ASIADOC 2020

ASIADOC 2020

Creative Documentary Storytelling Workshop Asiadoc 2020 Online

ASIADOC finally returns in 2020!

A Creative Documentary Storytelling Workshop organized by Forum Film Dokumenter and Docmonde for Southeast Asian and Taiwanese documentary filmmakers to develop their film by intensive discussions. Originally planned as a two-week camp in April, Asiadoc would be organized as a fully online event from 2 November to 16 December. Twelve filmmakers from Southeast Asia and Taiwan would meet and develop their projects with…

ASIADOC
2020
Organized by:
Docmonde
Supported by:
Purin Pictures
IFI Indonesia
French Singapore
Kementerian Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan Republik Indonesia
Mentor
ASIADOC2020-Mentor-Lau Kek Huat
Lau Kek Huat (Taiwan)

He is a Malaysian filmmaker based in Taiwan. His debut film Boluomi, was in competition at Busan International Film Festival, New Currents section and Golden horse nominated for Best new director. The project won him the Tokyo Talent Award 2015, Best Script Award in 2013 Taiwan and selected for La Fabrique Cinéma du monde.

His short film Nia door won Best Short Film Award, Sonje Award in Busan International film festival, selected for 38th Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival. Both his documentary “Absent without leave” and “The Tree Remembers” still face censorship challenges today in Malaysia. He is an alumnus of Golden Horse Academy and Berlinale & Tokyo Talents.

ASIADOC2020-Mentor-Tan Pin Pin
Tan Pin Pin (Singapore)

Tan Pin Pin has carved a career making films that question the idea of Singapore. She has won or been nominated for more than twenty awards including awards from Cinema du Reel and Taiwan International Documentary Festival.

She is a co-founding member of filmcommunitysg, an advocacy group for independent filmmakers and she was a former board member of the Singapore International Film Festival and the National Archives of Singapore. She can be found at tanpinpin.com.

ASIADOC2020-Mentor-Vladimir Léon
Vladimir Léon (France)

Vladimir Léon directed several documentary films as well as fiction films. He is also an actor with Pierre Léon, Louis Skorecki, Serge Bozon, Jean Paul Civeyrac, Eric Rohmer, Christine Laurent, Pascal Bonitzer, Axelle Ropert.

In 2008, he founded a production company, Les Films de la Liberté, and produces both fiction and documentary films. He regularly leads workshops on documentary cinema for Panthéon-Sorbonne University in Paris, and is involved in numerous screenwriting and pitching international programmes (Docmonde).

Participants
FFD-ASIADOC2020-Participant-Angelina Bok
Title
Screenwriter/Director
Country
Running time
If you're not here on a Sunday morning
Angelina Bok
Singapore
65 min
Synopsis

A poetic memo on a filmmaker imagining the absence of her aging father by his love for baking, while reconciling her fear of losing him eventually.

A Sunday routine feels meaningless when the head of the house is not around. Filmmaker Angelina wears her father’s home attire and goes about his usual chores and baking in the kitchen. As she begins humming his favourite song, the door opens and her father stands at the entrance.

Angelina has been documenting her father over the last few years ever since he went for an unexpected heart bypass surgery. Despite the tension between father-daughter and how they rarely get along during her growing up years, she fears the truth of his life to come – that she has to carry on without him. Post operation, Angelina films her father in weekend routines, their errands being run together and she hopes to take her first father-daughter trip to Hainan Island, where their ancestral roots lie. As the spunky but hot-on-heads duo venture into their little trip, stories unfold as they share what matters to them, and what to make of Loss.

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FFD-ASIADOC2020-Participant-Dwi-Sujanti-Nugraheni-1
Title
Screenwriter/Director
Country
Running time
The Ballad of Clove Village
Dwi Sujanti Nugraheni
Indonesia
90 - 100 min.
Synopsis

Lede, a quiet village surrounded by the sea and clove plantation hill in Talibau Island, North Moluccas turns vibrant and hectic during clove harvest season. When September comes, thousands of people from far away islands arrive in small Lede harbor by boat and ship. Old, youngsters and even children will stay in Lede for the next two months to pick cloves. Some of them stay in the village with the clove farmers, but most of them stay in the hut or tarpaulin tent among the trees inside of the clove plantation. The ones who stay in the plantation have to live without electricity and running water. But the clove pickers always find their way to entertain themselves, with their ukulele and jimbe they sing and line dance around the bonfire every night. Single men and women look for their soul mates there by visiting other camps or joining dance parties. Sometimes the clove pickers and the villagers meet in the dancing party held by the farmer’s union.

