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tropfest penang

Tropfest SEA roughcut. Spending the day learning about the movie industry


Today I spent the day attending Tropfest SEA roughcut, a movie industry symposium featuring regional speakers from the movie and animation industries. 
Tropfest is the world’s largest short film festival.
I’m not a movie buff but I enjoy learning new things and this was my chance to learn about the movie industry.


My favourite part was the talk about animation.  I am interested to develop some of my animal character drawings into cartoon characters. These were the key people to listen to and to meet.


Sullivan Stapleton who was in the movie 300 spoke about life as an actor. I haven’t watched the movie so I had no idea who he is.

Comedian Kumar

Kumar, the most popular comedian from Singapore talked about the serious side of business. He is indeed a funny man. This was the first time I’ve seen him live. He dealt with the serious side of business with humour.

Chris Doyle at roughcut sea

The legendary cinematographer Chris Doyle shared his work and vision. Born in Australia but based in Hong Kong, Chris Doyle is known for Chinese movies Hero (2002) in the mood for love (2000) and Chungking express (1994)

Sue tan, saw teong hin, chris doyle

My friend Sue Tan who is an actress partying with Chris Doyle and local director Saw Teong Hin and people from the local movie industry at China House, Penang.

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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