A Simple Love Story (Myanmar, 21 mins)

“A simple love story” is a documentary film that follows a not so simple love between a tomboy and transvestite man in modern day Myanmar. It traces the tensions that the couple faces and places them at the heart of issues in Burmese society: how can transgender people negotiate their love in society that has yet to embrace their differences?

Gimbal (Indonesia, 17 mins)

This documentary focuses on a farmer, Sutrisno whose daughter, Alya, has dreadlocked hair. The documentary offers a close portrayal of people’s beliefs that a child with dreadlocked hair comes from supernatural ancestors who follow the child. This film follows a family and their run up to a dreadlock haircutting ritual and the negotiations before the event. The director sensitively shows how Sutrisno, as the head of the family, works hard to fulfill his daughter’s request to complete the ritual.

Golek Garwo (Indonesia, 30 mins)

“Golek Garwo” relates the story of an elderly man, Basri, his wish to get married again, and the expectations and reality he faces. This documentary offers a different take on the love that is usually expressed in romance films: always something beautiful and perfect in an ideal world. It depicts the simple and practical expression of love. It focuses on simple acts of intimacy; arguments between the bride and the groom and a sense of pride that stops them from expressing their true feelings. It also delves into the tension they experience living apart and working in two different cities.

The Father I knew (Myanmar, 14 mins)

Thirty years ago, when she was a young child, Jenni’s father left his family to join the Burmese students fighting the military dictatorship. He was never to return. Now a grown woman with a
family of her own, refugee worker Jenni retraces her revolutionary father’s final steps and
considers the impact the country’s decades-long conflicts have had on her family and indeed a whole generation. This documentary is a sensitive portrayal of a daughter’s search for a lost father amidst the impact of the conflicts in the late 1980s.

Red Wine Chicken (Malaysia, 16 mins)

Red Wine Chicken focuses on a Vietnamese bride, Ah Jiao, married to a Malaysian man living in Bukit Pelanduk, in the state of Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia. The documentary focuses on their relationship with Ah Jiao reflecting on her place in her family. Weaving the story around Fuzhou red wine chicken, a traditional delicacy, family and food, this work dwells on the different ways people relate to each other.

Through Songs, We Share Stories (Indonesia, 24 mins)

There are many ways to convey the truth of an event to the next generation, and one of those ways is through singing what is written. This was the path chosen by the Dialita Choir in uttering the truth of the events they experienced in 1965. Although the lyrics revolve around the beauty of nature, parents, friends and love for the motherland, Dialita Choir tries to give another perspective in reading the dark history of past events.

An Unquiet Land (Vietnam, 28 mins)

Owning a piece of land of more than 1000 square meters in An Phu Ward, Thu Thiem, New Urban Project
of Ho Chi Minh city, Mrs. Hong, age 74 was lucky enough to have her land lot spared from being razed, while her five children were not. Her only wish now is to be able to keep the land for herself and her children.

Screaming Goats (Thailand, 22 mins)

“The southern border of Thailand is dangerous, scary, you shouldn’t live there, it’s full of violence.” That how it’s mostly presented in the media. But what is the Southern border really like? This documentary will guide you to another perspective through the eyes of a female-female couple.

That Night (Philippines, 20 mins)

“That Night” follows the lives of two survivors of the Roxas night market bombing in Davao City, the Philippines on September 2, 2016. It centers on a vendor at the market who was severely injured, and a truck driver whose wife and son died while getting a massage. The film documents the two survivors a year after the tragedy.

Unsilent Potato (Myanmar, 22 mins)

This story is about a young disabled Karen ethnic woman named ‘Potato’. In 2014, she was raped by her neighbor, a married man who was later accused over said case. The rape case nonetheless was presented as a seduction suit: one of having unlawful sexual relations through persuasion. This documentary focuses on a strong-willed Karen ethnic woman and her family who are eager to share this with the female community and who have long suffered in silence to rise up and fight for truth and fair justice where no-one is above the law.

The Cambodian Theater (Cambodia, 7 mins)

Currently in Cambodia, Khmer Theater is in decline as fewer people watch it and don’t know about its existence. Cambodian Theatre introduces the passion of a few artists involved in keeping alive and protecting the tradition of theater. It offers a sensitive portrayal of people who hold down regular jobs during the day, but get together and prepare stage plays during seasonal tours.

