Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Taiwan Film Bodies Team at Busan Lab

The National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (FINAS) has partnered with the Singapore Film Commission (SFC), the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) and the Taiwan Creative Content Agency (TAICCA) to establish the first Malaysian feature film development laboratory ( mylab ).

mylab is an incubator program for screenwriters, directors and producers to work on the development of screenplays and film projects with lectures and the guidance of regional and international experts in screenwriting, direction, production, distribution as well as markets and festivals. mylab focuses on projects in the early stages of development, with a team of writers, directors and/or producers, targeting a regional or international audience. The goal is for each project to deliver a package of script, budget, financing plan, dossier and pitch-ready materials at the end of the program.

The partnership with SFC and FDCP allows one film project in development from each country to participate in the third session of mylab, which will be held in Busan alongside the Asian Contents & Film Market and the Busan International Film Festival. After the online sessions in June and August this year, this will be mylab’s first face-to-face session. The Korean Film Council will also support mylab with a reception in Busan and connect the participants with the Korean film industry.

Awards for the program include the $5,000 FINAS mylab Award for advancing a project selected by an independent jury consisting of Christian Jeune (Cannes Film Festival), Nashen Moodley (Sydney Film Festival) and BOM Film Productions Co. (“A Tale of Two Sisters”) producer Oh Jung-wan during the closing session in Busan. The TAICCA Development Award includes US$5000 for developing the project and inviting project participants to participate in Taiwan Creative Content Fest to introduce the project in Taiwan in 2023.

FINAS CEO Prof. Dr. Md Nasir Ibrahim said: “Although it is the first, mylab with program curator Lorna Tee manages to attract collaborations from numerous countries in the region. It is considered monumental that FINAS is able to work with the various film organizations, not to mention the wide range of mentors, group leaders, script doctors, judges and directing mentors from around the world with outstanding profiles.”

Tirso Cruz III, Chairman and CEO of FDCP, said: “Now more than ever, collaboration is critical to any artistic and cultural endeavor that touches the entire cinema industry. In the Philippines and Southeast Asia, developing a cinematic play from story seed to mature and viable screenplay is a now prioritized step on which we aim to build our films. Many of our homegrown projects and talent that have emerged from the film labs have garnered local and international recognition and support, so we know the labs really work. FDCP is now collaborating with FINAS for the first run of mylab to drive this progress and strengthen our relationships with our neighbors towards a regional culture of unique storytelling and artistic excellence.”

Izero Lee, CEO of TAICCA said, “The connection of international co-production between Southeast Asia and Taiwan has been solidified through the collaboration with mylab. For Taiwanese production teams and the entire industry, this collaboration creates more opportunities to work with talent in Southeast Asia. We look forward to working with professionals around the world.”

Lorna Tee, curator and founder of mylab added: “East and Southeast Asia are very important territories for Malaysian filmmakers to work with and the partnership with SFC, FDCP and TAICCA is a crucial step in expanding the reach of mylab to expand and establish stronger links within the industries in the region.”

mylab 2022 projects and participants

“Absolutely” (“Mutlak”) (Malaysia)
Directed by Effendee Mazlan, Fariza Azlina Isahak
Screenwriter: Fariza Azlina Isahak
Manufacturer: Effendee Mazlan

“Life I Stole” (“Hidup Aku Curi”) (Malaysia)
Directed by Putri Purnama Sugua
Screenwriter: Putri Purnama Sugua
Producer: Tan Cher Kian

“The Depths of Darkness” (“Kaali”) (Malaysia)
Director: Gogularaajan Rajendran
Screenwriter: Gogularaajan Rajendran
Producer: Kumanavannan Rajendran

“Maybe today, if not today, maybe tomorrow” (Malaysia)
Directed by Lim Han Loong
Screenwriter: Lim Han Loong
Producer: Chua Jing Xuan

“Very, very important funeral” (Malaysia)
Directed by Lim Kean Hian
Screenwriter: Lim Kean Hian
Producer: Omar Yunus

“Under Strange Skies” (Malaysia)
Directed by Anwar Johari Ho
Screenwriter: Anwar Johari Ho
Producer: Eleanor Teh

“Mother Maybe” (“Inahing Baka”) (Philippines)
Directed by Sonny Calvento
Screenwriter: Arden Rod Condez, Sonny Calvento
Producer: Sheron Dayoc

“Mother” (Singapore)
Directed by Jen Nee Lim
Screenwriter: Jen Nee Lim
Producer: Ke Ning Lee Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Taiwan Film Bodies Team at Busan Lab

Charles Jones

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