Letters From the South

A series of short films by Aditya Assarat, Midi Z, Royston Tan, Sun Koh, Tan Chui Mui, Tsai-ming Liang

(China/Malaysia/Thailand/Singapore/Myanmar 2013 I 105 mins)

Six filmmakers of Chinese origin living within the Chinese diaspora in South-East Asia each made a short film to represent their feelings towards their homeland. Among them, Aditya Assarat’s Now Now Now relates a Chinese-Thai schoolgirl’s meeting with her cousin from mainland China, Royston Tan’s Popiah explores Chinese culinary traditions, while Tsai Ming-Liang’s Walking on Water casts a contemplative reflection on the building in which he grew up. As a collection, Letters from the South offers a series of poetic meditations on Chinese diaspora that combine to present a broad perspective on Chinese cultural identities in Asia today.

Directed by: Aditya Assarat, Midi Z, Royston Tan, Sun Koh, Tan Chui Mui, Tsai-ming Liang
Produced by: Tan Chui Mui,Da Huang Pictures

Screenings

King’s College London: 3 Jun 2015

SEA Arts Fest, London: 29 Oct 2014

Manchester, Asia Triennial, Cornerhouse: 19 Oct 2014

Edinburgh International Film Festival: 19 & 21 June 2014

Aditya Assarat

Aditya Assarat was born in Bangkok, Thailand in 1972. He studied film production at the University of Southern California. This thesis film Motorcycle (2000) was the first Thai film to compete in Clermont-Ferrand, Tampere, Oberhausen and Sundance Film Festivals. In 2006, he founded the production company Pop Pictures to produce his debut feature Wonderful Town (2007) and his second feature Hi-So (2010). He also works as a producer, having produce numerous other films including also producing other films including 36 (2012) and Mary is Happy, Mary is Happy(2013), the first two features by Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit. He is currently working on his third feature film.

Midi Z

Midi Z was born in 1982. He was raised in Myanmar, but later studied art in Taiwan. His thesis film Paloma Blanca was screened in various international film festivals. In 2009, he was selected as the leading screenwriter and leading director in the Taipei Golden Horse Film Academy organised by Hou Hsiao-hsien. In 2011, he made his first feature film Return to Burma which was selected for the Busan International Film Festival 2011 and the prestigious Tiger Awards Competition at International Film Festival Rotterdam 2012. His latest feature Ice Poison won the Best International Film Award at Edinburgh International Film Festival 2014.

Royston Tan

Royston Tan was born in Singapore in 1976. In 2004, he was named one of the “Top 20 Asian Heroes” by Time Magazine. Tan’s disposition for pushing creative boundaries has made him a hero among the city’s independent art scene. His retrospective show 0104 was screened at ICA London, Chicago, Japan and Singapore. Tan’s second feature film 4:30 had its world premiere at Berlin International Film Festival 2006, and went on to win various international awards. His third feature film 881 screened at Pusan International Film Festival 2007 and became the top grossing local film in Singapore.

Sun Koh

Sun Koh studied Mass Communications before going on to work as a director for TV documentaries and dramas in Singapore, and then venturing into directing. In 2006 she made Bedroom Dancing, a daring fictional adaptation of a story reported in Singapore media which was recognised for pushing censorship limits in Singapore. Sun is an alumni of the Berlinale Talent Campus 2003 chaired by Wim Wenders & the Asian Film Academy (Pusan) 2007 chaired by Mohsen Makhmalbaf, and the 1st Golden Horse Film Academy chaired by Hou Hsiao Hsien.

Tan Chui Mui

Tan Chui Mui was born in 1978 in Kuantan, Malaysia. She received numerous awards for her debut feature film Love Conquers Allincluding the New Currents Award at Pusan International Film Festival (2006) and the Tiger Award at International Film Festival Rotterdam (2007). Her short films A Tree in Tanjung Malim andEveryday Everyday won awards at Oberhausen International Film Festival and Clermont Ferrand International Film Festival. She set up Da Huang Pictures in 2005 and is actively involved in the Malaysian independent film scene.

Tsai-ming Liang

Tsai-ming Liang was born in Kuching, Malaysia. He studied drama and cinema at the Chinese Culture University of Taiwan. His films have been screened widely internationally including Rebels of the Neon God (1992), Vive l’amour (1994), The Hole (1998), What Time is it Over There? (2001), Goodbye, Dragon Inn (2003), The Wayward Cloud (2005), I Don’t Want To Sleep Alone (2006), Face(2009) and Stray Dogs (2013).