RITO RITO (Vietnam, 15 mins)

A 15-year-old girl Rito (nickname) is bullied at school, becomes depressed, and leaves at grade 7. This documentary pulls out Rito’s story and how she came to cosplay as a way of escaping from reality, becoming another person, and transforming into virtual characters. Rito Rito focuses on how, through cosplay, friendships are made and society is mediated. A sensitive depiction of social transformation and the influence of cosplay tradition in urban Vietnamese society.

The Fighter (Indonesia, 26 mins)

“The Fighter” introduces Pencak Dor martial arts fighting and the story of Pati, who aims to compete in the ring. Yudi, an experienced fighter, trains Pati and other Silat students. The ‘free ring’ format of Pencak Dor contests have become a magnet for fighters wanting to test their strength and demonstrate skills in combat. With no winners nor losers, no insurance and only special prayers for safety, the Fighter focuses on the role and development of Pencak Silat in the fighters’ everyday lives.

Cosplayer (Thailand, 27 mins)

This documentary delves into the little-known world of soldier cosplay subculture in Thailand. Presenting an intimate story of soldier cosplayers in Thai society, the documentary follows Jum, a man in his late twenties, who is passionate about soldier cosplay and explains how it came to be central in his life. Cosplayer provides a window on how manga, video games and movies are consumed in contemporary Thai society.

RAPTHAI (Thailand, 25 mins)

“Rapthai” introduces how “rap” culture has taken root in and influenced contemporary Thai society. Focusing on the synergy between Thai culture and “rap” music tradition, this documentary homes in on the stories of 12 Thai rappers and presents a unique look at the different styles they express through their life experiences.

White Egret (Malaysia, 23 mins)

IWhite Egret focuses on the Orang Seletar, an indigenous people who lead a life afloat in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. Focusing on Ain and Nasir, a couple, the documentary draws out how their move from the sea to a coastal village has affected their lifestyles and livelihoods. The couple describe both the resilience their community has shown, as well as the uncertain future they face, in a period of rapid social transformation.

Nostalgia Senja [Reminiscences of the Dusk] (Indonesia, 23 mins)

This documentary offers a sensitive portrayal of Mr. Gohyong reminiscing about his former days as a successful performer with a Gambang Kromong. Nostalgia Senja foregrounds one man’s lifetime dedication to preserving music in the present, and highlights the pressures some traditional arts face in contemporary Indonesia.

Don’t know much about ABC (Cambodia, 22 mins)

This documentary offers an intimate portrayal of a relationship between a father and his son, and the challenges of homeless life on the streets of Phnom Penh. Drawing out the importance of education in opening opportunities to improve one’s lot in life, it traces the everyday challenges that Ron Dara faces raising his son.

Yangon, the city where we live (Myanmar, 28 mins)

This film offers a unique window onto Yangon, a city undergoing immense change. Living in harmony is the art of living in life. A city’s attractions can be irresistible and enticing. Yangon, is a safe fortress for the migrants where all live together. Through a unique mixture of narrated poetry and juxtaposed images from Yangon’s urban landscape, this documentary depicts a city that holds the hopes and aspirations of a diverse population, struggling and enduring in the hearts of all who live within it.

Timbre [Tip-off] (Philippines, 23 mins)

Ever since the Duterte administration rose to power, nightly killings have terrorized the Philippines in an all-out government endorsed war on drugs campaign. This documentary follows the plight of a family who recently lost a loved one in this war, offering a stark personal perspective on the current political crisis in the Philippines.

Women of the Forest (Malaysia, 15 mins)

In Sarawak, Malaysia, Borneo’s rainforest is fading into corporate land. This documentary Spotlights the women of the Kayan and Penan tribes, who struggle from both manmade destruction and effects of climate change. It sensitively explores how reproductive health and rights should be included in climate change policies, and, in the form of a dialogue, seeks to protect the rights of these women who live in the Bornean forests.

Mother & Son (Myanmar, 17 mins)

A mother whose son took part in the 1988 pro-democracy uprising, recalls the struggles and sacrifices they made for a more open society in Myanmar. Her experience reflects the anguish of many families and tells us that political activism comes at a cost.

60 Days (Myanmar, 31 mins)

On November 17, 2014, amidst the protests regarding the national educational law in Myanmar, a 60-day moratorium was announced by the students. This documentary explores the student protest through this interim, an important step in the country’s national education reform, including interviews with students who were actually involved.

Vein (Myanmar, 31 mins)

A relatively unspoken part of life in Myanmar, this documentary sheds light on the mining sites and dangers that surround laborers as they search for jade. This documentary offers an stark portrayal of mining in Myanmar and the everyday risks that miners face trying to make a living.