The parties are not only a place for pleasant contacts. Corrupt local government officials are putting pressure on farmers to give a part of their harvest income as a tribute. The parties or neighborhood gatherings are also a place to make cynical jokes about who gives the most money to the corrupt local government officials.

Meanwhile at the back of the clove plantation hills, a mining company is taking more and more plots of land illegally. The local corrupt government officials are selling the clove plantation land to the mining company without permission from the clove farmers too. The farmers try to take these cases to the court but they don’t have the money to hire a good lawyer.

The farmers are concerned that they won’t be able to hand over the clove plantation to their grandchildren and the clove pickers fear that they will lose their seasonal job forever. They cope with the changes and threat to their existence and identities while still trying to maintain a tradition of celebration and gratitude during the clove harvesting season.

Three characters that represent the story of the village will be followed in observational way : a farmer who lost almost all his land to the mining company, the clove picker who tries his luck to find a soul mate during clove harvest season, and a 15- year old tomboy girl who helps her family in the first harvest of their clove plantation.

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FFD-ASIADOC2020-Participant-Frankie Sin
Title
Screenwriter/Director
Country
Running time
My Silly Flirty Boys
Frankie Sin
Taiwan
75 min
Synopsis

In just a few years, FUFU (32) rose to fame and transformed himself from a dancer who would entertain audiences in gay bars every Saturday night dancing in high hills to elaborate choreographies of rhythmic Korean pop songs, to one of the most well-known web influencers in Taiwan.

Parachuted on the edge of celebrity together with his working partner JOSH and a few other friends, Fufu leads the group FJ234 who became popular amongst and outside the Taiwanese LGBT community, thanks to their funny viral videos discussing worldly matters such as clothing, make-up and -of course- sex. But with time passing by, Fufu pushes for a more in-depth discussion of themes that he feels more connected with, such as equality, awareness of one’s sexual desire and with confidence, his style becomes more and more direct and extroverted.

Unexpectedly – or maybe not- this causes some of the LGBT community members to criticize FJ234 for their extravagance which, according to some, causes a stigma against gay men as effeminate, somehow vulgar and superficial. At the same time, however, his capacity to discuss both trivial and serious matters earns him more followers abroad and Fufu starts traveling with his companion to other South-East Asian countries, while Taiwan becomes the first country to recognize same-sex marriage.

The new fame abroad puts even more pressure on Fufu and his group, who slowly starts to question the community he belongs to and his relationship with it…is he really free to be who he wants to or to some extent he is also becoming what people expect him to be?

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FFD-ASIADOC2020-Participant-Harryaldi Kurniawan
Title
Screenwriter/Director
Country
Running time
God, Have You Ever Been Jealous?
Harryaldi Kurniawan
Indonesia
30 min.
Synopsis

Rezki, 58 years old is a super mom a kid could have. She’s a doctor, activist, an open minded and young at heart person. An extraordinary mother you could ever imagine, but what so extraordinary from Rezki is her two no-ordinary sons.

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FFD-ASIADOC2020-Participant-Jeremy Luke Bolatag
Title
Screenwriter/Director
Country
Running time
Hers
Jeremy Luke Bolatag
Philippines
30 min
Synopsis

Following Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s remark about shooting female rebels in the vagina, 28-year-old Cindy Tirado is brutally murdered and mutilated inside her home.

Her mother Emma, a 61-year old widow, grieves for her daughter’s death. She tries to make ends meet in order to raise her youngest boy and slain daughter’s son, all by herself. Meanwhile, Emma fears for her other daughter, a former rebel in hiding. She tries to convince her to surrender and come home before Cindy’s fate befalls her too.

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FFD-ASIADOC2020-Participant-Kristoffer Brugada
Title
Screenwriter/Director
Country
Running time
Shards of My Past
Kristoffer Brugada
Philippines
72 min.
Synopsis

For thirty years, a filmmaker has kept a dark secret. Now nearing his 40s, he will finally face the demons of his past.

