ASEAN film festival invites filmmakers for showcase

National 1 minute, 51 seconds


Organisers of an ASEAN film festival are calling on filmmakers from Southeast Asia to submit entries for a one-day showcase of regional films that highlight cross-border issues.

Themed “Borders that should not divide”, the film screening will take place in Dili, Timor Leste, as part of the ASEAN People’s Forum, the largest civil society conference in Southeast Asia.

KOMAS, a Malaysian NGO that uses creative media to promote human rights causes, is coordinating the event which will take place on August 3.

“We are now calling for films that feature issues that cross borders and/or involve communities in ASEAN working together,” said Lena Hendry, the festival manager. “This event will offer a more casual platform and space for participants to share and deepen our understanding and build networks on common concerns.”

Lena, who also spearheads the annual Freedom Film Fest in Malaysia, told The Brunei Times that despite organising the ASEAN Film Fest since 2007, the committee had yet to receive a submission from Brunei. 

“The most active countries in the ASEAN region that are producing social films and documentaries are Indonesia, Myanmar and Cambodia… Unfortunately, we have not received any submissions from Brunei,” she said. 

“Nevertheless, the passion of telling stories that often go undocumented is burning strong amongst many young people in the region. And they naturally turn to the internet to get their films seen. Although this model is seldom commercially viable it does widen your reach to audience everywhere in the world.”

She added that entering shorts in regional film festivals was a good way for young filmmakers to get exposure to a wider audience. 

Filmmakers interested in submitting short films or documentaries for the festival can send their entries to by July 15.

Films must be between five to 20 minutes and must have been made between 2014 and 2016. Films can be in any language but must contain English subtitles or an English transcript.

Due to limited time, only shortlisted films will be screened, giving priority to pieces that feature cross border issues and cooperation involving at least two ASEAN countries.

For enquiries, interested applicants can email the organisers at with the subject "ASEAN Film Festival".

The Brunei Times