Mr. Zero (Thailand, 30 mins)

This is a story of Bundit Aneeya, a senior translator and writer, whose provocative writings have led him to be accused of mental instability.

Michael’s (Thailand, 29 mins)

Among the different economic and religious networks that exist in Mae Sot district, a city along Thailand-Burma border, ‘Michael Rofik’ and ‘Michael Mohamad’ Yameen two Rohingyas, have been struggling for their livelihood while trying to maintain their Rohingya identity. The two Michaels come from the same ethnic group but their economic status and background differ. This story takes place in Mae Sot and Umpiem Refugee camps. Although both migrated a long time ago, they do not belong to either Thailand or Myanmar.

Dedicated to Grandpa Dieu (Vietnam, 23 mins)

This documentary depicts the everyday life of an elderly person, Mr. Dieu, in busy Hanoi city. He leads a simple life in a modest house with a blue wooden door on a small corner of a busy street. The documentary focuses on Mr. Dieu – a man with strong ambition – who used to work as a freelance interpreter at the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in the mid-1960s. He works very hard, translating books he likes, but he has never tried to publish any of them himself.

Fragile (Malaysia, 9 mins)

This documentary follows the life of an Indonesian family living in Sabah, Malaysia. It is told from the perspective of a child, Nirwana (12 years old), who holds a big dream to become a singer despite family struggles.

My Leg (Myanmar, 16 mins)

For over 60 years in Kayah State, Myanmar, different ethnic armed groups have been fighting the Burmese Army in a war for freedom and independence. A group of war veterans have opened an artificial leg workshop constructing a hundred legs per year for fellow veterans with the same stroke of fate – leaving ethnic differences behind.

A Political Life (Myanmar, 20 mins)

U Thein Soe dedicated the best years of his life to working as Aung San Suu Kyi’s bodyguard. To please his long-suffering wife and family he has now bowed out of politics − but still can’t help giving up his time to provide local people with valuable legal advice.

Echoes from the hill (Thailand, 19 mins)

This documentary focuses on Karen villagers in the Northwest of Thailand, the “Pgaz K’Nyau” (Simple humans), who live in a village without running electricity far from highways. It voices and reveals their way of life, the nature around them, how they think, and how they believe and protect it. Jirudikal Prasonchoom sensitively captures their sacred beliefs and worldview and how they maintain harmony and preserve nature. The documentary juxtaposes their lives with the Thai government’s recent attempt to make their forest a national park and build a dam on their land. This documentary explores the tensions that exist between people’s relations to the nature around them and the way government attempts to justify development in the region.

The Silence of the Summer (Vietnam, 25 mins)

This documentary introduces different stories on the relationship between human society and the environment in Vietnam. During the summer in the parks of the city, people cannot hear the sound of cicadas and other insects even though it is their mating season. In the countryside, near the rice fields, children cannot hear the vital sounds of nature, as the fields are now sprayed with pesticides and herbicides. In the laboratory, an entomologist collects specimens of cicadas, crickets and other insects, fearing that they might disappear in the near future. This documentary is a poignant reflection on the changes taking place in the Vietnamese landscape.

My Grandpa’s Route has been forever blocked (Thailand, 15 mins)

In this documentary, Supaparinya Sutthirat takes us on a journey down the Ping River, a waterway that has historically been used for trade. It reflects upon the evolving river-scape comparing the river of now to that of the one that existed during his Grandfather’s time. In 1958, the Bhumibol Dam was built, effectively changing the landscape. Sutthirat takes the viewer on a journey down the present Ping River in an attempt to understand the past and observe issues in the present. Using an innovative split screen technique, the video invites viewers to reflect on small weirs, floodgates, and dikes lying sequentially from the source of the river to the Bhumibol Dam while taking the viewer on a boat cruise to contextualize the impact of changes on the river.

More than a Tree (Myanmar, 15 mins)

Every year, coastal communities in Rakhine State on the northwestern coast of Myanmar are exposed to the threat of floods and cyclones. Between 2008 and 2011, Malteser International and Mangrove Service Network (MSN) helped two villages in Sittwe Township to plant and grow over 10,000 mangroves thus safeguarding the lives of more than 5,000 people. Punctuated by striking images of the coastal landscape, this short documentary describes the critical importance of mangrove restoration in reducing disaster risks aggravated by the changing environment. It also sensitively shows how in particular, the women of these villages, have become an integral part of an eco-vision to protect and help their communities.