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FFD-ASIADOC2020-Participant-Lidia Afrilita
FFD-ASIADOC2020-Participant-David Darmadi
Title
Screenwriter/Director
Country
Running time
Waste on My Plate
Lidia Afrilita & David Darmadi
Indonesia
30 min
Synopsis

Indonesia is the second largest producer of marine plastic waste. Every day, the country produces 25,000 tons of plastic waste. Despite its severe waste management problem, the country is only starting to explore possible ways to reduce waste. Public campaign, policies and commitment from the industry are only at the preliminary stage.

Waste on My Plate relies heavily on the magical impact of its cinematic craftsmanship in shocking the audience with the magnitude of waste problem in Indonesia. From personal homes, to mundane communal activities, the film takes the audience into how so much waste is created by living a normal lifestyle as a regular Indonesian citizen. Waste on My Plate also reveals how the waste produced by human activities cannot be disposed of and will come back as a threat to food and water safety to the people who create them in the first place. Through its artistic observational lens, the film is telling story about challenges at one of the biggest fisherman villages in eastern part of Indonesia, which has been heavily affected by plastic waste problem, and a story about how plastic waste we produce everyday affect the cattle raised by local people in western part of Indonesia, which later will be consumed by human. Both stories are expecting to show us the unbreakable chain of waste we produce, expose our waste producing culture, and how it becomes hazardous for the source of our food.

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FFD-ASIADOC2020-Participant-Polen Ly
Title
Screenwriter/Director
Country
Running time
The Tongue of Water
Polen Ly
Cambodia
90 min.
Synopsis

Neang, an indigenous single-mother, refuses to evacuate to the new location compensated by a hydropower dam company. After the dam’s reservoir flooded her home and village, she moves with her family to higher ground, within their ancestral land. Though, her husband accepted to move out of the village and took one of their sons with him. Bearing all the pain and responsibilities, Neang moves on to rebuild her new life in the forest land that allows her and her family to still live near nature and practice their traditional way of life. While slowly finding her feet in the new home, the government proclaims that the land, where Neang and other 50 families – who refused the evacuation – now settle, does not belong to them, but to a rubber plantation company. Neang and the villagers have to embark on a new journey of struggle to reclaim their land while facing many other challenges to come.

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FFD-ASIADOC2020-Participant-Primrin Puarat
Title
Screenwriter/Director
Country
Running time
Buried Dead Mountain
Primrin Puarat
Thailand
90 min
Synopsis

An overcast sky looms over a mountain in Sri Racha, Chonburi. Birds swoop over a landscape of green. But there is something not quite right about the colour. As the camera pans closer, you see the green form itself into a landmass — a mountain.

The film takes us to explore the area atop the mountain. Amidst gigantic piles of trash, workers are sorting out trash without gloves. An excavator hauls down a huge pile of trash, while a bulldozer tries to even out the ground. The filmmaker narrates that the dumpsite has been operating for more than forty years, covering up 3 million tonnes of trash that has been buried, tucked away and hidden from the public eye.

As the head of Laemchabang’s health and environmental department, Naret (42) deals with the complaints of the strong stench from the villagers and explains that he himself cannot provide a sustainable solution to the odour problems. Meanwhile, the landfill manager Watchara (50) supervises workers showering of deodorizing sprays on the dumpsite.

At an abandoned garbage disposal site in Nong Haen, Chachoengsao, Professor Tanapon (40) measures the water quality of the community pond. The weathered trash that has long been buried are not from the residences but were factory-produced. At the community center, the Professor notifies the villagers that the level of toxic contaminants in the pond has decreased significantly.

A broadcast reports the murder of Prajob Naowa-opas, the former village chief who led protests against a waste recycling company for the illegal dumping of toxic waste in Nong Haen. Despite the loss of his younger brother, Jorn (44) plans to file a complaint to stop the company from extending the licensing of their waste recycling business.

At a petrochemical factory, Professor Tanapon and his assistants collect samples of toxic chemicals from the heavily contaminated pool. Meanwhile, Jorn moderates a regional seminar on waste mismanagement, where villagers voice problems they’ve faced to the state officials.

The next morning, Jorn drives to Ko Khanun, Chachoengsao. After the state licensed new recycling factories, more than twenty were built this past year — a pattern that we have seen before and is continually repeated. Jorn discusses with the villagers the environmental impact of factory-produced toxic waste and encourages them to stand strong and unite against the injustices they must fight against.

