Asia & Pacific
Jason Rosette reveals what it takes to get a historically-based narrative feature off the ground in Cambodia.June 1st, 2012 | Jason Rosette
Jason Rosette reports from Cambodia in another installment of his Filmmaker's Journal, four years after his last update. Here he chronicles the ups and downs of getting what he calls his most ambitious project yet, the feature narrative Freedom Deal, off the ground in Cambodia, including the unique ways he's approached casting and fundraising.
I’ve been working in Southeast Asia since 2005, primarily in Cambodia, but also with time spent in Thailand and Vietnam, as an independent film media maker and practitioner for the past six-plus years.
Randi Cecchine speaks with director Seung-Jun Yi about "Planet of Snail," which won best feature-length documentary at IDFA.December 5th, 2011 | Randi Cecchine
"I think every doc director is an activist, their army is visual images," says director Seung-Jun Yi. His film, Planet of Snail, about the blind and deaf poet Young-Chan, just won the best feature-length documentary award at IDFA. Seung-Jun Yi has made documentaries for Korean television and is among a growing movement of filmmakers to break out and expand the form.
For two years South Korean director Seung-Jun Yi and his assistant director took a two-hour subway ride to the home of the deaf and blind poet Young-Chan and his wife Soon-Ho. The couple communicates through a technique of gentle finger tapping called finger-braille, developed by the Japanese deaf and blind professor Satoshi Fukushima.
Melanie Schiele discusses how relocating to Singapore helped inspire her short film, "Delilah, Before."April 30th, 2010 | Michele Meek
Shot entirely in Singapore as part of the NYU Tisch Asia MFA program, Delilah, Before marks the directorial debut of filmmaker Melanie Schiele. Here, she talks about the program and the film, as the film screens at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival.
After working in various capacities as writer, director, producer and cinematographer on over 20 student shorts as part of New York University’s Tisch Asia in Singapore, Filmmaker Melanie Schiele makes her directorial debut with the short Delilah, Before.
Filmmaker Jason Rosette checks in from Thailand where he tries to generate interest in his upcoming film "Freedom Deal.August 1st, 2008 | Jason Rosette
Filmmaker Jason Rosette checks in from Thailand on the status of his film Freedom Deal in the second part of this filmmaker journal. His first entry Filimmaker's Journal: So Much for Taking a Break chronicles how he went from a stopover in Cambodia to organizing a local film festival and a production company.
Jason Rosette made two films in the U.S.—Bookwars and Susan Hero—before moving to Southeast Asia. His original plan was to travel a bit and learn how to teach English as a second language. But on a stopover in Cambodia, Rosette found himself infatuated with the country and its people. And since the once-troubled nation lost a generation of artists and journalists, he also saw an opportunity and even a responsibility to put his media-making skills to good use. So he organized a film festival and started a production company that works for a number of NGOs. He is now at work on his latest film Freedom Deal. He chronicles his work in this filmmaker journal series for The Independent.
Jason Rosette went to Southeast Asia to take time off after his second film wrapped. That's where the subject of his third and latest film grabbed himJune 11th, 2008 | Jason Rosette
Jason Rosette made two films in the U.S.—Bookwars and Susan Hero—before moving to Southeast Asia. His original plan was to travel a bit and learn how to teach English as a second language. But on a stopover in Cambodia, Rosette found himself infatuated with the country and its people. And since the once-troubled nation lost a generation of artists and journalists, he also saw an opportunity and even a responsibility to put his media-making skills to good use. So he organized a film festival and started a production company that works for a number of NGOs. He chronicles his work in this first journal entry for The Independent.
In 2007, an article in the New York Times hailed Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia, as “the next Prague.” Soon thereafter, every footloose hipster in the West seemed to home in on the place. But the city they found was a far cry from “the next Prague.” It is still too alien to most Western sensibilities, and it is at times dismayingly dark, violent, and desperate.
Directors Apichatpong Weerasethakul and Thunska Pansittivorakul dazzle international audiences, but find themselves less popular at homeFebruary 18th, 2008 | Denise Burrell-Stinson
The 5th Bangkok Experimental Film Festival kicks off in March at a time when the work of Thai directors such as Apichatpong Weerasethakul and Thunska Pansittivorakul is gaining worldwide acclaim. But even as Thai independent cinema reaches a creative pinnacle, it finds itself bumping up against serious new censorship at home. The Independent's Denise Burrell-Stinson recently travelled to Southeast Asia, and files this report. You can view a clip from Sud pralad (Tropical Malady), and trailers for Sud sanaeha (Blissfully Yours) and Sang sattawat (Syndromes and a Century), Weerasethakul's censored film, on our Watch page.
Mainstream Thai cinema is coming up on the international radar lately. In 2003, Francis Ford Coppola spearheaded the international release of Suriyothai, one of the highest grossing Thai films ever when it was first released in that country. It recalls the heroic exploits of a 16th Thai queen defending her country against Burmese invasion.
Before filmmaker Pamela Valente left Japan, she filmed "Rock n' Tokyo", a loving look at the city's throbbing underground music sceneDecember 9th, 2007 | Leah Hochbaum Rosner
Unlike most documentaries about music, Rock 'n Tokyo is not entirely a reflection of the filmmaker's passion for the artists—although Pamela Valente is certainly a big fan of the acts that appear in the film, including Guitar Wolf, Nine, The 5678s, and the Jet Boys (featuring front man Onoching, shown at left). Instead, Valente's film is really about Tokyo, a city she adores, especially for its strange comingling of rowdy punk kids with women who still wear kimonos and those dark-suited corporate “sararimen." Leah Hochbaum Rosner talks with the filmmaker about her passion project. You can see scenes from the film at our "Watch" page. (Photo source).
The first time Pamela Valente, 37, set foot in Tokyo, she was instantly swept away. The Brazilian-born filmmaker, who’d been living in France for more than a decade, loved Paris, but longed to return to live in a city where the pace was more frenetic. So in 2003, she up and moved to Tokyo.
Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul's film screened at CannesFebruary 18th, 2008
Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul's film screened at Cannes
Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul's film about a gay romanceFebruary 18th, 2008
Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul's film about a gay romance
Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul's film was censored in his home countryFebruary 18th, 2008
Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul's film was censored in his home country