Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Tingin Film Fest 2022 | Dec 2-4, 2022

Themed “Imaginaries of Neighborliness,” the 2022 Tingin Southeast Asian Film Festival gathers short films that explore neighborliness, a value that resonates with an aggrupation such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). 

A project of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), Tingin will have a limited online run from 2 to 4 December 2022. The festival is free to the public, on the Vimeo page of the National Committee on Cinema, a festival partner. 

Official Tingin selections aim to interrogate ideas around neighborliness, especially its cultural manifestations and avatars across Southeast Asia celebrate reciprocity and conviviality as seeds for the transformation of society explore Southeast Asia’s ethnoscapes, and how its porous borders complicate as well as liberate modes and lived experiences of citizenship and identity uncover ‘throwntogetherness' and ‘thrownapartness’ especially in urban spaces where migrants and locals become disposable identities promote the right of neighborliness and the right to neighborhood to protect the wellbeing and dignity of strangers and residents, visitors and citizens. 

“Tingin forms part of an arsenal of projects of the NCCA to bring Filipinos closer to their neighbors across Southeast Asia. Tingin went digital last year because of the Covid-19 pandemic, but we found an enthusiastic audience who continued to patronize Tingin. We have decided to maintain this online iteration of Tingin, to grow this audience who is hungry for quality Southeast Asian cinemas. Through Tingin, the NCCA reaffirms its commitment to promote ASEAN awareness and identity while sharing the outstanding works of filmmakers from the region,” said Annie Luis, head of the Sentro Rizal-International Cultural Affairs Office of the NCCA. 

Leading the selections this year is the Philippines’ very own “The Headhunter’s Daughter,” which won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. The film follows a young Igorot woman as she leaves her family behind and travels through the Cordilleran highlands to try her luck in the city as a country singer. 

Award-winning “Further and Further Away” is this year’s selection from Cambodia. In this film, a young indigenous Bunong woman and her older brother spend one last day in their rural village in northeastern Cambodia, before an impending move to the capital city in search of a more prosperous life. The film was part of the Berlinale Shorts 2022 and won Best Live Action Short Over 15 Minutes at the Palm Springs ShortsFest USA 2022. 

In Indonesia’s “Homebound,” the protagonist longs to return home to Indonesia after more than ten years working abroad in Taiwan. When the Covid-19 pandemic strikes, her plans unravel. A similar story of the diaspora is exposed in Singapore’s "partitions," a short observational documentary about a Sindhi woman’s migration to Singapore following the Partition of India in 1947. The film juxtaposes fragmented recollections of the past—drawing on photographs, state documents, oral histories, and more—with practices of the present. 

Thailand’s “The Threshold 1969” presents four directors’ visions about the impact of new technology within a transitional period of four generations. 

Homecoming is the theme of Lao PDR’s “A Long Way Home,” in which a young Lao-American man brings his father’s ashes to Laos to fulfill his father's last wish—to return home. The film premiered at the Locarno Film Festival in 2017. 

Young people’s sense of belonging is the preoccupation of the films “Cloud Jacket” from Brunei and “Here I Am” from Malaysia. “The Graduation of Edison” tackles issues of conformity. In this charmer from Viet Nam, the protagonist, Minh, lives in a village where every child but him is born with a tree on their head. On graduation day, students who have turned 18 will get their tree cut to signify adulthood. Problems arise when Minh's sister decides to keep hers. 

Finally, Myanmar’s “Laisho Ambulance” take us on an intense ride aboard a volunteer ambulance in Lashio, in Myanmar’s northern Shan State, which helps whosoever is need, regardless of gender, ethnicity, or religion. 

“This year’s Tingin asks: What does it mean to be a good neighbor? The Philippines’ ‘The Headhunter’s Daughter’ deals with the isolation encountered by strangers in a new place. A stranger suffers from a so-called poverty of relationships, which is the opposite of neighborliness. Cambodia’s ‘Further and Further Away’ looks at displacement, and the films ‘Homebound’ and ‘partitions,’ the feminization of migration. All these films surface issues prevalent in ethnoscapes, or areas which have porous borders, such as Southeast Asia. In spaces where are thrown together, as Doreen Massey says, how do we relate and cope? Myanmar’s ‘Laisho Ambulance,’ for example, provides a template for neighborliness, what Wendell Berry describes as preemptive sympathy,” said Maya Quirino, festival director. 

Aside from the screenings on Vimeo, a series of conversations with select filmmakers will be live-streamed at 6:00 PM, every day, from 2 to 4 December, on the Facebook page of Tingin. 

For more information, including details on how to watch the films, write to tinginfilmfest@gmail.com or follow the festival on its Facebook and Instagram pages: Tingin Film Fest. Tingin 2022 is officially distributed by Solar Pictures, Inc.

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