The Last Generation (Indonesia, 13 mins)

This documentary explores the decline of fish resources on a coastal village in Greater Aceh Region, Indonesia. With detailed interviews with fisherman in the village, Darang Melati Z introduces the human effects of illegal fishing on both communities and people. The documentary is framed in the context of the 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake which devastated the coast, destroyed vast tracts of coral, and led to a decrease in fish stocks. Through interviews with fishermen who lost limbs through fish bombing, this documentary portrays the harsh reality and anxieties some fishing communities presently face in the region.

Lives under the red light (Cambodia, 13 mins)

Under the red light focuses on the lives of four persons who work as sex workers in Phnom Penh. Most of them were kicked out from their families and came to live in Phnom Penh and ended up working in the sex industry. This film sensitively deals with the daily discrimination they face. Sex work places them at risk to gang rape, sex violence, drugs and arrests by police. This documentary offers a window onto the lives of these sex workers in modern day Cambodian society.

Consider (Thailand, 25 mins)

Tay is a teenage “kathoey” (ladyboy) a member of the relatively well-tolerated transgender group. Kathoey take on traditional female roles, and are sometimes described as a third sex. This documentary follows Tay and observes the acceptance of his orientation at his Christian school Saint Joseph Mueang-Ake. The documentary peers into the daily life of Tay, and those around them to paint a complex observation of how an individual’s gender is articulated in Thai society.

The Burmese in Thailand (Thailand, 13 mins)

Portraying the lives of Burmese workers in Thailand this documentary shows how they work and their living conditions. It focuses on a Burmese worker “Jet” who works in a “Tom Luead Moo” shop and spends 20 hours a day managing all the daily tasks.

On the Streets (Vietnam, 16 mins)

This film is about the lives of young men and women who earn their lives by selling sugar, singing and dancing on Ho Chi Minh city’s busy streets. The film offers a window into the life of Dien whose job is just not a way to earn a living. It also comes from his love for singing, where the streets are his only stage. Bi and Ti a couple who fell in love with each other, live together like husband and wife and stick to this job just to earn the money. The film also follows children who were born and grew up as street children. On the streets leaves the viewer with a question: when will it come to an end?

Pamana (Philippines, 18 mins)

This documentary tells the story of an Agta-Dumagat-Remontado community in Quezon Province who face the threat of losing their ancestral land. Various developmental projects by lowlanders have caused socio-political, economic, and environmental consequences, affecting both Agta and lowland communities. The Agta-Dumagat continue to struggle for their rights throughout decades of oppression and marginalization. The documentary sensitively show how through self-determination, the community was able to put up their own school that teaches academics and cultural identity to their youth with the hope of fostering the next generation of cultural defenders who to protect the legacy left by their ancestors.

For Rainy Day (Vietnam, 12 mins)

In a small alley in Hanoi’s old town, where lots of families have been living together, a woman lives with her second son together with the family of her first son. Her life is a series of relentless working years along with uncompensated losses. At an old age, she still sells green tea daily to support herself and her mentally incapable son.

Ageing Bangkok (Thailand, 19 mins)

Population aging is becoming significant issue in Thailand, yet there is still a lack of state’s policy to develop the well-being of the elderly. This documentary focuses on the life of an old woman aged 84 named Ood, who has to fend for herself. Ood, previously an actress for films and TV commercials until the age of 62, seems independent, yet this documentary unintentionally shows her loneliness.

Caring for the Cradle: Mangyans and Maternal Health (Philippines, 20 mins)

This documentary looks at how an indigenous group called the “Mangyan” (Alagan), in Mindoro Oriental, an island 6 hours away from Manila. It documents how their traditional birth methods are threatening them and why it’s not so easy for them to get modern medical assistance. The documentary also shows how a simple idea can help the Mangyan reduce their maternal mortality rate.

Glass Man (Myanmar, 20 mins)

Kaung Htet is 20 years old and only 3 feet 9 inches. He is suffering from osteoporosis, with bones like glass which have been broken over 40 times since birth. When he was a child, he was afraid of going out in public and depressed about his situation. However, since he was sent to the School for Disabled Children, his point of view on life and his mindset have changed.

The Clinic

The Clinic shares the relationship between a 45 year old doctor and his clients. The protagonist, the clinic doctor, was brought up and trained under the education system of Myanmar socialist regime. Nonetheless, he made his own living as a clinic doctor. His clients come up with their different problems while he has own personal conflicts. This documentary developed as way to respond to his dilemmas.