Image: Rewan Ishak/Red Films
There are two types of movie producers in Malaysia: the first being the artistically-inclined producer, who wishes to put out well-thought films, and the other is the profit-driven producer who lacks creative input and wants to make fast money.
Despite the creative differences and goals of these two groups, there’s one thing they have in common – the opportunity to screen their films in cinemas.
But what about those other talented group of people who’d like to showcase their masterpiece but don’t have the means or opportunity to do so? They turn to short films. In fact, this is where some of the notable directors and producers of today started off their cinematic journey.
So, we’ve decided to compile some of the best short films in Malaysia in hopes that these directors, producers, actors, or everyone working in these productions get more opportunities and the recognition they deserve.
If you want to effectively get your message across to others, you don’t really need to put on an avant-garde show because sometimes, less is more. And this was the case with Kejar. This short film doesn’t need any fancy wardrobe, a big production, or a star-studded cast. It’s simplicity in using a bunch of uniform-clad school students as metaphors set at the scenic Pantai Kelanang manages to deliver one clear message: how determined are you to reach your goals?
Director: Muhammad Yazied
Producer: Ahmad Suhaimi
Duration: 6 minutes 10 seconds
Accolades: Top 10 Finalist of Berjaya Youth Short Film Competition 2015
Rewan Ishak is no stranger to the local entertainment industry. He’s directed multiple ads and even worked with our local musicians – Seven Collar T-Shirt, Hujan, and Aizat - for their music videos. In 2012, he wrote Pasport Ekspres, a tale about an aspiring film maker named Ali who travels back to his hometown in Perlis and meets two strangers by chance who end up giving him the most memorable and inspiring trip. The cinematography of Perlis is just stunning, and it’ll definitely make you want to catch the next bus there.
Director: Rewan Ishak
Producer: Idora Al-Habshi/Red Films
Duration: 18 minutes 47 seconds
Do you ever reminisce the yesteryears of your youth? Miss the good old days when all you had to worry about was homework, exams, and discipline teachers in school? Well this beautifully crafted short film with over 2 MILLION views will take you back in time to that era. From passing secret notes across the class, to being punished by your teacher and doing the ‘ketuk ketampi’, My Generasi will definitely hit some sweet notes with everyone who has left school.
Director: Jinny Boy
Duration: 6 minutes 42 seconds
Short but sweet. These are the exact words to describe Syiling, a short movie made in conjunction with Malaysia Day. No matter where we travel across the world to pursue our dreams, we’ll always be a Malaysian at heart. The air stewardess’ announcement at the end was a simple yet meaningful touch that tugged at our heartstrings.
Produced by: Forefront International
Duration: 3 minutes 22 seconds
It’s common to watch short films with the same, overly used premise – family from a poor socio-economic background, kid struggles in school, and parents trying to make ends meet. But for Ah Boy, this theme was eloquently written and will touch even the coldest heart. Can you imagine being your family’s breadwinner at a very young age, and having to do multiple odd jobs in order to help you and your sick mother survive? On top of that, the kid gets bullied a lot in school.
Produced by: Potato Film
Duration: 20 minutes 4 seconds
Mat Luthfi goes into a different direction with this short film, a stark difference from his humourous take on current issues laden with subtle messages. Sebelah Sayap delves into a heavier theme and showcases a more serious side of Mat Luthfi. These days, people are so quick to judge people without bothering to hear both sides of the story. This short film tells the tale of a young Muslim drunkard who’s trying to repent and find his way in life but gets outcast by his fellow holier-than-thou housemates.
Director: Mat Luthfi
Duration: 13 minutes 20 seconds
Within five minutes, you’ll be able to catch a glimpse of the harsh reality that’s not only taking place in Malaysia, but around the world. Every day, crimes, harassments, and other despicable acts take place around us. Instead of ignoring desperate cries for help and being a bystander, we should be the ones taking action and be the change. Who knows, your little act of kindness may go a long way.
Director: Fadzlie Musthafa
Duration: 5 minutes 18 seconds
MAGIC (PEJAM PELIK)
What happens when a young lad believes he can do magic tricks and materialises whatever he wishes for? Well, his magic tricks are a far cry from Harry Potter’s wizarding skills, but it helped propel his popularity among his schoolmates and turn his non-believer magic friends into believers. However, not many know how Samad was able to ‘conjure’ those things to life upon his wish…
Director: Khairul Azri
Duration: 11 minutes 24 seconds
Accolades: Royal Reel Award, Canada International Film Festival, 2015