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Nov 16, 2021
Jodi Yip

Monsoon’21 Film Showcase


Calling out to all you film lovers out there! Whether you grew up watching our classic P. Ramlee films or the recent Marvel Cinematic Universe, you would not want to miss out on these short films produced uniquely by ten different local filmmakers.

Held in Safehouse KL just last Sunday was Foreground Pictures highly anticipated film showcase, MONSOON’21. Consisting of 4 main key collaborators, Mary Grace Liew, Founder & Producer, Syukri A Rahim, a Key Collaborator & Director), Eunice Alexander, a Key Collaborator & Cinematographer, and Chan Teik Quan, a Key Collaborator & Director, what started as a casual Google Meet session of filmmakers going through a creative block became a full-fledged production of a collection of films. They are made under the limitation of the pandemic to further challenge the filmmakers’ creativity and visions.

“Foreground Pictures was born out of the love for creating creative works that are not bound by any rules and to tell local stories that resonated with an international audience.

At the moment is a creative hub where collaborators would come together to express their creative freedom. Where our main goal is to create more films just for the sake of making films”, shared Mary.

MONSOON’21 Filmmakers

MONSOON’21 was inspired by (you guessed it!) none other than our annual weather of the monsoon season,

“After analysing the South East Asian and Malaysia atmosphere, MONSOON was the one thing that stood out the most and it resonated so well with the idea of ‘A single raindrop might not make an impact, but if united, filmmakers can make a storm.’”

Like many others out there, the pandemic has hindered the livelihoods of creatives alike, rendering them creatively immobile to continue their work. Hence, MONSOON’21 was the push these filmmakers are looking for; a reason to just simply create.

Moderated by Raja Adam, a final year film student and filmmaker alongside his friend, Ariff Adam of ARJA, this showcase provided many students, film-lovers, aspiring producers, and just about anyone a little insight into how our local filmmakers are coping amidst the pandemic.

“I’ve been looking forward to it [MONSOON’21] for a while, just seeing all these films made by very young people whose few years fresh out of film school, that gives me hope and belief to say that we can make films with the most minimal (or no) budget or equipment. Shooting with your phone is enough!

At the end of the day, it’s the idea that prevails. Knowing your limits in filmmaking can really enhance your creative spark into solving problems. That’s what filmmaking is about”.

(MONSOON’21 Filmmakers and Raja Adam at Safehouse KL)

Now, let us share with you the ten films showcased in MONSOON’21:

1. THAT THING OUT THERE (dir. Kavivarmen Vigneswaran, 2021, Malaysia)

That Thing Out There still by Foreground Pictures

Synopsis: Two robbers stuck in a room begins to get into an argument when one of them laments that something supernatural is outside their room.

2. CELAKE (dir. Binti & Mutt, 2021, Malaysia) 

Celake still by Foreground Pictures

Synopsis: Is this it? This is it.

3. MUSE (dir. Amir Shahlan, 2021, Malaysia)
Muse still by Foreground Pictures

Synopsis: Experiencing a creative block, a painter suddenly finds himself having an intimate conversation with his muse.

4. TUNNEL VISION (dir. Hiro Cheng, 2021, Malaysia)
Tunnel Vision still by Foreground Pictures

Synopsis: A young man finds out who killed his fiancé, he then plans to avenge his fiancé with an accident.

5. NGOMPAT (dir. Adam Zainal, 2021, Malaysia)

Ngompat still by Foreground Pictures

Synopsis: 3 high school seniors telling a junior the right and only way of gossiping.

6. 23:11 (dir. Mary Grace Liew, 2021, Malaysia)
23:11 still by Foreground Pictures

Synopsis: A girl reimagines the soundscape of what could happen if she had a lover picking her up.

7. EVERY WORD (dir. Ashley Tong, 2021, Malaysia)
Every Word still by Foreground Pictures

Synopsis: A girl is figuring out a missing friend.

8. WHY IS IT TRYING TO KILL ME? (dir. Eunice Alexander, 2021, Malaysia)
Why Is It Trying to Kill Me still by Foreground Pictures

Synopsis: It all began when one day I woke up from a terrible nightmare.

9. MONSOON (dir. Chan Teik Quan, 2021, Malaysia)

Monsoon still by Foreground Pictures

Synopsis: A group of friends gets together to smoke cigarettes and wait for the world to end.

10. 谋杀案 MURDER CASE (dir. Syukri A Rahim, 2021, Malaysia)
Murder Case still by Foreground Pictures

Synopsis: A man seeking his victim who he recently killed with the help of his memories.

11. BONUS: Special screening of JISIM (dir. Syukri A Rahim& prod. Mary Grace Liew, 2019, Malaysia)

Synopsis: The film follows BUCK and D, in a journey to search for a burial ground after BUCK confesses a secret to D. After confessing to D, Buck convinces D to help him. They both go on a journey to seek a perfect burial ground for him. At first, D doesn’t buy his idea until she witnesses his condition.

Jisim still by Foreground Pictures

When asked what each of our local talented filmmakers would say to their younger self and to all you aspiring filmmakers out there was one key message,

“It’s okay to syiok sendiri!” 

What most creatives would relate to is having the need or pressure to create something ground-breaking or revolutionary to meet professional standards. In reality, there is beauty in just having fun and creating. Create, create and just create. Surround yourself with the right people to encourage and support you to go further because, hey, you might just find something. Just like Foreground Picture’s philosophy: A single raindrop might not make an impact, but if united, filmmakers can make a storm.

If you missed out this round’s film showcase, this is your sign to mark your calendars! MONSOON is a biannual event so keep it a lookout next year, “We are currently working on the next line-up of MONSOON'22 which is very exciting! Can't wait to share more about it! And also there are a few more projects in line. You can keep a lookout during Valentine's 2022”.