coming to town

Tropfest SE asia: Roughcut
Tropfest SE asia: Roughcut

A great line up for movie buffs in Penang, Malaysia next week. Tropfest SE Asia is coming to town. Tropfest is the world’s Largest short film festival held in Penang, Malaysia in January/February 2015

Roughcut is a talk featuring speakers from the movie industry.

The Line up:

1. Christopher Doyle

Also known by his Chinese moniker, Du Ke Feng, Doyle is an award-winning cinematographer and director, who he has collaborated with renowned filmmakers from across the world, most notably Hong Kong filmmaker Wong Kar-wai with whom he has made 8 films.

Having drilled for oil in India, practiced Chinese Medicine in Thailand and herded cows in Israel, his first foray into film was on the set of That Day, On the Beach (1983), the debut feature by Edward Yang. It seems Doyle was a natural, with his work on the film earning him Best Cinematography Award at the Asia-Pacific Film Festival.

A true perfectionist as well as an eccentric, Doyle’s style draws upon elements of dance, poetry, and dreams with vibrant tones, with intentional over-exposure and blurring creating a mesmerising aesthetic that has come to be synonymous with the films of Wong Kar-wai.

His track record when it comes to awards is nothing short of astounding. Since 1983, he has picked up no less than 50 international awards, including the Golden Horse Award (4 times), the Hong Kong Film Award (6 times), the Golden Osella at the Venice Film Festival (1994) and the Technical Grand Prize at Cannes Film Festival (2000).


2. Sullivan Stapleton

The star of “Animal Kingdom”, “300: Rise of an Empire” and “Strike Back” will be joining us as our opening speaker for Roughcut 2015!

Co-starring with Ryan Gosling, Sean Penn, Emma Stone and Eva Green, Sullivan is fast becoming cinema’s hottest leading man! Come join us on January 31 to hear all Sully’s stories of life in front of the camera and more.


3. Kumar

One of the most outrageous, outspoken and outstandingly hilarious comic figures in the region, Kumar is one of the funniest figures in the regional showbiz scene. Taking up comedy roles in movies including Everybody’s Business (2013) and One Leg Kicking (2001), he has also had multiple successful solo shows and ensemble stage acts over the span of his career.


4. Harry Yoon

As Vice President of the top CGI studio in Korea, SAMG Animation, Harry Yoon certainly knows a thing or two about what makes one of Asia’s major creative industries tick.

He has co-produced more than 5 animated TV series with France including “My Giant Friend”, “MONK”, “Bugged”, “Fish n Chips” and “LadyBug”.

He has received the Prime Minister’s citation for cultural exchange with overseas in 2014, and also represents Cartoon Connection Asia-EU.


5. Sothea Ines

Winner of Tropfest SEA 2014, Sothea Ines never thought she would direct a film so early in her career. Born in 1989, she graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor’s Degree in media management from the Department of Media and Communications of the Royal University of Phnom Penh. Her career goal after graduation was, as with the majority of the students, to work as a press/communication officer at one of the numerous INGOs in Cambodia.

While studying in year 3 she took on a part-time job writing a TV drama series, just to try it out. She enjoyed it so much that she continued as a writer on the next two series and her ambition changed. Bitten by the bug of storytelling, she realised that making films was the best way to tell the stories she wrote. RICE is her foray into independent film production; the first film she has written, directed and produced. The film has gone on to be screened at Cannes Film Festival and Raindance Film Festival, London.


6. Lucky Kuswandi

Lucky Kuswandi is one of Indonesia’s most exciting young directors, with his films making it to festivals worldwide, receiving accolades, awards and distribution. The Wall Street Journal even praised Lucky’s work as “original and uncharted.”

In 2006 he was invited to the Berlinale Talent Campus in Berlin, Germany; a forum for young, promising filmmakers. He was selected among more than 6000 applicants around the world.

Kuswandi recently finished his second feature film “Selamat Pagi Malam (In the Absence of the Sun)”, which was screened at the Tokyo International Film Festival.

He is also working on an Indonesian LGBT Web Series “CONQ Web Series” with the Ford Foundation. He is now in post-production of his new film, The Fox Exploits the Tiger’s Might, scheduled to be released in 2015.


