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Sunday, September 27, 2015

River of Exploding Durians @ Jaffna International Cinema Festival 2015

I came back from Sri Lanka a few days ago, since then it's back to work for me. The two week break I've taken due to my trips in Nagoya and Sri Lanka have left me with piles of projects to juggle with (treatments to write, music videos to edit, documentaries to finish up)

Nevertheless, like most good film festival trips, I find myself creatively rejuvenated. It happens when you got to watch a lot of different films, experience different cultures, surround yourself with filmmakers, and discover new parts of the world. It's great.

So, back to the Jaffna International Cinema Festival, the screening venues of the festival were in a multiplex, the public library, and the University of Jaffna.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

[Photo] My cousin's wedding and tea ceremony.


My cousin's wedding and tea ceremony.

(Check out more photos from my Instagram account.)

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Monday, September 21, 2015

[Photo] Ancient stupas of Kadurugoda Temple, supposedly the tombs of monks who once lived here centuries ago


Ancient stupas of Kadurugoda Temple, supposedly the tombs of monks who once lived here centuries ago

(Check out more photos from my Instagram account.)

[Photo] Lord Buddha outside Naga Viharaya, the only temple in Jaffna town


Lord Buddha outside Naga Viharaya, the only temple in Jaffna town

(Check out more photos from my Instagram account.)

Sunday, September 20, 2015

[Photo] Looking at the Jaffna Fort from afar.


Looking at the Jaffna Fort from afar.

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[Photo] Jaffna Clock Tower. Built in 1875.


Jaffna Clock Tower. Built in 1875.

(Check out more photos from my Instagram account.)

The journey to the Jaffna International Cinema Festival in Sri Lanka

After I returned from Japan, I immediately flew off to Sri Lanka the next morning.

My film RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS had been invited to the Best Debut Film competition section of the inaugural Jaffna International Cinema Festival.

Naturally, I was excited.

Jaffna is at the northern part of Sri Lanka, so when I arrived at the capital city of Colombo, it was necessary to take a 7-hour train ride to Jaffna.

But before that, I was able to rest for a night at the YWCA International Guesthouse.


Arrived at the YWCA International Guest House Colombo. Building's been around for 200 years!

Posted by Edmund Yeo on Thursday, September 17, 2015

The building has existed for more than two hundred years, and it was converted into a guest house almost a hundred years ago. It's cool that you write your guest registration on a thick book.

My time in Colombo was quite short, I managed to visit the famed Gangaramaya temple. But only for a short while.


Buddhist statues in Gangaramaya Temple

Posted by Edmund Yeo on Friday, September 18, 2015

I woke up at 4am the next morning, and prepared myself.

My train was supposed to be at 5:45am. I arrived at the station at 5am, I met the famed Sri Lankan director Asoka Handagama, who also taking the same train to the festival for a screening of his film.


Colombo train station at 5am

Posted by Edmund Yeo on Friday, September 18, 2015

While I was in the station, I was reminded of a long train journey I had taken back in 2007, from New Delhi to Bodh Gaya, how long was that ride? I think it was around 15 hours. There were no air-conditioner, the journey lasted from afternoon to the next morning. It was an unforgettable journey. It was eight years ago, but it felt like an eternity.

I didn't mind reenacting such a journey again, until I realized that the train this time was absolutely brand new. (and with air-conditioner!!)


Beginning of a 7-hour train ride. The screen was showing the last Harry Potter film when I got in.

Posted by Edmund Yeo on Friday, September 18, 2015

I slept through most of the journey, but sometimes I got to admire the nice scenery outside.

Posted by Edmund Yeo on Friday, September 18, 2015

The screen was playing an eclectic mix of films. It was HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 2 when I got onboard, during Harry Potter and Lord Voldermort's climatic battle.

I drifted to sleep and woke up 2 hours later. This time, it was playing RIO, the very entertaining animated film which I have seen before. So I went back to sleep.