Inside a waste recycling plant, the recycling procedure is thoroughly shown from the inspection and classification to the incineration of wastes. A surreal sequence amalgamates images of gigantic mound of trash from landfills across the country. Fire rises from the bottom, breaching layers of rotten garbage, toxic and electronic wastes, and reaches the top.

In Chonburi, heavy rain pours as villagers carry on with their days. The dumpsite is now quiet, without the bustling of people nor the humming of machines. As the rain subsides, a gush of green water streams from underneath the trash mountain. The stream continues to flow into larger bodies of water, and eventually into the ocean.

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FFD-ASIADOC2020-Participant-Nong Nhat Quang
Title
Screenwriter/Director
Country
Running time
Baby Jackfruit Baby Guava
Quang Nong
Vietnam
90 min.
Synopsis

Kim Cuc (55) is a typical perfectionist Vietnamese mother who demands high standards for herself and her family. Abiding by the traditional Vietnamese virtue, she expects her children to be nothing less than perfect. However, her plan for a perfect family fell short when her son (Quang – 22) came out as gay, and her daughter (Mai – 32) was diagnosed with schizophrenia.

In Mai’s perspective, her imposing mother is not just the one taking care of her, but also possibly the cause of her mental illness. She’s also aware of the possibility that her perception of reality is somewhat distorted due to schizophrenia. She promises to not be the same kind of mother as Cuc was to her baby, but she needs to learn how to be a mom first.

Quang, as a teenager, was filled with rebellious angst and detached himself from his own family after the whole family confronting him for his sexuality. However, as this incident occurred with Mai, he came back home and sympathized with both of his mother and sister. As a filmmaker, he decides to make a documentary as a way to reconnect with his family, and for his nephew to be prepared for what’s coming.

A journey of motherhood that lasts in two generations and probably will keep going on, plotted by the current timeline and incidents mixed with stories and sound of the past.

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FFD-ASIADOC2020-Participant-Sharon Jing Yi
Title
Screenwriter/Director
Country
Running time
One Thing
Sharon Jin Yi
Singapore
80 min
Synopsis

Structured as a hybrid documentary or docu-fiction that blurs the line between fact and fiction, the premise of ‘One Thing’ is partly inspired by a real-life death café in Scotland. This documentary revolves around a ‘death café’ that is timeless, visceral and mysterious – a liminal space lingering between heaven and earth.

The café patrons, as we will discover, are domain experts in the field of death and dying, members of the public, as well as our main character – a real-life death doula, Jason Goh.

In this Death Café, we will interrogate a whole gamut of subjects from palliative care, social stigma, to the emotional, legal, psychological and philosophical aspects of dying well.

The documentary will intercut between discussions held at the cafe and the reality episodes of Jason’s journey — as a death doula on a quest and social experiment.

As the documentary unfolds, the audience realises Jason is given a fiendish real-life mission: to persuade a rich multi-millionaire with an undisclosed medical condition, as well as a poor person dying in a charity hospice, to embark on planning the last journeys of their lives.

As the clock ticks on, can Jason fulfill his task before his (and their) time is up?

Interspersed with light-hearted humour, ‘One Thing’ seeks to inspire audiences and the next generation to stock-take their lives, and confront the inevitability of death – by learning to live well.

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FFD-ASIADOC2020-Participant-Yu-En Lin
Title
Screenwriter/Director
Country
Running time
Come Back Home
Yu-En Lin
Taiwan
60 min.
Synopsis

After 1987, cross-strait exchanges expanded to the economic level, and a large number of Taiwanese moved to China for business. Many families, however, became single-parent families as such. I grew up in a family with this background, living with my mother and elder sister. On the eve of Mother’s Day in 2020, my sister, who had married to Hsinchu, found out she was pregnant again. She, who had not visited mom for a year, sent mom a message about the good news. My mother didn’t respond immediately, only replied with a message that said “I hope you can come home and stay for your postpartum confinement” a few days later. Yet my sister’s mother-in-law had already reserved a non-refundable postpartum care centre in Hsinchu. They were, therefore, engaged in a “cold war”. The documentary explores how a mother who has devoted life to her children faces loneliness once again when her children grow up, and more importantly, scrutinising the definition of home.

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