69th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen – Asian Presence 2023

We present the list of Asian films that will be screened at the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen which will take place from April 26 until May 1, 2023 in Oberhausen, Germany.

International Competition

Edward by Su Zhong – China | 2023 – 7 minutes

This is my second VR project, which combines imagery, dance and installation to create a kind of dialogue. It is an attempt at a directorial approach that falls somewhere be – tween film and theatre. All of the scenes are taken from the paintings of Edward Hopper. This version is specifically de – signed for theatrical release. (Oberhausen 2023)

I’m Here, You’re There (A Tale of the Crocodile’s Twin) by Taufiqurrahman Kifu – Indonesia | 2022 – 19 minutes

Crocodiles and humans must share living space within the red zone (tsunami-prone zone). There, they live suspiciously of each other. (Oberhausen 2023)

In the Lap of the Mountain by Adhiraj Kashyap – India | 2022 – 20 minutes

Due to the caste dynamics and hierarchy prevailing in Golegaon as in the rest of the country, the Adivasi people in the village struggle to hold onto their traditions and assert their own individual identity as a community in the very place that has belonged to them for generations. (Oberhausen 2023)

Nameless Syndrome by Jeamin Cha – Korea | 2022 – 25 minutes

Nameless Syndrome concerns the constant reduction of the self through digitisation. Often unidentifiable illnesses are dismissed as trivial or psychological, yet there is a growing number of women suffering from conditions that are overlooked by a society that holds medical science as the ultimate truth. Rather than relying on body imaging during diagnoses for such patients, it is more important to listen to the patients’ particular use of language. Medical imaging does not always guarantee empirical veracity. (Oberhausen 2023)

Shanghai in the Spring by Xun Sun – China | 2022 – 11 minutes

Shanghai was in lockdown for two months since 1 April 2022. At the time, Sun Xun was setting up his solo exhibition in Shanghai. Under the circumstances, everyone was unprepared. Sun Xun was also quarantined in a hotel. He used all the materials available in the hotel to complete an animation film. This animation film is banned from public display in China. The government strictly forbids people from discussing any topic related to the period of lockdown. (Oberhausen 2023)

The Altar by Moe Myat May Zarchi – Myanmar | 2022 – 10 minutes

A Buddhist, fable-like story about the guilt of a childhood incident of killing an ant while washing hands in the sink. Animated through photographic sequences painted with golds and greys, the Zen-like visuals sweep into one another with whispering monologues and glitching noises reflecting the realms of power, guilt, prayers and existence. (Oberhausen 2023)

The Eyeball Person by Yuri Muraoka – Japan | 2023 – 12 minutes

This film is about gazes and goodbyes. An attempt to weave images with words and to weave a poem with images. I realise that living is suffering to see that Nemu, one of my daughters, squirms with the struggle, and sunflowers squirm to try to bloom. (Oberhausen 2023)

Up and Down by Lian Yi – China | 2022 – 9 minutes

The security guards walk through various building spaces every day. The artist got inspiration from the daily work of the security guard after learning about the event of collective repair and leak stoppage after a rainstorm, and filmed the experience of a security guard walking in different spaces, looking for the unknown experience brought by the change of space. (Oberhausen 2023)

Children’s and Youth Film Competition

A Night With Moosina by Shiu-Cheng Tsai – Taiwan | 2022 – 25 minutes

On a full moon night, a ten-year-old girl in a remote village is lured by Moosina into a cave in the mountains, where she discovers the secret about why the mountain demon always plays dirty tricks on children. (Oberhausen 2023)

Ceremony by ATARASHII GAKKO! by Yoshihiro Haku, Sachiko Hiraoka – Japan | 2022 – 8 minutes

A fairy tale in which the members of ATARASHII GAKKO! inherit the title of god from their ancestors. The four spells of ‘Reflection’, ‘Effort’ ‘Purpose’ and ‘Appreciation’ signify the ‘Vows’ of the world. They master ‘Mother Love’ in their rituals and become dynamic. (Oberhausen 2023)

Every Floor Looks the Same by Gladys Ng – Singapore | 2022 – 23 minutes

A young girl’s feelings of inertia leads her to wander the urban city in search of a lost bird. Every Floor Looks The Same is an observation of the kaleidoscopic, claustrophobic nature of man-made life in Singapore, seen through the eyes of a languishing Osmanthüs who seeks to fill her day with fun, only to grapple with finding her place and reason in this world. (Oberhausen 2023)

