Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Taiwan Film Bodies Team on Busan Lab

The National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (FINAS) has partnered with the Singapore Film Commission (SFC), the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) and Taiwan Creative Content Agency (TAICCA) for the inaugural Malaysian Development Lab for Fiction Feature Films (mylab).

An incubator program for scriptwriters, directors, producers to work on developing scripts and film projects under lectures and the guidance of regional and international experts in scriptwriting, directing, producing, distribution, and markets and festivals, mylab focuses on projects at an early stage of development, with a team of scriptwriter, director and/or producer attached, targeted at regional or international audiences. It aims for each project to deliver a package of script, budget, financing plan, dossier and pitch-ready materials at the end of the program.

The partnership with SFC and FDCP enables a film project in development from each country to participate in the third session of mylab, which will take place at Busan, alongside the Asian Contents & Film Market and the Busan International Film Festival. This will be the first in-person session of mylab following online sessions in June and August this year. The Korean Film Council will also support mylab with a reception in Busan and connect participants with the Korean film industry.

Awards for the program include the FINAS mylab Award of $5000 towards further development for a project selected by an independent jury comprising Christian Jeune (Cannes Film Festival), Nashen Moodley (Sydney Film Festival) and producer Oh Jung-wan of B.O.M. Film Productions Co. (“A Tale of Two Sisters”) during the final session in Busan. The TAICCA Development Award includes $5000 towards the development of the project and the invitation of the project participants to attend Taiwan Creative Content Fest to pitch the project in Taiwan in 2023.

FINAS CEO Prof. Dr. Md Nasir Ibrahim said: “Whilst it is the first, with program curator Lorna Tee, mylab manages to attract collaborations from numerous countries in the region. This is considered monumental for FINAS to be able to work together with the various film organisations, not to mention the wide array of mentors, group leaders, script doctors, jurors and directing mentors from across the world with stellar profiles.”

Tirso Cruz III, chair and CEO of FDCP, said: “Now, more than ever, collaboration is crucial to any artistic and cultural undertaking that affects the entire cinema industry. In the Philippines, and in Southeast Asia, development of a piece of cinema from the germ of a story into a full-blown and realizeable screenplay is a now a prioritized step that we want to build our films on. Many of our homegrown projects and talents who’ve emerged from the film labs have reaped local and international recognition and support, that is why we know the labs really work. FDCP now partners with FINAS for the debut run of mylab to further this progress and strengthen our ties with our neighbours towards a regional culture of unique storytelling and artistic excellence.”

Izero Lee, CEO of TAICCA, said: “The connection of international co-production between Southeast Asia and Taiwan has been tightened through the collaboration with mylab. For Taiwanese production teams and the whole industry, this collaboration creates more opportunities to partner with talents in Southeast Asia. We look forward to join hands with professionals around the world.”

Lorna Tee, curator and founder of mylab, added: “East and South East Asia are very important territories for Malaysian filmmakers to collaborate with and partnering with SFC, FDCP and TAICCA is a crucial step to expand the outreach of mylab and build stronger ties within the industries in the region.”

mylab 2022 Projects and Participants

“Absolute” (“Mutlak”) (Malaysia)
Directors : Effendee Mazlan, Fariza Azlina Isahak
Scriptwriter : Fariza Azlina Isahak
Producer : Effendee Mazlan

“Life I Stole” (“Hidup Aku Curi”) (Malaysia)
Director : Putri Purnama Sugua
Scriptwriter : Putri Purnama Sugua
Producer : Tan Cher Kian

“The Depth of Darkness” (“Kaali”) (Malaysia)
Director : Gogularaajan Rajendran
Scriptwriter : Gogularaajan Rajendran
Producer : Kumanavannan Rajendran

“Maybe Today, If Not Today, Maybe Tomorrow” (Malaysia)
Director : Lim Han Loong
Scriptwriter : Lim Han Loong
Producer : Chua Jing Xuan

“Very Very Important Funeral” (Malaysia)
Director : Lim Kean Hian
Scriptwriter : Lim Kean Hian
Producer : Omar Yunus

“Under Foreign Skies” (Malaysia)
Director : Anwar Johari Ho
Scriptwriter : Anwar Johari Ho
Producer : Eleanor Teh

“Mother Maybe” (“Inahing Baka”) (The Philippines)
Director : Sonny Calvento
Scriptwriter : Arden Rod Condez, Sonny Calvento
Producer : Sheron Dayoc

“Unmother” (Singapore)
Director : Jen Nee Lim
Scriptwriter : Jen Nee Lim
Producer : Ke Ning Lee