Southeast Asian Short Film Competition

The Southeast Asian Short Film Competition highlights the best short cinematic gems from the region. This year’s selection presents 18 films across four programmes.

The sheer depth and range showcased in these works attest to the abundance of creative talent in the region. Together, the crop of short films forms a vivid tableau of Southeast Asia that is as diverse as it is inspirational.

Southeast Asian Short Film Competition Programme 1

7 Dec, Thu 6:30PM / 77 min / NC16 / Oldham Theatre

Unspooling the human experience, this programme delves into familial mysteries through the losses and hopes of the past, present and future. The expansion of physical space leads us into the interior of grief.

All This Wasted Space

After 11 years, Nica returns to her mother’s abandoned home to retrieve an item for her mother’s coffin. The neglected home greets her in an unsettling yet strangely liberating manner.

Cris BRINGAS / Philippines / 77 min / NC16 (Some Mature Content) / World Premiere

Did you see the hole that mom dig?

During Songkran, the director and his family reunite at Grandma’s house where they share heartfelt conversations about their late Grandpa. One night, an enigmatic event unfolds during their sleep.

Pobwarat MAPRASOB / Thailand / 26 min / PG13 (Some Coarse Language) / World Premiere

Golden Dragon

A nurse helps Vicheka make sense of his dreams after he returns to a transformed Sihanoukville to memorialise his father in this restrained film about the human cost of Chinese investment in Cambodia.

Boren CHHITH / Cambodia / 17 min / PG / World Premiere

the river that never ends

Juggling their roles as a companion-for-hire and caregiver, Baby begins to feel trapped and stagnant as their peers start to disappear and the city undergoes significant development.

JT Trinidad / Philippines / 19 min / NC16 (Some Mature Content) / Southeast Asian Premiere

Southeast Asian Short Film Competition Programme 2

8 Dec, Fri 6:30PM / 70 min / R21 / Oldham Theatre

Material versus the symbolic, reason versus the irrational—this programme explores the intertwining relationship between existentialism and desire, as well as the construction and communication with oneself, conceptualising freedom within its constraints.

Acid Green

A person brushes the teeth of a dog and turns into a bus.

Elizabeth XU Yuan Li (EXYL) / USA, Singapore / 9 min / PG13 (Some Violence) / Asian Premiere

Goodnight Baby

In her sleepless nights, Gia Gia watches online videos and finds out why she is afraid to fall asleep.

LÊ Quỳnh Anh / Vietnam / 18 min / PG (Some Disturbing Scenes) / World Premiere

Cross My Heart and Hope To Die

While Mila struggles with being unpaid at work, a love interest becomes a source of comfort through his constant phone calls, but a promise of hope may also lead to tragedy.

Sam MANACSA / Philippines / 17 min / PG13 (Some Disturbing Scenes) / Singapore Premiere

Reading You

A filmmaker attempts to piece together memories of her mother after the discovery of diaries she left behind 16 years ago.

Angeline TEH / Malaysia, Belgium / 15 min / PG / World Premiere


Strangers come and go while ghosts linger in an abandoned hospital amid floods of memories and data.

Nicolas GRAUX, TRƯƠNG MINH Quý / Belgium, Singapore, Vietnam / 13 min / R21 (Sexual Scene) / Singapore Premiere

Southeast Asian Short Film Competition Programme 3

9 Dec, Sat 2:00PM / 75 min / M18 / Oldham Theatre

The weight of authoritative voices can become almost overbearing, compelling us to comply, even against our will. This programme reminds us of the ongoing struggle to break free from entrenched authoritarian attitudes and behavioural patterns.

Once Upon A Time There Was A Mom

Echoing the story of Vessantara Jātaka, the film depicts a man’s post-widowhood transformation and Myanmar’s complex past through a dysfunctional family.

Lin Htet Aung / Myanmar / 29 min / M18 (Nudity) / Asian Premiere

Primetime Mother

In an exploitative game show audition, mothers’ fortitude and tenacity are tested, questioning and challenging their devotion to the maternal role.

Sonny CALVENTO / Philippines, Singapore / 15 min / PG / Asian Premiere


A Muslim scholar appears on a talk show to promote his new book on the irrelevance of motherhood, strongly opposing tradition. A caller phones in, and a disruption ensues.

Diffan Sina NORMAN / Malaysia / 11 min / PG13 (Some Coarse Language and Mature Content) / World Premiere

The Parade

In Singapore, politics is seen as a cautious dance. However, in this lively film, the city becomes a vibrant street parade filled with pop culture, karaoke and colour.

Ryan Benjamin LEE / Singapore / 6 min / PG / Southeast Asian Premiere

Basri & Salma in a Never-ending Comedy

A married couple runs a mobile carnival, joyfully entertaining others’ kids. Amid family meddling, doubts and a revelatory conflict, the reason for their childlessness emerges.

Khozy RIZAL / Indonesia / 15 min / M18 (Sexual Scene) / Singapore Premiere

Southeast Asian Short Film Competition Programme 4

9 Dec, Sat 6:30PM / 74 min / PG / Oldham Theatre

Individuals seek to connect with ancestors in heartfelt rituals, aiming for transcendence and a brighter future. This programme invokes genetic memory as well as deep affection and healing ties to personal stories imbued with sensitivity and care.

Of Other Tomorrows Never Known

Guided by the Minahasa’s influence, this speculative fiction of mystical belief interlaces care and ancestral dialogues, embracing a healing renewal across numinous, material and technological realms.

Natasha TONTEY / Indonesia, Germany / 15 min / PG / World Premiere

The Altar (Director’s Cut)

In Zen-like imagery, an adult contemplates accidentally ending an ant’s life during childhood. The parable’s murmured soliloquies and glitches echo cosmic repentance and spirituality.

Moe Myat May Zarchi / Myanmar / 10 min / PG / Singapore Premiere

I look into the mirror and repeat to myself

In a tale of love, repression and sisterhood, a filmmaker unearths her family’s history and a shared name, discovering her own sense of self.

Giselle LIN / Singapore / 19 min / PG / Singapore Premiere

The Physical Realm

The suffering from past emotional turmoil becomes entwined with a man’s current physical agony. Superstitions lead him to ruminate on an unborn child and the profound journey of the soul through existence.

Sompot CHIDGASORNPONGSE / Thailand / 30 min / PG (Some Sexual References) / Asian Premiere