 7. Hannah Espia

A graduate of the University of the Philippines Film Institute, Hannah Espia is a director, producer, and editor currently under the Manila-based production company TEN17P.

Hannah made her directorial debut in 2013 with the much-admired drama Transit, which premiered at the Cinemalaya Film Festival 2013 and won an armful of awards including Best Film and Best director. The film went on to compete in various film festivals such as the Busan International Film Festival (New Currents) and Tokyo FilmEx, with its festival journey still ongoing. The film was also selected as the Philippine entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards, but was eventually not nominated. At the 2014 Gawad Urian Awards, Hannah earned the award for Best Director, making her only the 3rd female director to receive this award in the 37 years of Gawad Urian.


8. Marissa Anita

With a career that spans journalism and news presenting as well as film and theatre acting, Marissa Anita is a woman of many talents.
Whilst holding down a career as a presenter on the Indonesia Morning Show, Marissa also harbours a deep passion for film and theatre, citing movies as a way to escape the stress of everyday life.

Pursuing a love of theatre whilst studying in Sydney, she has been a member of The Jakarta Players for 9 years, variously taking up the position of actor, producer and member of the technical crew.

She made her film debut in 2010 in Edward Gunawan’s short film Broken Vase, co-starring with Atiqah Hasiholan. She starred as Naomi in the 2014 feature by Lucky Kuswandi’s Selamat Pagi, Malam (In The Absence of The Sun), a melancholy meditation on a single night in Jakarta. She has also been nominated for Best Supporting Actress by Bandung Film Festival 2014.


31 JANUARY 2015// 9AM – 5PM // HOTEL JEN // RM 60

Click here for Tickets

The inaugural Tropfest SEA 2014 in #Penang, Malaysia

Inaugural Tropfest SEA 2014
Inaugural Tropfest SEA 2014

Tropfest SEA – 25 Jan 2014

Tropfest is the world’s largest short film festival. This year was the inaugural Tropfest SEA, held in Penang, Malaysia

This first Tropfest SEA winner is RICE by Sothea Ines from Cambodia. Rice is also this year’s theme.

SYNOPSIS: When a handful of rice determines life or death.

‘A day in a children’s camp in a rural area during the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia. Five young boys decide to have a ‘party’ with rice they have ‘stolen’ from the camp store, grain by grain day by day. In three months the rice collected is the size of a fist and the boys can’t withstand waiting any longer. They cook the rice at the lakeside taking care not to be seen. But when they see the cooked rice they are mesmerised by the scent and the taste and don’t notice that they are spotted by a Khmer Rouge cadet. As a consequence the camp Commander sends them to be ‘re-educated’ (killed) as an example to the rest of the boys.’

Click to watch Rice 2014 Tropfest SEA winner ~ Director Sothea Ines, Cambodia

Festival day ~ Photo credit Time Out Penang
Festival day ~ Photo credit Time Out Penang
Tropfest Festival day
Tropfest Festival day
The top 3 ~ Photo courtesy of Tropfest SEA
The top 3 ~ Photo courtesy of Tropfest SEA


After party at Art is rubbish
The winners celebrating at the after party at Art is rubbish


Tropfest SEA Roughcut (Film Symposium) – 24 Jan 2014


Tropfest SEA roughcut
Tropfest SEA roughcut

Inspirational talks and discussions on the topic of films and storytelling but more important their own journey.

Some of the speakers:

1. Adam Elliot – independent Australian stop-motion animation writer and director based in Melbourne, Australia. His five films have collectively participated in over six-hundred film festivals and have received over one hundred awards, including an Oscar for Harvie Krumpet and the Annecy Cristal for Mary and Max talks about his journey to the Oscars

2. Robert Luketic – director of Legally Blonde, The Ugly Truth and 21

3. Jason van Genderen ~ winner of Tropfest NYC 2008 using just his mobile phone and Tropfest Australia mobile category 2012 and numerous other awards talks about making movies and storytelling with his mobile phone

4. Two of Malaysia and Singapore’s greatest directorial talents Saw Teong Hin and Glen Goei discuss how they tell stories about Southeast Asia in their films

5. Local comedian Afdlin Shauki and Singapore Actor Gurmit Singh discuss if comedies travel well.

For those who are interested to watch or learn more about tropfest. Here is the website

Next year’s theme for the short film is Wheel.



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