THE premiere of Sky Gan Yu Long‘s heart-rending Funeral launched this year’s BMW Shorties 2016. Produced with an RM75,000 grant earned through BMW Shorties 2015 thanks to his winning entry Fish, Sky’s new film chronicles the life of an old grocer following the passing of his beloved wife. Funeral follows the grocer and his young granddaughter as they organise a funeral for his late wife.
Sky elaborated that the inspiration behind Funeral was the way his very own grandfather dealt with the grief of losing his wife. As it was based on a personal story, its director found it difficult to write as well as to shoot and edit the film.
This was made in dedication to my grandmother, who passed away two years ago. We fulfilled her wish to have a Buddhist funeral instead of a Taoist one.
— Sky Gan Yu Long
Funeral tugs at the heartstrings and evokes a sense of nostalgia.
As the film’s elderly grandfather puts up a picture frame of his late wife, one is reminded of the process of browsing through old photo albums. How many of us remember looking at black and white pictures of familiar faces during better days? This particular scene recalls those little traditions lost in an era of digitisation.
The use of one-take, long shots with barely any close-ups or dialogue successfully evokes a sense of detachment and loss. Good luck holding back tears once Sky’s closing note (dedicated to his grandparents) appears before the credits roll. As proven through Fish, Sky is a visual storyteller and a force to be reckoned with: we await his upcoming filmmaking exercises eagerly.
For this year’s edition of BMW Shorties, the film competition is celebrating its decade of existence on top of paying homage to 100 years of BMW. This year’s theme, ‘Journey’, aims to encourage aspiring filmmakers to expound on and communicate the importance of a journey in the establishment of legacies in life.
Sashi Ambi, Head of Corporate Communications of BMW Group Malaysia was excited to continue supporting the movie-making initiative which is currently the longest running short film competition in Malaysia. He was also especially proud of this year’s Festival Filem Malaysia (FFM) winner Shanjhey Kumar Perumal, who was first noticed at BMW Shorties 2009 when he took home the Grand Prize.
Judging this year’s competition will be a line-up of Malaysia’s top filmmaking virtuosos comprising six-time BMW Shorties veteran and commercial film maker Lina Tan of RED Communications; award-winning Malaysian film maker Liew Seng Tat; and up-and-coming filmmaker and screenwriter, Nadira Ilana.
In conjunction with the tenth edition of BMW Shorties, the short film competition will also be judged by special guests including renowned film editor and sound editor Lee Chatametikool from Thailand who edited Shutter as well as Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) curator and Ilo Ilo producer Yuni Hadi from Singapore.
As before, BMW Shorties will be offering aspiring filmmakers the opportunity to score a RM 75,000 production grant through its coveted Grand Prize. Other accolades within the competition includes Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, Best Editing and Best Sound Design as well as the ever popular People’s Choice Award.
BMW Shorties 2016 is currently open for entries until Tuesday, November 8th 2016. For further information regarding the BMW Shorties and how to participate, visit BMW Shorties or its official Facebook page!