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Thursday, June 19, 2008

CHICKEN RICE MYSTERY and KURUS screening at KLue Urbanscapes 2008 (28th of June)!

I first received a phone call from a lady from KLue sometime in late February (just a few days before I started shooting CHICKEN RICE MYSTERY). She told me that it was filmmaker and friend Tony Pietra who had given her my number, and the conversation was like that:

"Hi, Edmund, Tony told us about you and we wanted to ask whether you have any short films you can contribute for Urbanscapes?" She said.

"Sure. What kind of short films do you need?" I said.

"Ah, just something related to the city. Do you have any short films like that? It doesn't have to be new, any of your old short films will do." She said.

I frowned. "That's a little... hard. So far, I've only directed two short films in Perth, never in KL."

I thought of VERTICAL DISTANCE, the first of the two student films I did in Perth at 2006:

Vertical Distance

"We're fine with Perth, if it has a heavy urban flavour!" She said.

Then I remembered VERTICAL DISTANCE had only some brief shots of the streets of Perth.

This shot lasted only for a second in VERTICAL DISTANCE

Vertical Distance Screenshot 3
This one was longer. Two seconds.

"Hoo boy. Don't think it has a heavy urban flavour." I conceded. "I have another one, but it's a sci-fi/fantasy that takes place on the moon."

I was referring to GIRL DISCONNECTED, the final student film I did.

A moment frozen forever in time
One of my favourite scenes in Girl Disconnected

There was a brief silence.

".. guess that doesn't work either huh?" I said. "How about this? I'm actually shooting a new film in a few days. It's called CHICKEN RICE MYSTERY. And it'll be set in Taman Paramount..."

I trailed off. Taman Paramount is the area where my house is at for the past two decades. It's a residential area with some kickass restaurants, but also far from what I think they want.

The lady was polite, and she said "It's all right, some other time then."

Months passed, I made CHICKEN RICE MYSTERY, and then came to Tokyo. I never heard about Urbanscapes again until I received an email from Tony last month, telling me that he will be curating the short films program at the event and asked whether I want him to screen VERTICAL DISTANCE or GIRL DISCONNECTED. (A year ago, Tony had organized a screening event called Cinejam where both of my older short films were shown. It was an interesting experience that I attended with Chewxy.)

At that time, I still wasn't really sure what Urbanscapes was, I merely assumed that it was a short film screening event like Malaysian Shorts or Filmmakers Anonymous. So I merely said told Tony that he can just collect CHICKEN RICE MYSTERY from my sister, since it's my later work, and would most probably be more enjoyable for local audiences compared to my two student films.

So I hadn't heard about Urbanscapes again, until yesterday on my Facebook mini-feed, where I caught numerous references of the event. First, it was Vanes of Dian Bang who announced that her band would be performing at Urbanscapes.

(I have written about the local electropop band Dian Bang last year)

Hmmm? Are there musical performances too? I thought silently.

Then, checking my inbox, Ming Jin the Mentor had just CC'd me an email about some preparations for Urbanscapes. Wasn't aware that he was getting involved too, so I started feeling intrigued.

So, after Googling around, I found out that URBANSCAPES is quite a big event. (From the site: "Urbanscapes aims to bring together communities and participants from the fields of music, arts, lifestyle, film under a single banner to showcase the best of the local scene.")


Apparently, besides CHICKEN RICE MYSTERY, even KURUS (DAYS OF THE TURQUOISE SKY to the rest of the world) will be showing too!

Carmen Soo
Carmen Soo in KURUS

KURUS group photo
KURUS press conference

Whoa. Awesome.

A short film I wrote and directed. And a film I co-produced and edited, both showing there! My awesome-o-meter for URBANSCAPES instantly shot through the roof because it'll be screening TWO Greenlight Pictures productions. ;) (click the pics below for scheduling info)

KURUS by Woo Ming Jin

It's a pleasure to be part of the event. Find out more about Urbanscapes 2008.