Ninth edition of Malaysia's most prestigious and longest running short film competition once again awards Malaysian short filmmakers for their talent.
Kuala Lumpur, 11 December 2015 – The BMW Shorties awarded 'Fish', a short film by Gan Yu Long as its ninth winner at the BMW Shorties 2015 Awards Night.
In addition to the coveted title of the BMW Shorties 2015 Grand Prize Winner, Gan Yu Long will also receive RM 75,000 in production grant from BMW Group Malaysia as well as guidance and mentorship from the panel of judges to make his next professional short film.
With the short film 'Fish', film maker Gan Yu Long introduces his interpretation of a conservative Malaysian Chinese family's lifestyle and philosophy on hard work and conformity through a story about a young boy whose passion and creativity is stifled by his family's traditional view of diligence and achievement. The short film speaks about the loss of passion and creativity due to the traditional belief of conformity and uniformity where the lead character is seen to give up his creative ambition, passion and demeanour in place of mundane conventionality and thoughtless actions; which ultimately made his short film the top pick among this year's judges.
During the awards ceremony, Gan Yu Long said, "Winning the BMW Shorties grand prize award is really a nice surprise. My team and I are very excited with this win and now we can't wait to make the next film with the production grant. When the theme 'Change' was announced, I had an idea for a film to address behaviours of conventionalism and hard work that is often practised by traditional Malaysian Chinese families. You can clearly see this in the characters of students in Chinese schools across Malaysia and I wanted to explain it in a story about dreams, passion and ambition."
'Fish' managed to capture a lasting impression in the judge's deliberation room this year due to Gan Yu Long's clever use of crisp visual narration on Chinese conservatism. In part, 'Fish' was awarded the Grand Prize this year for its ability to communicate an impressionistic, phenomenological, but reflective account of Chinese culture to his audience.
Affandi Jamaluddin, a judge of BMW Shorties 2015 said, "Having returned as a BMW Shorties judge after eight years, 'Fish' is no doubt evidence of a growing maturity among young Malaysian film makers here in our local scene. On surface, it may look like a straightforward drama short film. However, as one passes the one-minute mark, this short film begins to offer tangible insights into moments that at once seem both empty of understanding yet full of emotions through the director's clever sublime inputs throughout the short film."
Fellow BMW Shorties 2015 judge, Ismail Kamarul, concurred and said that 'Fish' has a depth that shows an extraordinary ability by the director in exploring psychological investigation between a strict father and his son.
Meanwhile, Rajay Singh, also a BMW Shorties 2015 judge said that he was impressed with the director's well-executed creative direction. Rajay added, "Although it seemed simple, the clever cinematography and sound design really helped navigate us through the story as it unfolded. It is truly remarkable to see such talent in a young film maker here in Malaysia."
According to BMW Shorties 2015 Judge Nandita Soloman, "The short film is a masterful piece. With the clever use of production design, you can see the amount of thought that has gone into the short film, making it that much more compelling, honest and dramatic."
Veteran commercial film maker and producer Lina Tan, also a judge for this year's BMW Shorties said, "The immersive effect of the visuals in 'Fish' is cleverly enhanced by the sound design; it played a key role in storytelling in itself. This was without a doubt a brilliant combination of written words, music, sounds and pictures."
Overall, 'Fish' also took home the award for Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Sound Design and Best Production Design; and was nominated for the awards of Best Screenplay and Best Editing.
"Over the nine years of the BMW Shorties program, we have seen our past winners and participants successfully build careers in the Malaysian advertising and film industry. They have gone on to achieve greater milestones in their passion for filmmaking either in Malaysia or abroad and we at BMW Group Malaysia are very proud to have been discovered them and provided them those opportunities." said Mr. Alan Harris, Managing Director and CEO of BMW Group Malaysia.
Harris added that with this year's theme being 'Change', the judges have discovered that Malaysians have an abundance of creativity, passion, ideas and the ability to not only create good short films and great pieces of art but to also share conversations on social commentary and voice concerns through their art.
This year, Red Films, the production company led by judge Lina Tan have also awarded Winner of the Best Screenplay Award, Audrie Yeo and Fatimah Ruzaimi of the short film 'Gigi' a grant to produce a short film, which will later air on Feefo.TV.