Thank you all for joining in the VDP2018 event.

               

Thank you for coming!
VDP 2018 was a great success. We had more than 100 participants. Thank you all for joining in the event.
See you again in VDP 2019

 

Screening 2018

KYOTO

Date & Time: December 13, 2018 [13:00 doors open]

Venue: Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University Inamori Memorial 3rd floor, Large Meeting Hall

Organizer: Center for Southeast Asia Studies

Co-organizer: The Japan Foundation Asia Center

Program

VDP2018

TOKYO

Date & Time: December 15, 2018 [13:00 doors open]

Venue: The Japan Foundation Hall SAKURA

Organizer: The Japan Foundation Asia Center

Co-organizer: Center for Southeast Asia Studies

Program

  • 13:30: (1) The Cambodian Theater
  • 14:00: (2) RITO RITO
  • 14:30: (3) The Fighter
  • 15:15: Break
  • 15:30: (4) Cosplayer
  • 16:15: (5) RAPTHAI
  • 17:00: Discussion

VDP2018


 

 

 



Winners

Director: Sopheake Moeurn

The Cambodian Theater

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.

Sopheake Moeurn

A Cambodian filmmaker and a video producer based in Phnom Penh. She studied filmmaking at Pour un
Sourire d’Enfant’s School of Media in Phnom Penh, and produced some of her short films both locally and abroad. Besides working as a filmmaker, she also works as a film fixer or line producer in international projects shoot in Cambodia.

 

Location Cambodia

What were your reasons for making your documentary?
How did come to focus on the topic in your documentary?

The Khmer Theater is dying in Cambodia because no one goes to watch it anymore or even knows about its existence.
In the past, it used to be very popular because there was no TV or internet and so people liked to attend the shows to be entertained and to socialize. Nowadays, in order to keep this tradition alive, a few artists who share the same passion try their very best to protect Cambodian theater. They have regular jobs during the daytime, but as soon as they are free, they get together and prepare the stage plays that will be presented to the audience during their seasonal tour.

 

Commentary from the Screening Committee Members

Lakhon Bassac as featured in The Cambodian Theater by Sopheak Moeun was very popular in Cambodia. Lakhon Bassac can be performed both indoors and outdoors. When I was young, my father took me to shows quite often. Many districts in Phnom Penh had a popular theater where Lakhon Bassac were shown to Cambodian people and we really enjoyed this art very much. I can say that almost all Cambodian people at that time experienced watching Lakhon Bassac. However, today this art is slowly but surely disappearing. I very much appreciate the effort of Mr. Sok Sothy who is trying to revive and continue the tradition of Lakhon Bassac and strongly hope that this art will continue to live with us. This film was a joy to watch and I really appreciate the Sopheak Mouern’s effort to make this film and raise the profile of Lakhon Bassac.
Rithy Panh

The short but colorful images recount to us the artists’ difficulties and passion, the state of the declining Khmer traditional theatre today. People gather nightly after a day’s work, in the effort to maintain this art form.
Yoko Hayami

Director: Nguyen Ngoc Thao Ly

RITO RITO

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.

Nguyen Ngoc Thao Ly

Born in 1996 in Hanoi, Vietnam. A recent graduate of the Academy of Journalism and Communication,
majoring in Multi-media Journalism, she started film-making in 2015, and took a film making course at the Center for Assistance and Development of Movie Talents (TPD). She has taken part in several courses and workshops about film making. Her first documentary RITO RITO won two Golden Lotus Bud Awards and one Silver Kite Award.

 

Ta Thanh Thao

Born in 2000, living in Hanoi, Vietnam

 

Location Vietnam

What were your reasons for making your documentary?
How did come to focus on the topic in your documentary?

I used to be a cosplayer. That is the reason why when I started making my first documentary, I decided to make a film about cosplay community in Vietnam. My very original thought was to change people’s preconception about cosplay, because in my country, almost all still believe that cosplay is time and money consuming, and that cosplayers are bizarre and unrealistic. However, during the journey of finding my main character for the film, I coincidentally met Rito, then everything had changed ever since.

Rito and her life story had an unexplainable attraction to me. Rito was dealing with malicious bullying from her classmates. After she left her school, she started to find a job illegally, as she was under the working age. No friends. No dreams. The only thing that motivated her to survive was her social network. Years passed by, Rito found out that the world will accept her only when she was not herself. So she started being others. To look like others, act like others and then be like others.

