Last year, “Hawa” by 25 year old filmmaker Tan Ce Ding was pronounced the winner of the longest running and most prestigious short film competition in the country, BMW Shorties.
The competition returns for its 10th year with the theme “Journey” – rewarding a film grant of RM75,000 as the Grand Prize. The film which is set in post-apocalyptic and zombie-infested Malaysia revolves around the friendship of a Hawa, a Malay girl infected by a zombie bite and Meng, a carefree Chinese boy. The story follows their journey, as they come together to tread down a dangerous path, facing fears beyond their wildest nightmares.
The film which took 4 days to shoot at various locations across the Klang Valley is a grim representation of modern-day Malaysia. The film’s subtext highlights the pressing issues of racism and how it deters individuals from coming together. This is represented through the zombie apocalypse that rendered the protagonists’ fellowship futile. Similar to real life, true unity becomes impossible in an environment of hatred and ill-conceived perceptions and ideas about the other.
Starring 10 year old Hawa Khadeejah and 11 year old Vincent Wong, the film was also nominated for 8 awards, taking home prizes for Best Director (Tan Ce Ding), Best Screenplay (Tan Ce Ding and Andy Darrel Gomes) and Best Sound Design (Azrin Mohamad Noor).
“Hawa” emerged the winner out of 115 entries based on the jurisdiction of renowned film practitioners: Liew Seng Tat (filmmaker, Malaysia), Nadira Ilana (filmmaker, Malaysia), Lina Tan (producer, Malaysia), Lee Chatametikool (film editor, Thailand) and Yuni Hadi (producer, Singapore).
For more information regarding Hawa and other short films in the category, go to the BMW Shorties website.