(check back to this page for adds to our growing list – updated 6th Aug)
Citizen Cinema 2019: Filmlab – Contributors and Collaborators
Amanda Tan is a director-composer in Singapore who hopes to translate her invariable process of breaking down the complex nature of the world and of human beings in her head to moving, thought provoking narratives.
Her extensive education in film and classical piano only accentuates her strength in the rhythm of storytelling. She believes in making use of the medium of film to bring awareness to societal issues.
Dharma: Guitarist with The Observatory, previous bands include Heritage, Throb, Chod and Meddle. Also, active solo and with free improv trio Tenggara Trio. Coming from a self-taught rock background, he started to experiment with different approaches in the mid 90s and touring actively since 2010. Today he’s playing includes effects and objects besides the conventional approach of playing the instrument. Debut solo album “Intergranular Space” released in 2013 and the latest one “Electric Animism” released in May. As solo practitioner he has collaborated with filmmaker Ho Tzu Nyen, Toh Hun Ping and Vishal Daryanomel, also with dance company CHOWK.
Jason Soo is an artist-filmmaker and recipient of the Jacques Derrida Exhibition and Prize (Melbourne, 1999). His first narrative work (A short film on The May 13 Generation) was nominated for the Blencong Award at Jogja-Netpac Asian Film Festival (2015). His next film, the documentary 1987: Untracing the Conspiracy, was awarded Best Southeast Asian Feature at Freedom Film Festival (Malaysia, 2015). These works constitute the first installments of a long-term project focusing on history and activism in Singapore and other regions.
Low Zu Boon loves to watch, write and present cinema, and he remains severely in debt to the medium’s possibilities. He worked as a film programmer at the National Museum of Singapore Cinematheque (2011-2015) and the Singapore International Film Festival (2015-2018). Currently, he works with The Observatory as their company manager and runs Worthless Dispatch, a cassette tape label project which began in 2018.
Mien Ly is a filmmaker and trainer by profession. An alumni of Bifan’s Fantastic Film School 2018, most of her work relates to gender and sexuality. She just recently completed a mini web-series ‘Marilah Sayang’ (Come, My Dear) about 3 Pontianaks for Unifi online platform. Her dystopian short film ‘Selam 2.0’ (Dive 2.0) won 4 awards at BMW Shorties 2017. She founded the project HerStory Malaysia, a platform for women to share stories of desires and sexuality through short films in 2010. Her short film ‘Kaulah Yang Aku Mahu’ (You Are the One I Want) was selected for screening at the San Francisco International Women Film Fest in March 2014. Her work has been screened in IAWRT Asian Womens’ Film Festival 2006 and Films of Desire 2007, both of which were held in India, and Asian HotShots Festival 2008 in Berlin.
Mien has also conducted trainings on human rights, gender and sexuality, non-racism and video-making. She previously worked with KOMAS as Programme Coordinator; EngageMedia as South-East Asian Trainer and Coordinator; and Women’s Centre for Change, Penang as Communication Officer. She obtained an MA in Gender Studies from Sussex University, UK as a recipient of the Chevening Scholarship in 2010. She currently lectures part-time on media and filmmaking in KL, while working on her next video project.
Phoebe Pua is a doctoral candidate at the Department of English Language and Literature at the National University of Singapore. Drawing from film studies and feminist theories, her project centers on the Third World woman archetype as seen in Southeast Asian cinema. Particular attention is paid to filmic representations of voice and silence, bodies and borders, as well as rape and revenge to explore how contemporary iterations of the once-denounced Third World woman might be recuperated into feminist discourse. She also works on topics relating to gender, sexuality, and race in popular culture such as the James Bond film series. Her writing has been published in Language in Society, Feminist Media Studies, Discourse, Context, and Media, the online film magazine fourbythree, and the Asian Film Archive’s Reframe series.
Seelan Palay (b. 1984) is a visual artist from Singapore whose practice focuses on the concerns and complex conditions found in our present-day, globalized society. Having studied Fine Art at Lasalle College of the Arts, he works with mixed media, installation, performance, film and sound.
In 2018, he founded the independent art space, Coda Culture.
Stevphen Shukaitis is Senior Lecturer at the University of Essex, Centre for Work, Organization, and Society, and a member of the Autonomedia editorial collective. Since 2009 he has coordinated and edited Minor Compositions (http://www.minorcompositions.info). He is the author of Imaginal Machines: Autonomy & Self-Organization in the Revolutions of Everyday Day (2009), The Composition of Movements to Come: Aesthetics and Cultural Labor After the Avant-Garde (2016), Combination Acts. Notes on Collective Practice in the Undercommons (2019), and editor (with Erika Biddle and David Graeber) of Constituent Imagination: Militant Investigations // Collective Theorization (AK Press, 2007). His research focuses on the emergence of collective imagination in social movements and the changing compositions of cultural and artistic labor.