I maintained the film with suspense if cosplay could truly rescue her, or it would become her next problem.

 

Commentary from the Screening Committee Members

15-year-old Rito left school at grade 7 due to severe bullying.
She finds her own relationships through performing imaginarycharacters. The film acutely depicts the story of a girl struggling to seek a place in changing urban Vietnam.
Yoko Hayami

Young women dressed as cosplayers seem to be going well in a setting similar to that of Tokyo Big Sight’s comic market or Roppongi’s Halloween, but the camera accurately reveals that there are also new problems arising.
Kenji Ishizaka

Director: Marjito Iskandar Tri Gunawan

The Fighter

“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.

M. Iskandar Tri Gunawan

Iskandar Tri Gunawan is a documentary filmmaker. He built his filmmaking career from independent film community during his bachelor study in Yogyakarta. Until now, he has been a facilitator of documentary video making for villagers, youth communities, and students. His documentaries as a director as well as a cinematographer are, Tulang Punggung (2003), Perampok Ulung (2009), The First Impression (2015), Bulan Sabit di Kampung Naga (The Cresent in Dragon Village) (2015), and The Light of Hope (2017), which have screened and won awards at numerous film festivals in Asia.

 

Ali Minanto

Ali Minanto is a lecturer at the Department of Communications, Islamic University of Indonesia. As a lecturer, he has carried out research and community service, as well as published books and papers for academic journals and conferences, both at a national and international level. His academic interests focus on visual issues in culture, cultural and media studies, multiculturalism, and politics. He is a producer and researcher for several documentary movies such
as Balada Kampung Naga (the Ode of Dragon Village), Bulan Sabit di Kampung Naga (The Cresent in Dragon Village), and Mata Air Mata: the Tale of Water. He is also a facilitator for photography workshops for rural youth communities.

 

Location Indonesia

What were your reasons for making your documentary?
How did come to focus on the topic in your documentary?

Pencak Dor is a martial arts battle event that still survives today. Pencak Dor is not just a spectacle, but it attempts to preserve pencak silat as a typical Indonesian martial art in order to maintain it’s existence. Pencak Dor is also arena that brings together fighters from various traditions, such as wrestling, boxing, Muay Thai, wushu, etc. I became interested in making this documentary because Pencak Dor becomes a space to channel people and to be a substitute for street fighting: it can reduce the potential of emergent youth gangs in East Java, Indonesia. Pencak Dor cannot be separated from Islamic values that developed in pesantren (an Islamic boarding school). One of the subjects in this film is a santri (Islamic Student) who tries to face his first fight in Pencak Dor.

 

Commentary from the Screening Committee Members

This film looks at the martial arts event started at an Islamic boarding school in East Java, formerly the location of repeated wars and coups. The students at this boarding school personally make appearances in the tournament while also taking care of its management as they learn the fighters’ spirit with the motto “enemies inside the ring, friends outside the ring.”
Hiroyuki Yamamoto

Boys sell vegetables in the market, chant in unison from the Quran, and are zealous in their pursuit of the Pencak Silat martial arts. The men’s festivals held night after night host freestyle battles also known as mixed martial arts. This packs a punchwith a mixture of boxing, Muay Thai, and Chinese martial arts.
Kenji Ishizaka

Director: Yingsiwat Yamolyong

Cosplayer

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.

Yingsiwat Yamolyong

Yingsiwat Yamolyong is a Bangkok-based independent filmmaker. He worked as second assistant director for Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s films Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (2010) and Cemetery of Splendour (2015) and as first assistant director on Ten years Thailand (2018). His interests are in documentary, feature films and experimental films that find the best way to tell stories such as The Bright Supernatural power of Nae Wat Doa (2013) which comprised of experimental footage films about Thai patriotic masculine hero films or documentary films such as Cosplayer (2014) that explored disrespect toward Thai sub-culture. Yingsiwat is now working on a script for his first long feature film.

 

Location Thailand

What were your reasons for making your documentary?
How did come to focus on the topic in your documentary?

