Aside from CHICKEN RICE MYSTERY, the other short films screened in the same programme were:
1) Ambulance, by Richard Legaspi of Philippines
2) Young Blood, by Haolun Shu of China
3) Everything Is Okay, by Akjoltoy Bekbolotov of Kyrgyzstan
4) Bakhytzhamal, by Adilkhan Yerzhanov of Kazakhstan
All directors were there to introduce the films, and then come back for the Q and A session after screening. Unfortunately, I only have photos of the first screening, and not the second. The following photos are from the Q and A session. Far left is Philip Cheah, programming consultant and moderator of the sessions. The first on the right was Haolun Shu, and then there's Richard standing beside me.
A photo of us having dinner after the screening. My dad was there too, of course. Dressed in red is Adilkhan Yerzhanov of Kazakhstan, in black is Akjoltoy Bekbolotov of Kyrgyzstan. Adilkhan is a major film buff who likes Johnnie To, Alexander Payne and Paul Thomas Anderson too. We have similar film tastes :D
I had more questions to answer during my second day, where I was there to describe the creative process of the film, and also explain about the Malaysian Censorship in general to an audience member. I cheerily brought up the censorship issues faced by Flower In The Pocket, which I believe had been very helpful in encouraging the creativity of local filmmakers (in finding methods to avoid censors).
Overall, I have to say that this had been a fun experience. It's the first time I've ever seen my own directed film being screened in a multiplex, the sense of pride is a little different from, say, when I represented Ming Jin to present ELEPHANT AND THE SEA at its screening and Q and A session as producer during last year's Santiago Film Fest.
A few days later, dad and I had a conversation about Perth. It's only been two years since I've left the place, yet it felt so much longer. But then, maybe two years is a long time, it's just that two is such a small number, I should've just used '730 days' instead of '2 years' because it sounds longer. More than 730 days ago, my dad was also present during the screening of my student short film GIRL DISCONNECTED in my university. And now, more than 730 days later, I was given the privilege of having my short film screened at this Dubai Film Fest. It's almost as if we've gone full circle!