The poignant ‘All Who Leave Go There’ by Ikram Haizammuri wins the Grand Prize Award at the BMW Shorties 2023.
28th July 2023
The return of Malaysia's most prestigious and longest-running creative initiative is marked by new partnerships, exciting festivities, and the passionate spirit of storytelling as a new winner is crowned.
Kuala Lumpur, 28th July 2023 – As one of the main highlights in a week of thrilling festivities that celebrated the art of filmmaking and the creative culture in Malaysia, the BMW Shorties, the country’s most prestigious and longest-running short film competition and creative initiative, in partnership with the Malaysia International Film Festival (MIFFest), unveiled the competition’s newest Grand Prize Winner - ‘All Who Leave Go There’ by Ikram Haizammuri.
‘All Who Leave Go There’ is a 12-minute story that focuses on the lives of Malaysians in rural communities that live in government aided housing projects. The visually captivating story highlights the community’s limited exposure to the bustle of the big city, and how some struggle to adapt their perspectives and improve their living conditions, shown through the main character Ady and the friends he surrounds himself with.
Ikram Haizammuri, the Grand Prize Winner of the BMW Shorties 2023 competition, took home the coveted prize of RM80,000 as part of a production grant after his film, ‘All Who Leave Go There’, was selected by a panel of esteemed judges from the creative industry comprising of Sun-J Perumal, Ko-chin Chen, Tunku Mona Riza, Ghazi Alqudcy, Jasmin Suraya Chin.
In accepting his well-deserved win, Ikram Haizammuri said “Participating in the BMW Shorties competition for the first time, 'All Who Leave Go There' has been an incredibly transformative journey in my role as a storyteller. I have always questioned the impact of my short films within the industry, but being recognised on the esteemed platform of the BMW Shorties, among a remarkable group of fellow filmmakers, is truly humbling.
Every step of the way, we faced monumental challenges to portray intricate themes with both sensitivity and impact. I am immensely grateful to my dedicated team for bringing this story to life alongside me. I extend my heartfelt appreciation to the BMW Shorties for providing us the opportunity to share our vision with a broader audience”.
Ikram ventured into the world of independent filmmaking during his time as a student at Multimedia University (MMU). With an expertise in post-production, particularly in Visual Effects, he credits the hands-on experiences in different areas of the filmmaking process as what allowed him to refine his skills and gain a deeper understanding of the art form.
‘All Who Leave Go There’ received unanimous acclaim from the judges for the short film’s subtle yet powerful exploration of its core message, excellent cinematography, and the actors' compelling performances. Further affirming the decision, Ikram also took home the Best Director Award.
Tunku Mona Riza, a celebrated Malaysian director and first-time BMW Shorties judge, commented, “Witnessing Ikram’s masterful direction in 'All Who Leave Go There' was extraordinary. You could tell instantly that the director was committed to a compelling narrative that kept the realities faced by Malaysia’s rural communities at its heart, shown by how the characters evolve their own beliefs to look for opportunities to improve their respective situations.”
Meanwhile, fellow judge and auteur Ghazy Alqudcy said, “In deliberating over this year’s pool of entries for The BMW Shorties, I am left with feelings of pride and at times, disbelief over the calibre of creativity and love of filmmaking that is present in our young Malaysian creatives. ‘All Who Leave Go There’ is a testament to young directorial talent. With Ikram’s vision, we are met with a film that is both authentic and impactful, shedding light on the struggles of individuals who are left behind amidst rapid development.”
Sun-J Perumal, award-winning filmmaker and BMW Shorties alum added, “The BMW Shorties has always been a driver in bringing forth untapped talent and honing the passion of local creatives to both complement and challenge the Malaysian film industry. I believe that with stories like ‘All Who Leave Go There’, that are artistically stunning and come from a place of true understanding of our most vulnerable communities, there is no telling how high we can go.”
Sashi Ambi, Head of Corporate Communications and Sustainability of BMW Group Malaysia said, “The philosophy of the BMW Shorties has always been to hold a dynamic and collaborative space for creative voices to thrive, as we continue to evolve and adapt to the times. This year, we really wanted to emphasise on our core belief, and in doing so we developed the theme EVOLVE.
As we mark our 20th anniversary here in Malaysia, we reflect on how we too have had to break barriers and adapt to innovation for our Malaysian customers. In tandem with this, we are proud of the profound success The BMW Shorties has seen over the years allowing us to witness exceptional creative prowess in films like 'All Who Leave Go There.”
The BMW Shorties Festival 2023.
Leading up to the Awards Night, The BMW Shorties ran a week-long film festival throughout various locations in the vibrant city of Kuala Lumpur in collaboration with the Malaysia International Film Festival (MIFFest), where film fans and the public alike got to celebrate the spirit of creativity in its truest form through on-ground activities encompassing music, film and digital content.
Beginning in July 25th with the highly anticipated screenings of the BMW Shorties Top 10 Finalists at GSC MyTown Shopping Centre, attendees were able to view the best of this year’s short film submissions in their full cinematic splendour - including Selamat Malam, Dunia! by Putra Adib, TAUGEH 豆记 by U Wang, INMATES by Palani Veloo, The Known Stranger by Bryan Sim, The Missing Trophy by Wong Ga Dong, 阿嬤 Ah Ma by Chew Boon Wai, SELALU ADA by Faizal Noar, (男孩) Boys by Fabian Loo, Aku, Ayah dan Muzik by Mohd Hanif Fikri and All Who Leave Go There by Ikram Haizammuri.
At the Central Rooftop Garden at LaLaport BBCC, throngs of excited Malaysians flocked to the BMW Shorties’ Open-Air Cinema & Marketplace to indulge in a curated collection of short films as well as fun games and activities held throughout the event space that only added to the merriment. The open-air setting allowed for a truly festive scene - with partnering vendors also providing a wide array of edible delights for the public to feast on while they browsed exclusive BMW Shorties merchandise featuring this year’s theme, EVOLVE.
As the grand conclusion to this year’s memorable slew of festivities that celebrate the Malaysian film scene, The BMW Shorties will be showcasing an exclusive preview of ‘RAHASIA’, the newest BMW-funded film created by Syahmi Norsan, BMW Shorties’ Grand Prize Winner of 2022. The captivating short film that explores the intricate subjects of identity, family and heritage, drawing inspiration from the enchanting traditions of the ancient Mah Meri tribe.
The Finalists’ short films can be viewed on the official BMW Shorties’ YouTube page at www.youtube.com/user/bmwshortiesmy. For more information on the BMW Shorties, visit the official BMW Shorties website at www.bmwshorties.com.my. For the latest updates on future BMW Shorties events, check out the BMW Shorties Facebook page at www.facebook.com/bmwshorties and Instagram page at www.instagram.com/bmwshorties.