Visiting Filmmaker Lesley Chilcott Shared Experience At Astro, Sundance Short Film Festival Event

Last update: 13/12/2014

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 13 (Bernama) -- Sundance Channel and Astro announced the winners of its first-ever Sundance Channel Short Film Contest at an exclusive event Friday.

Paul Gan Yew Hoe was named the Grand Prize winner for his film The Boy Who Rocked the World and will be receiving a trip for two to the prestigious 2015 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah with exclusive access to screenings, panels, events and the awards ceremony.

The two runners up were Chan Kwok Wah with his film Nick & Jared: The Fish Lantern and Cho We Jun with his film Salvaj, who both received professional digital cameras.

All the three films will be premiered on Sundance Channel HD; Astro Channel 438, in early 2015.

The event, which took place at Black Box in Kuala Lumpur, included a masterclass with visiting filmmaker Lesley Chilcott, who is best known for co-producing the 2006 Oscar-winning documentary about climate change, An Inconvenient Truth; a global warming awareness campaign by former US Vice President Al Gore.

Chilcott shared her insights about film making with the audience and showed clips from many of her acclaimed projects, including the documentary she directed, A Small Section Of The World, which will premiere on Sundance Channel HD on 7 February 2015 at 10pm.

Entries for the Sundance Channel Short Film Contest were judged based on several criteria, including creativity, entertainment value, original storytelling and production value. The jury comprised representatives from Sundance Channel, Astro and the film making community.

The top three finalists had the opportunity to screen their films to attendees at the event prior to their premiere on Sundance Channel next year.

The Grand Prize winner, Paul Gan Yew Hoe's film The Boy Who Rocked The World follows the story of a boy from a poor family who finds an escape from his harsh reality, spurred on by a dream of becoming a rock musician.

The jury commented on the winning film by calling it "creative, imaginative and extremely well executed with attention to detail and storytelling that are properly accented by the technical skills on display.

The team took a big chance with this concept – it could easily have fallen flat – but they pulled off both the real and fantasy aspects of the story quite nicely. Impressive and clearly the most imaginative of the films screened." The first of the runners up was Chan Kwok Wah with his film Nick & Jared: The Fish Lantern, which follows the eerie story of a young man who seeks the help of a psychologist in an effort to find the answers to a haunting – and opens a door to his forgotten past.

The jury said of the film "A smoothly executed nod to a number of mystery or thriller motives, the short works best managing what would seem to be a dramatic self confessional with the darker, demonic forces that have been put in play by the actions driving the plot. Shifting perspectives work very well, helped by some very good acting. Well executed on all counts."

The second runner up was Cho We Jun with his film Salvaj, which follows the story of Ishak, a police diver, who contemplates his life's decisions following the most challenging dive search of his career.

The jury agreed that it was "Beautifully shot. Nicely acted. Good attention to detail. A seemingly straightforward story is made more interesting with some good twists and turns in the narrative. A concise story in its own right, one can see the textures of a larger story that this could easily have been pulled out of."

Among the juries were Harold Gronenthal; Executive Vice President of Programming and Operations for AMC Global and Sundance Channel Global An Emmy award nominated industry veteran, Agnes Rozario; Vice President of Astro Malaysia's Content Management Group, Chiu Keng Guan; Director of almost 20 years of experience in the TV and film industry which includes the acclaimed movie The Journey.

Gayatri-Su Pillai; Executive Producer who has been actively involved in film production since 1996, Lina Tan; Producer who is well-known for her Istanbul Aku Datang were also in the jury list.

Also sharing the jury seats are James Lee; Director and a pioneer of Malaysian Digital Film and Afdlin Shauki; a well-known all-round Malaysian entertainer of many accolades, writer, director, stage and screen actor, comedian, singer, songwriter and presenter.

Sundance Channel is founded by actor Robert Redford in his mission to celebrate creativity and independent filmmaking to cater for independent-minded viewers seeking something different.

The channel's main devotion is to airing independent feature films, world cinema, documentaries, short films, and original programs.

Bold, imaginative and uncompromising, Sundance Channel offers audiences a diverse and engaging selection of high-quality independent films, documentaries and original programs.

-- BERNAMA