Southeast Asia: a region rich in popular cultural traditions. How do popular music, art, literature, theatre, comedy, dance, sport and film, move people in Southeast Asia? What makes them laugh, cry and feel? Inspire us! For 2018, we open up the visual documentary project to documentaries that capture popular cultures across the region.
Southeast is progressively urbanizing. By 2025 just under 50% of the region’s population will be urban. What kinds of life do people live in the rapidly transforming urban landscapes of Southeast? From life in slums to financial districts, informal settlements to gated communities, revitalization projects to mass urban restructuring, what values shape urban life in Southeast Asia? and how does cultural diversity, heritage, and aesthetics also define urban life? For 2017, we are looking for inspiring documentaries that deal with any aspect of urban life in Southeast Asia.
From everyday life to the affairs of the state, human societies engage in politics. What makes life political? How do people in Southeast Asia engage in politics and what kinds of representations do people strive for? What forms of everyday interaction shape ideas of politics and what political dreams do people have? While we frequently see public demonstrations in Southeast Asia, how do people express political ideas in everyday life? This year we are accepting documentaries that look at all aspects of everyday expressions of political life in Southeast Asia.
Movement is a fundamental reality of human societies. In Southeast Asia how does it influence individuals, families, communities and nations? What journeys do people take as they move within, across and out of the region? What are their reasons to move and what stories do they have to tell? What experiences define movement in the region? And how will the region’s governments manage flows on the eve of the birth of ASEAN Economic Community?
From the sky to the mountains, forests to mangroves, fields to orchards and animals to insects,what is the relationship between people and nature in Southeast Asia?How do people connect with their environments?In what ways do they think about, feel, touch, speak and share their surroundings in their societies, and through their cultures? This year, the visual documentary project presents five short documentaries, by young Southeast Asian filmmakers in the region,selected by an international committee for screening in Japan.
Southeast Asia is a place of rich diversity and home to over 600 million people. This diversity, a product of centuries of social, cultural, political and religious development, is at the heart of Southeast Asian societies. On one hand, migration, work opportunities, and the flow of cultural goods all create opportunities for people across to the region to meet each other. People live side by side and in that process contribute to the creation of different groupings known as “plural societies.” On the other hand, these can create various kinds of tension, conflict and violence directed toward certain groups or minorities.
In a region with such diversity, what does “plural co-existence” mean for different persons, groups, communities or nations? How do minority groups live side by side with majority groups? How do mixed communities deal with conflict and tension? Do minority languages disappear or come to life in urban areas where minority people settle in? With more and more Southeast Asians living outside of their home communities or forming new ones in the region, what kinds of contributions do they make? What kind of policies are there across the region have toward the diversity in their countries?
“Care,” is one of the most important aspects of human life at any time in our life cycle and is a fundamental part of all societies. Yet, the term “care” is western and has no exact corresponding term in Asian languages. This film forum hopes to stimulate, and raise awareness of how Southeast Asian filmmakers consider the relevance and meaning of “care,” and how they visually document it in their own societies.Five documentaries were selected by an international committee from a total of 36 original entries submitted from the region. This is an open forum and we invite anyone who is interested to participate.