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Overview 2022

This year marks the physical return of the SeaShorts Film Festival! SeaShorts 2022 will take place from 21 – 25 September 2022 in MMU Cyberjaya, Selangor, Malaysia.

Revolving around the festival theme of Future, SeaShorts Film Festival 2022 features a special focus that explores potential new cinematic technologies, such as the usage of Virtual Reality (VR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in developing film content. This latest edition of our festival welcomes Southeast Asian filmmakers to gather and share insight into their craft and storytelling so that we may explore new prospects in filmmaking within the region.

To see the scheduled dates for each program or session, please look forward to our Festival Schedule which will be released in early September.

Film Programs

Opening Programme: Oracle Bones

The opening programme of SeaShorts 2022 is a special presentation guest curated by esteemed Dutch curator and artist Gertjan Zuilhof that draws upon the idea of storytelling to explore how stories and cinema may persist beyond the visual media of the movie. An interdisciplinary project that focuses on the physical properties of the human voice and gathering, Oracle Bones playfully questions if there may even be films or filmmakers in the future.

This programme features Ella Raidel (VR), Dain Said (Food Prophet), Amir Muhammad (Telling the Future), Kamal Sabran (Sound of Future), Chloe Yap Mun Ee (Future Art Performance), Khavn De La Cruz (Future Film) and Tan Chui Mui (Future Film).

SeaShorts Competition

The SeaShorts Competition is dedicated to finding and nurturing Southeast Asian filmmaking talents who take a distinctive approach to short form cinema. This year, 20 films (across 5 programs) are in consideration for the coveted SeaShorts Award.

Next New Wave Competition

The Next New Wave competition aims to discover new and emerging filmmaking talents in Malaysia, but as we pull apart the words “Next”, “New” and “Wave” in the name of the award, we hope to show unique and strong directorial voices to encourage undertakings that are brave, sensitive and challenging in a rapidly changing world. This competition focuses on voices that emerge from obscurity and neglect, to stubbornly proclaim “I am still here, I exist,” in a lone or communal voice, speaking powerfully of their storytelling traditions, in art and in cinema.

Malaysia Student Film Competition

10 short films made by Malaysian student filmmakers will be competing for the Best Malaysian Student Film award at this year’s festival. This is an exciting programme for students as the idea of a ‘future’ is the only thing they could have looked forward to especially in our post-pandemic world, where two years have seen them stuck in limbo, silent and lost in and to the world.

Future Stories: AI Script Writing Competition

Firing the spark and neurons of artificial intelligence, and realizing the metaverse, we are evolving and transforming the human, where being and creating are becoming synonymous, where the camera eye and our own perceptions and visualisations of our existence will become one. Film will be life, and life will be film. With this idea, we created the inaugural AI Script Writing Competition.

Future Stories: AI Script Writing Competition is initiated by WuBen Film Magazine, and co-organized with SeaShorts & University of Nottingham Malaysia. The competition is open to Southeast Asian Writers together with any AI writing app/software. The Best AI script will be announced during the closing ceremony of SeaShorts Film Festival 2022.

Closing Programmme: Very Long Short Film

The idea of duration comes to the fore to challenge cinema’s own relationship with the passage of time. Earlier we have seen TikTok content creators challenged to make the shortest short film they can in order to distil the essence of cinema; and now, legendary Filipino artist, musician, and filmmaker Khavn de la Cruz is challenged to draw out the playing of a short film for as long as possible through multi-media means.

A 10-hour silent film titled The Devil of Comparisons directed by Khavn De La Cruz will be accompanied by live music performance with 10 musicians playing in the mode of their choice.

Sea What is Inside

Screenlife (AKA: Computer Screen Film or Remote Film) is a film format where the filmmaker uses a laptop webcam or smartphone to capture an entire film. This is not a new format, having appeared since the 2000s, but pandemic-related restrictions which limited outdoor shoots have drawn more and more filmmakers to Screenlife.

Curator: Jacky Yeap

What is Inside in Japan

In collaboration with Japan Foundation Kuala Lumpur (JFKL), SeaShorts is proud to present two distinctive screenlife short films from Japan. We will be screening director Shinichirou Ueda’s One Cut of the Dead Mission: Remote which was shot remotely during the pandemic with the same cast from One Cut of the Dead. The second is a screenlife film by renowned Japanese director Isao Yukisada, Perhaps I Could Say It Now.

Curator: Jacky Yeap

Whose Hand is Playing that Sound?

We close our eyes, and we hear a beautiful sound playing in the distance. A harp? An organ? A trumpet? We are curious to know whose hands are responsible for this melody, so we travel a long distance to find this person. As we approach the source of the music, it’s revealed to us that it was just the wind blowing through slits between two rocks.

Curator: Chloe Yap

Beyond Mirage

Beyond Mirage is positioned as a strategic enquiry for the possible future of VR by ‘probing’ and ‘sensing’ and discovering alternative futures for VR in SEA. While we are witnessing a booming of VR filmmaking in regions beyond SEA, it is our hope that a deeper understanding of the relation between VR technology and its comparable traditional narrative space will shed light on the enigmatic and fascinating breadth of the “not yet” in this region.

Curator: Dr. Lim Kok Yoong

Secure a viewing via our pre-registration link!

Call For Showcase: TikTok Film

This programme will feature works created under the confines of the realm of Tik Tok. The programme will be an Open Submission that runs until the festival and the works will be displayed on vertical LED screens during the festival. This programme is open to anyone including filmmakers, TikTok creators and artists familiar with or wish to explore the TikTok medium.