I think Cosplay is an interesting sub-culture in Thai society, as it derives from Japanese pop culture. However, many Thai teenagers (and also adult) love to represent themselves through non-Thai culture. This shows how cultural flows are marked by borders.
In this documentary I am interested in soldier cosplayers as in cosplayer society they don’t receive much respect. However, when I carried out research for the documentary, I found it fascinating from a historical perspective as when you are cosplaying as a solider you have to know the history of the costume and know where to find items. This is because it is not a fantasy character per se that you can make by yourself. It requires specific knowledges that this group of people love to find and share between each other to be as “authentic” and “real” as possible. I believe that all cultures in this world are connected and affected in some or many ways, thus I also loved to uncover in this documentary how mainstream culture and some historical events shaped this sub-sub culture in Thailand’s context.

 

Commentary from the Screening Committee Members

This documentary delves deeply into the world of military cosplay, which, according to the protagonist, is peripheral in the Thai cosplay scene. Attracted to the U.S. army cosplay, these men choose not to play with the Thai military costumes. The documentary provides a window on how manga, video games and movies are consumed in contemporary Thai society.
Yoko Hayami

Youths explain that cosplay in military uniform is original and has nothing to do with any particular anime characters. Many of the cosplayers are influenced by video games and adopt the style of the U.S. armed forces. The viewer’s curiosity is peaked by the cosplayers’ disposition, given the complete absence of Nazi or Imperial Japanese Army cosplay.
Kenji Ishizaka

Director: Sakunee Jirakan, Witchayoot Ponpraserd, Sarun Kositsukjaroen

RAPTHAI

“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.

Jirakan Sakunee

Born in 1998, Jirakan is in his 3rd year at the Suan Sunan International School of Art, Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University. Jirakan produces documentary films at the Ratchadamnoen Contemporary Art Center Thailand. He received a special award at the Thai Doc Film. He also participated …and Action! Asia#04: Exchange Program for Students in Film Studies organized by the Japan Foundation Asia Center in 2017.

 

Witchayoot Ponpraserd

Born in 1998 Witchayoot is currently studying in his 3rd year at the Suan Sunan International School of Art, Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University. He won the short film contest 6+6, Department of Skill Development No.4. He received a special award at the Thai Doc Film. He also participated in …and Action! Asia#04: Exchange Program for Students in Film Studies organized by the Japan Foundation Asia Center in 2017.

 

Sarun Kositsukjaroen

Born in 1997, Sarun is currently studying in his 3rd year at the Suan Sunan International School of Art, Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University. As well as student life he works parttime behind the scenes on movies, commercials, dramas and music videos. He won the short film contest 6+6, Department of Skill Development No.4. He received a special award at the Thai Doc Film. He also participated in …and Action! Asia#04: Exchange Program for Students in Film Studies organized by the Japan Foundation Asia Center in 2017.

 

Location Thailand

What were your reasons for making your documentary?
How did come to focus on the topic in your documentary?

I made this documentary as I wanted to introduce rap to people who are not familiar with it. I myself think there is straightforward beauty in rap and that it is better than your average songs. It’s not as bad as people make it out to me (as many view it negatively).
Rap is not composed easily and must be consistent. It’s like poetry and can make people feel flow and beauty. Rapper society and rappers are good people and rap itself shouldn’t be looked upon in black and white terms. This is why I decided to make this documentary to bring rap to a broader audience.

 

Commentary from the Screening Committee Members

There are people attempting to produce a new traditional art through expression rooted in Thai language and culture while also aiming to be at the forefront worldwide with videos and presence on YouTube. Their feelings toward their birthplace are clear from the title of this work, which rhymes with rakthai, meaning “love Thailand.”
Hiroyuki Yamamoto

This music genre, which has spread to many countries, is also a weapon of protest again political situations, capturing the mood of society today. This reminds me of the film Respeto, a masterpiece from the Philippines that was screened at the Tokyo International Film Festival, in which rap battles were a highlight.
Kenji Ishizaka

Photo VDP2018

Photo: CSEAS

Photo: CSEAS

Photo: CSEAS

Photo: CSEAS

Photo: CSEAS

Photo: CSEAS

Photo: CSEAS

Photo: CSEAS

Photo: CSEAS

Photo: CSEAS

Photo: CSEAS

Photo: CSEAS

Photo: CSEAS

Photo: CSEAS