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VISUAL DOCUMENTARY PROJECT 2018

Japan

Upon the selection of the five winners for Visual Documentary Project 2018, we will now be organizing film screenings in Kyoto and Tokyo on December 13 and 15 respectively.
Visual Documentary Project (VDP) is a joint project between the Japan Foundation Asia Center and the Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS), Kyoto University that offers a platform for Asian Filmmakers in the Southeast Asian region to express their realities through documentaries and introduce them to a broader audience.

Visual Documentary Project 2018: Popular Culture in Southeast Asia

For the 2018 iteration of VDP, we called for short documentaries that dealt with the theme of "Popular Culture in Southeast Asia," overviewing various aspects of expression of Popular Culture in Southeast Asia. Award-winning film director Rithy Panh from Cambodia and Professor Kenji Ishizaka (Asian Future Programming Director, Tokyo International Film Festival) joined as jurors to select the short documentaries for the screenings.

Among the 117 spectacular documentaries from across Southeast Asia, five were selected which we will screen in Kyoto on December 13 (Thursday) and Tokyo on December 15 (Saturday), 2018. The directors and crew of these works will be invited to Japan for this occasion to join us for the talk discussion with commentators.

Visual Documentary Project 2018 Film Screening & Discussion flyer
↓click to enlarge PDF [574kb]

VDP2018 flier

Selected Films

The Cambodian Theater
Director: Sopheak Moeurn
Cambodia/2016/Color/7min/Khmer

Movie Steel Photo1

Currently in Cambodia, Khmer Theater is in decline as fewer people watch it and don't know about its existence. The Cambodian Theater introduces the passion of a few artists involved in keeping alive and protecting the tradition of theater. It offers a sensitive portrayal of people who hold down regular jobs during the day, but get together and prepare stage plays during seasonal tours.

RITO RITO
Director: Nguyen Ngoc Thao Ly
Vietnam/2015/Color/15min/Vietnamese

Movie Steel Photo2

A 15-year-old girl Rito is bullied at school, becomes depressed, and leaves at grade 7. This documentary pulls out Rito's story and how she came to cosplay as a way of escaping from reality, becoming another person, and transforming into virtual characters. RITO RITO focuses on how, through cosplay, friendships are made, and society is mediated. A sensitive depiction of social transformation and the influence of cosplay tradition in urban Vietnamese society.

The Fighter
Indonesia/2018/Color/27min/Javanese
Director: M. Iskandar Tri Gunawan

Movie Steel Photo3
(C)UNIICOMS Production

The Fighter introduces Pencak Dor martial arts fighting and the story of Pati, who aims to compete in the ring. Yudi, an experienced fighter, trains Pati and other Silat students. The 'free ring' format of Pencak Dor contests have become a magnet for fighters wanting to test their strength and demonstrate skills in combat. With no winners nor losers, no insurance and only special prayers for safety, The Fighter focuses on the role and development of Silat in the fighters' everyday lives.

Cosplayer
Thailand/2014/Color/27min/Thai
Director: Yingsiwat Yamolyong

Movie Steel Photo4

This documentary delves into the little-known world of soldier cosplay subculture in Thailand. Presenting an intimate story of soldier cosplayers in Thai society, the documentary follows Jum, a man in his late twenties, who is passionate about soldier cosplay and explains how it came to be central in his life. Cosplayer provides a window on how manga, video games and movies are consumed in contemporary Thai society.

RAPTHAI
Thailand/2018/Color/25min/Thai
Director: Jirakan Sakunee, Sarun Kositsukjaroen, Witchayoot Ponpraserd

Movie Steel Photo5

RAPTHAI introduces how "rap" culture has taken root in and influenced contemporary Thai society. Focusing on the synergy between Thai culture and "rap" music tradition, this documentary homes in on the stories of 12 Thai rappers and presents a unique look at the different styles they express through their life experiences.

Program

Tokyo Screening

Time Schedule

  • 1:30 p.m. The Cambodian Theater
  • 2:00 p.m. RITO RITO
  • 2:30 p.m. The Fighter
  • 3:15 p.m. Break
  • 3:30 p.m. Cosplayer
  • 4:15 p.m. RAPTHAI
  • 5:00 p.m. Discussion

Panelist

  • The Cambodian Theater
    Sopheak Moeurn (Director)
  • RITO RITO
    Nguyen Ngoc Thao Ly(Director)
    Ta Thanh Thao (Cast)
  • The Fighter
    M. Iskandar Tri Gunawan (Director)
    Ali Minanto (Producer)
  • Cosplayer
    Yingsiwat Yamolyong (Director)
  • RAPTHAI
    Jirakan Sakunee (Director)
    Sarun Kositsukjaroen (Director)
    Witchayoot Ponpraserd (Director)

Commentators

  • Kenji Ishizaka (Programming Director, Asian Future, Tokyo International Film Festival / Professor, Japan Institute of the Moving Image)
    Makiko Wakai (Yamagata International Film Festival Tokyo office)
    Hiroyuki Yamamoto (Associate Professor, Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University)
    Mario Lopez (Associate Professor, Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University)

Tokyo Screening Event Detail

Date
&
Time
Saturday, December 15, 2018
1:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. (Doors open at 1:00p.m.)
*You can come or leave anytime during the event.
Venue

The Japan Foundation (Main Building) Hall SAKURA Access
4-4-1 Yotsuya, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo Google map
From Yotsuya-sanchome (Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line) Exit 1.
Walk three minutes to the west.