Worlds & Worldlings

Worlds & Worldlings will showcase works that explore ideas of environmental futures as exemplified and problematised by the terms ecocinema and eco-criticism.

In each of these works, nature, non-humans, and more-than-humans come together to examine the conditions of human existence with/against ecosystems, and imagine the possibilities of subjectivities beyond our standard perceptions.

Curator: Alfonse Chiu

What We Do to Gather

What We Do to Gather collects works exploring notions of collectivity, community, and the tensions that arise between the intimate contradictions of human relationships and the efficiency-driven force of economic development.

Running through this programme are considerations of the impact of capitalism on ways of human relations and gathering, from the shifting urban landscape to the performance of grief and its pragmatic implications in the face of precarity.

Curator: Alfonse Chiu

History is a Wayward Ghost

This programme uses the idea of ghosts and hauntings, both physically and metaphorically, to explore how history is written and interpreted.

Hidden in the shadows and surfacing and submerging in memories, history becomes a media that creates new realities for old events. Through rhetorics, propaganda, and the ever-present apparatus of cinema, the past becomes a malleable thing.

Curator: Alfonse Chiu

Two Malaysian Video Essays

A programme that pairs two brand-new hour-long video essays, MAJALAH FILEM MELAYU LAMA by Ridhwan Saidi and WORST.MALAY.FILM.EVER? by Amir Muhammad. The former looks at old Malay entertainment magazines, while the latter zeroes in on one particular film. Both deal with nostalgia but also reframe the source materials in quirkily, individualistic new ways.

Fragments of Tuah

A poetic and speculative video essay which investigates the figure of Hang Tuah, a legendary warrior who may or may not have existed in the 15th century, during the maritime Melaka Sultanate.

The story is set in Malaysia. The main characters are ‘Hang Tuah’, a legendary warrior, and the narrator, ‘I’, a musician living in Kuala Lumpur. Mark Teh’s team of leading contemporary Malaysian artists search for traces of the ‘hero’ who has been passed down for hundreds of years.  They follow traces found in books, museums, movies, streets, graveyards, and even the real ‘evidence’ said to be found in Okinawa. 

The scattered stories of Hang Tuah across various places and times – which have been woven into the fabric and lives of people in Malaysia for 600 years – are re-edited to draw out the questions of ‘I’ who lives in Malaysia today.

My Video Making Practice by Gan Siong King

My Video Making Practice (MVMP) is a community engagement project that blends an artist talk, screening and dialogue in which Gan Siong King reflects on 11 selected videos from 6 projects he made in the last decade. He will be sharing some key ideas and the circumstances behind his video making practice, in the process weaving together technical aspects of filmmaking with his personal narrative as an artist navigating through the mass digital migration of everything in the last decade. MVMP aims to facilitate conversations on art and artmaking, with a focus on moving images and sound as a form.

The screening will follow with a conversation between Gan Siong King & Tan Chui Mui.

Special Focus: “Rasa dan Asa”

Rasa dan Asa is a video that follows PERTIMIG activities and it’s members’ journey during the Covid-19 pandemic. PERTIMIG (Indonesian Migrant Domestic Workers Association in Malaysia), is an independent organization fighting for the rights of migrant domestic workers. PERTIMIG’s vision is to advocate for decent work and welfare for the domestic workers in Malaysia.

Alongside recordings of online events between June and September 2021, most of the footage in this film was shot remotely by the PERTIMIG members on their smartphones during the Movement Control Order in Malaysia. PERTIMIG is currently using the video to outreach to other domestic workers in Malaysia.

The screening will follow with a delve into their collaboration process moderated by Yow Chong Lee.

Open Screen

In an attempt to respond to the theme of ‘The Future’, the unknown of what’s to come and the limitation of the curation process; we bring you Open Screen, a non-curated programme to enable guests and audience to take up time on the screen to showcase, screen or perform – anything. Short films, video essays, game creations, audio-visual performance, experimental video art, a presentation of your photography; whatever!

The programmers and curators don’t possess power here unlike the other competition and special programmes of SeaShorts; but do play nice, and try to practice discretion (if you can – or should we say, “Screen at Your Own Risk”?). Not for the faint-hearted, Open Screen exists as a free space for the rogue artists and filmmakers scattered in the audience to further surprise and challenge us with works we may not have even considered, in conjunction with the spirit of unpredictability that is the heart of this year’s festival.

How to participate? Register for your slot now! Or just enjoy the show.

Register now to secure a screening slot!


Festival pass holders may register for any of the sessions below via our Registration Form. Please note that each session has a limited number of seats and will be allotted on a first-come-first-serve basis. Make sure to show up at least 10 minutes prior to your sessions to confirm your attendance!

Adopting Live-Action VR 360 as a Narrative Approach

Exploring Entertainment Content on TikTok

Fictioning Futures with AI Generative Art

Film Forums & Masterclasses

Festival pass holders may register for any of the sessions below via our Registration Form. Please note that each session has a limited number of seats and will be allotted on a first-come-first-serve basis. Make sure to show up at least 10 minutes prior to your sessions to confirm your attendance!

Teaching Cinema in the New Malaysian Normal: A Roundtable

Making the Idea Happen: From Somewhere to VR

Path toward XR Industry: Current Immersive Content Development and Perspective


Festival pass holders may register for any of the sessions below via our Registration Form. Please note that each session has a limited number of seats and will be allotted on a first-come-first-serve basis. Make sure to show up at least 10 minutes prior to your sessions to confirm your attendance!

The Future of Different Realities: Storytelling in Machinima, Videogames and Virtual Worlds (Hybrid Type)

Film Preservation in Digital Age