When I got up, I was surprised to see a kungfu scene happening onscreen (with Dutch subtitles!). This time, they were playing the 2010 film IP MAN: A LEGEND IS BORN by Herman Yau, which I have not seen before. Back then, I dismissed it as a cheap cash grab of the previous IP MAN films with Donnie Yen.

Thankfully, I was wrong, and the film turned out to be more entertaining than expected, and more ambitious than I thought. I wonder whether it had anything to do with the fact that I felt a strange warmth watching a familiar Chinese film in a Sri Lankan train. Nevertheless, in the 2 hours that I was awake during the 7-hour journey, it was mostly spent on watching this film.



Arrived at Jaffna during the afternoon. I got the director's pass and the festival catalog.


Director pass and Jaffna International Cinema Festival catalog

Posted by River of Exploding Durians 榴莲忘返 on Friday, September 18, 2015

Director pass and Jaffna International Cinema Festival catalog

Posted by River of Exploding Durians 榴莲忘返 on Friday, September 18, 2015

In the evening, I even took a Tuk Tuk with a large TV on it!


Took the Tuk Tuk to University of Jaffna with director Asoka Handagama ( was going to his screening) There's a TV in the Tuk Tuk! Showing epic Tamil films.

Posted by Edmund Yeo on Friday, September 18, 2015

Friday, September 18, 2015

Thursday, September 17, 2015

[Photo] Arrived at the YWCA International Guest House Colombo. Building's been around for 200 years!


Arrived at the YWCA International Guest House Colombo. Building's been around for 200 years!

(Check out more photos from my Instagram account.)

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Monday, September 14, 2015

The very unique World Children's Art Museum in Okazaki おかざき世界子ども美術博物館

As you can see from my latest barrage of photos, I've been wandering in Japan again. At places I've never been to, Nagoya, Gifu and Okazaki.

I saw a lot of wonderful things, beautiful things, preserved from the past, relics of proud history.

Yesterday I went to Okazaki, an idyllic little city with its own proud history. It is the site of the great Okazaki Castle (birthplace of the famous Tokugawa Ieyasu) and the 1300 year old Takisanji Temple.

Before I went to these two famous places, I visited the very unique World Children's Art Museum in Okazaki.


Outside the World Children's Art Museum in Okazaki

Posted by Edmund Yeo on Sunday, September 13, 2015

The museum had gathered the works of many world-famous artists when they were children, or in their teens.

Aside from that, it was also displaying the (admittedly impressive) artwork of children from nearby schools.

Yesterday was also the very last day of their special exhibition of optical illusion-related artwork.

But what truly fascinated me was their so-called "Do Zone", a place with four different workshops for parents and children to work on drawing, clay modeling, handcrafting etc. It was Sunday, yesterday, so it was crowded.


Entering the zone of parent/children art workshops

Posted by Edmund Yeo on Sunday, September 13, 2015

EB (acrylic) classroom, kids can turn their designs into coasters, beaches and other stuff.

Posted by Edmund Yeo on Sunday, September 13, 2015

Drawing class.

Posted by Edmund Yeo on Sunday, September 13, 2015

It was heartening, and absolutely inspiring, to see the children of Japan being exposed to the beauty of art at such a young age, and also given the opportunity in participating, in creating their own art. That explains why Japanese people in general are more appreciative of the arts and culture. While in Malaysia, "art" is usually used as a dirty word. "Being an artist" is the scariest thing a parent could ever hear from their children. Creativity is often being stifled, having an imagination is often being scoffed at, this is the environment most Malaysian children had to deal with, for generations. No wonder we grow up so cynical and disdainful of things we don't understand.

I am envious of the Japanese children, and in awe of their parents, who would let, or even join their kids in these activities.

Outside the museum is a large park, there are statues, an observation deck, and soothing music blaring from the outdoor speakers. It's almost fantastical, wandering about in such a place.


Forest of Art?

Posted by Edmund Yeo on Sunday, September 13, 2015

The park surrounding the World Children's Art Museum in Okazaki is full of nice statues

Posted by Edmund Yeo on Sunday, September 13, 2015

Observatory deck

Posted by Edmund Yeo on Sunday, September 13, 2015


Dragon fountain

Posted by Edmund Yeo on Sunday, September 13, 2015


My photos didn't really do the place justice. This series of short Youtube clips might give you a better idea what the museum and the area surrounding it are like.