Admission Free (Maximum capacity: 100 seats)
Priority to those with reservations.
Reservation Email your 1) Name, 2) Affiliation, and 3) Contact Information with Subject "VDP2018 Screening" to the following address.
jfac_vdp_info@jpf.go.jpDeadline: December 12, 2018
Language Japanese-English interpretation, Japanese and English subtitles
Organizer The Japan Foundation Asia Center
Co-organizer Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University
Inquiries Ms. Amiko Takimoto
Arts, Culture, and Exchange Section 1
The Japan Foundation Asia Center
Tel: +81-3-5369-6140
Email: jfac_vdp_info@jpf.go.jp

Kyoto Screening

Time Schedule

  • 1:30 p.m. Ceremony
  • 2:00 p.m. The Cambodian Theater
  • 2:20 p.m. RITO RITO
  • 2:45 p.m. The Fighter
  • 3:20 p.m. Break
  • 3:30 p.m. Cosplayer
  • 4:10 p.m. RAPTHAI
  • 4:45 p.m. Discussion

Panelist

  • The Cambodian Theater
    Sopheak Moeurn (Director)
  • RITO RITO
    Nguyen Ngoc Thao Ly (Director)
    Ta Thanh Thao (Cast)
  • The Fighter
    M. Iskandar Tri Gunawan (Director)
    Ali Minanto (Producer)
  • Cosplayer
    Yingsiwat Yamolyong (Director)
  • RAPTHAI
    Jirakan Sakunee (Director)
    Sarun Kositsukjaroen (Director)
    Witchayoot Ponpraserd (Director)

Commentators

  • Tomoko Fukutomi (Lecturer, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies)
  • Naoya Sakagawa (Southeast Asian Film Historian)
  • Masaaki Okamoto (Professor, Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University)
  • Hideki Hiramatsu (Affiliate Associate Professor, Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University)
  • Makiko Wakai (Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival Tokyo office)

* One of the commentators in Kyoto Screening, Mr. Satoru Kobayashi posted on the flyer has changed to Ms. Tomoko Fukutomi.

Kyoto Screening Event Detail

Date
&
Time
Thursday, December 13, 2018
1:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. (Doors open at 1:00p.m.)
*You can come or leave anytime during the event.
Venue

Large Meeting Room, 3rd Floor, Inamori Foundation Building, Kyoto University Access
46 Shimoadachi-cho, Yoshida Sakyo-ku. Kyoto Googlemap
From Jingu Marutamachi Station of Keihan Railway. Walk for five minutes to the north.

Admission Free (No Reservation Required)
Language Japanese-English interpretation, Japanese and English subtitles
Organizer Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University
Co-organizer The Japan Foundation Asia Center
Inquiries Please email your inquiries to: vdp@cseas.kyoto-u.ac.jp

Visual Documentary Project2018 Screening Information

Visual Documentary Project Official Website

Visual Documentary project Logo

On the Visual Documentary Project

Southeast Asia is rich in its diversity of ethnic, religious and cultural composition. The region has maintained the coexistence of such diversity while at the same time achieving economic progress and becoming a hub for the flow of people, goods, money and information. Yet at present, the region is also confronted with serious issues such as the decrease of biodiversity and tropical forests, disasters, pandemics, aging population, ethnic and religious conflicts, economic differentiation, and poverty.

In the face of this, how is coexistence and sustainability possible despite the diversity that exists? How can we make public resources out of the region's social foundations which are the basis of people's everyday lives? And, how can we connect these in a complementary way to existing systems of governance towards solving the problems and issues mentioned above?

In order to address these questions in the context of Southeast Asia, the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University initiated the Visual Documentary project which explicitly examines everyday life through a visual approach in 2012. This project aims to use visual forms of expression to complement the growing literature that exists on Southeast Asian societies. From 2014, the Japan Foundation Asia Center joined this project as a co-organizer to help widely promote the richness of Southeast Asian cultures to people in Japan.

As of 2016, the project has linked up with numerous film schools in the region to help strengthen the documentary filmmaking network.

The Visual Documentary Project, organized by the Japan Foundation Asia Center and Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS), Kyoto University, offers a platform for Asian Filmmakers to express their realities through documentaries and introduce them to a broader audience. The theme this year is "Urban Life in Southeast Asia."

This is the certified project of beyond 2020 program.