Tan Pin Pin has carved a career making films that question the idea of Singapore. From traversing the world to speak with her political exiles to traversing the island itself to find out how long it takes to drive across the country at 80km/h, her films question gaps in history, memory, and documentation.
Her films include Singapore GaGa , Invisible City , To Singapore, with Love , and IN TIME TO COME . She is a co-founding member of filmcommunitysg, an advocacy group for independent filmmakers. She is currently a board member of the Singapore International Film Festival, as well as a former board member of the National Archives of Singapore. In 2018, she was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, USA. tanpinpin.com
Tzang Merwyn Tong is an award winning indie underground filmmaker and scriptwriter, behind the films V1K1 (Gold Remi Award at Houston WorldFest 2011), A Wicked Tale (World Premiere at Rotterdam International Film Festival 2005) and e’Tzaintes (Opening Night Film at Berlin Asia Pacific Film Festival 2003).
Tzang’s films are characterized by his rather off-beat style, often set in a surreal environment, incorporating elements of fairytale and comic fantasy. He is an alumnus of the prestigious Berlinale Talent Campus in 2005, with international publications like Res, Cinependent, Montreal Mirror, Screen International, Fangoria and Rue Morgue, branding him as a new voice in alternative cinema.
His most recent film, Faeryville (2016), a dystopian teen rebellion film made its World Premiere in Los Angeles and won the ‘Best Original Story’ award at the Jefferson State Film Festival in the US.
Upneet Kaur-Nagpal is a Singaporean filmmaker who thrives on the desire to refresh tired perspectives in storytelling. Her documentaries find themselves amidst diverse niche communities, from the Romany Gypsy and homeless community in England, to poet migrant workers and the Sikh diaspora in Singapore. She is currently making a feature-length documentary on Singapore’s first Sikh immigrant. A former digital and TV content producer/director for Channel NewsAsia, Upneet returned to freelance work in 2014 and started her own platform, Uptake Media, inviting global collaboration and creative content to fuel a space where #oneworldfitsall.
Vishal Daryanomel has spent time with various NGOs in Singapore, and has been part of the organising committee of migrant poetry events since 2014. His interests include exploring how film can be used as a tool of testimony and empowerment for minority and marginalised voices. He curated the short film programme as part of Global Migrant Festival in 2018, and his documentary short, Between Pudukkottai & Singapore, has been screened in various festivals in Southeast Asia, Europe, and North America.
Yeo Siew Hua is a writer-director who explores social discourse through films. His fiction feature, A LAND IMAGINED (2018), won the Golden Leopard grand prize at Locarno Film Festival. The film also received the top awards for Best Film at the Singapore, El Gouna, and QCinema film festivals. A member of the Asia Pacific Screen Academy, Yeo is also a founding member of Singapore film collective 13 Little Pictures. The independent-film group produced his debut fiction film IN THE HOUSE OF STRAW (2009), and music documentary THE OBS: A SINGAPORE STORY (2014). Yeo’s upcoming fiction feature, STRANGER EYES explores issues of surveillance and voyeurism in the city.
Yeo studied Film & Media Studies at Ngee Ann Polytechnic, and graduated in Philosophy from the National University of Singapore.
Yusri Shaggy Sapari is a professional kepo using the medium of recorded video to explore stories of people.Â He started his journey recording his grandmother and TV shows on his audio cassette tape recorder as a child.
Shaggy went on later in his teenage years to study media hoping to become a journalist. That’s when he fell in love in the arts. He now makes videos for social initiatives and arts groups with Paradise Pictures and in theatre as a multimedia artist.
Shaggy’s documentary “Trailer Boys”, about young truck drivers from Singapore, premiered in 2018 as part of Freedom Film Festival in Petaling Jaya. It then went on to tour Penang before returning to Singapore, screened at The Projector.
Under “The Orange Playground” by The Necessary Stage in 2014, Shaggy was mentored by, Brian Gothong Tan, acclaimed Multimedia Designer. Since then, he has worked for countless theatre productions as a Multimedia Designer. His latest work being “Building a Character” as part of Singapore Theatre Festival by W!ld Rice. Shaggy also does technical consultation for companies that are looking into adapting artwork into projection mapping installations.
Aside from video, Shaggy loves to eat but these days he loves being frugal even more.