I visited the World Children's Art Museum in Okazaki. It's quite a unique museum, collecting paintings from famous...

Posted by Edmund Yeo on Sunday, September 13, 2015

[Photo] Observing the cosplayers on the bridge


Observing the cosplayers on the bridge

(Check out more photos from my Instagram account.)

[Photo] These stone lanterns at Takisan were donated by the famed Tokugawa family


These stone lanterns at Takisan were donated by the famed Tokugawa family

(Check out more photos from my Instagram account.)

Sunday, September 13, 2015

[Photo] Old man cycling past the river in Okazaki


Old man cycling past the river in Okazaki

(Check out more photos from my Instagram account.)

[Photo] Takisan Toshogu Shrine is one of the top 3 Toshogu Shrines in Japan


Takisan Toshogu Shrine is one of the top 3 Toshogu Shrines in Japan

(Check out more photos from my Instagram account.)

[Photo] Faraway train passing by in Okazaki


Faraway train passing by in Okazaki

(Check out more photos from my Instagram account.)

[Photo] Cosplayers taking photos on a bridge


Cosplayers taking photos on a bridge

(Check out more photos from my Instagram account.)

[Photo] Okazaki Castle


Okazaki Castle

(Check out more photos from my Instagram account.)

[Photo] Panorama photos of Gifu, Nagoya and Nagoya Castle.


Panorama photos of Gifu, Nagoya and Nagoya Castle.

(Check out more photos from my Instagram account.)

Saturday, September 12, 2015

[Photo] Viewing boats preparing for the 1300-year-old tradition Ukai (cormorant fishing)


Viewing boats preparing for the 1300-year-old tradition Ukai (cormorant fishing)

(Check out more photos from my Instagram account.)

[Photo] View from the top of Gifu Castle


View from the top of Gifu Castle

(Check out more photos from my Instagram account.)

[Photo] Climbing up to Gifu Castle


Climbing up to Gifu Castle

(Check out more photos from my Instagram account.)

[Photo] Gifu Daibutsu (Big Buddha), one of the major 3 Big Buddha statues in Japan


Gifu Daibutsu (Big Buddha), one of the major 3 Big Buddha statues in Japan

(Check out more photos from my Instagram account.)

[Photo] Entering Gifu Park


Entering Gifu Park

(Check out more photos from my Instagram account.)

Thursday, September 10, 2015

[Photo] An exhibition of local dolls and toys


An exhibition of local dolls and toys

(Check out more photos from my Instagram account.)

[Photo] Woman cycling past Gojo Bridge on a lovely afternoon


Woman cycling past Gojo Bridge on a lovely afternoon

(Check out more photos from my Instagram account.)

[Photo] Women in kimono taking photo of Nagoya Castle samurai greeter


Women in kimono taking photo of Nagoya Castle samurai greeter

(Check out more photos from my Instagram account.)

[Photo] Kato Kiyomasa, the samurai who supervised the Nagoya Castle stone walls construction


Kato Kiyomasa, the samurai who supervised the Nagoya Castle stone walls construction

(Check out more photos from my Instagram account.)

[Photo] Scenery from the top of Nagoya Castle


Scenery from the top of Nagoya Castle

(Check out more photos from my Instagram account.)

[Photo] Nagoya Castle and its old cornerstones


Nagoya Castle and its old cornerstones

(Check out more photos from my Instagram account.)

[Photo] Nagoya Castle


Nagoya Castle

(Check out more photos from my Instagram account.)

Monday, September 07, 2015

[Photo] Joey's birthday mini-concert


Two days ago Joey held her birthday mini-concert where she showcased her singing, dancing and drumming skills! But it's actually her birthday today! Happy birthday, Joey! She's heading off to UK for her studies this month. Hope the Oscar Wilde book will help you!

(Check out more photos from my Instagram account.)

Saturday, September 05, 2015

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