INSIDE by Ryoji Yamada – Japan | 2022 – 3 minutes

What does the young man, trapped in his own inner world, think there? Racing is a metaphor for a competitive society and a projection of himself. They encourage dependence on the inner ring world. The young man continues to look into his own abyss, to compete, or to run away. This is an allegory of a young man’s inner world. (Oberhausen 2023)

Nanitic by Carol Nguyen – Canada | 2022 – 14 minutes

Nine-year-old Trang starts to shift out of oblivion as her aunt Ut tends to Grandma, who lies in her deathbed in the living room. How can a single body occupy so much space? What will happen when Grandma is gone? (Oberhausen 2023)

Yomoyama Short Stories by Fuka Katayama – Japan | 2022 – 4 minutes

Set in a certain cafe, the unusual daily life of the staff and customers. A collection of short stories. Mysterious events happen on a daily basis in the place, but no one cares about them. (Oberhausen 2023)

Focus: Chikako Yamashiro

A Woman of the Butcher Shop by Chikako Yamashiro – Japan | 2017 – 27 minutes

There are men and women who are desperate for a piece of meat. While they gobble meat, the shells of their bodies break, melt and become mass of substance; ‘meat’. Where do we come from and where do we drift away as meat? (Oberhausen 2023)

Anata (Beyond) by Chikako Yamashiro – Japan | 2022 – 5 minutes

Small stones filled out the wave to wave. / Your voice undulates, echoing through the gentle horizon. / Your body still stands there, and your voice walks the sea, inviting me. (Yamashiro Chikako ) (Oberhausen 2023)

Border by Chikako Yamashiro – Japan | 2002 – 9 minutes

A woman in black dances with single-minded intensity before a grave. Eventually her steps lead her away from the grave and along the US military base fence strung across the island. A video shot almost by feel, as Yamashiro attempts to pin down the true nature of the doubt and disease she harbours in everyday life, BORDER ends on the beach at Henoko in Nago, a location rocked by controversy over construction of a new American base. (Oberhausen 2023)

Chinbin Western, Representation of the Family by Chikako Yamashiro – Japan | 2019 – 32 minutes

A story centres around two families in Henoko, Nago City, in Okinawa, Japan, where plans for construction of a new US military base are ongoing, yet unsettled and in an unstable stage. The complicated feelings of two families in the area are depicted. A must-see is a duet of Opera and Ryuka (traditional Okinawan song) singing. (Oberhausen 2023)

Flowers of Belau by Chikako Yamashiro – Japan | 2023 – 8 minutes

How does one old man see the landscape in front of him? In order to get a clue to imagine the old man, Yamashiro took photographs in Palau, where the old man spent his childhood. She follows the old man’s memories of Palau with a camera, and then overlays her own new eyes on the images. The images are not the memories of an old man, but a new fiction of memory created by Yamashiro. (Oberhausen 2023)

I Like Okinawa Sweet by Chikako Yamashiro – Japan | 2004 – 7 minutes

Leaning over a fence surrounding a U.S. military base, a woman is happily eating ice cream someone gave her. Those who know the status quo of Okinawa will realise that the ice cream symbolises both a promotion policy in compensation for the accepted bases and an image of tourism unilaterally imposed. The filmmaker herself plays the role of the woman who plays the role of (the people in) Okinawa itself (themselves) relying on such realities. Through simulationism, the film embodies the present tense of the local culture’s disappearance, transformation into tourist attractions and rapid homogenisation. (Oberhausen 2023)

Mud Man – 2017 Film Ver. by Chikako Yamashiro -Japan | 2017 – 26 minutes

A migratory bird drops droppings. A man listens to a voice sounding from the inside of the dropping. A seed made of poem is inside. He tries to dig a hole to plant the seed, but falls down into it with a rumbling of the ground. Led by the approaching sound of a gun battle, the man arrives at a battlefield. The memory of war appears. (Oberhausen 2023)

Sinking Voices, Red Breath by Chikako Yamashiro – Japan | 2010 – 7 minutes

A voice not addressed and thrown away is assimilated to a bunch of microphones under the sea. The artwork throws an ambivalent question to the audience – striving to listen to the singing voice drifting on the wave and the mind of resignation that it won’t reach to anyone. (Oberhausen 2023)

Your Voice Came Out Through My Throat by Chikako Yamashiro – Japan | 2009 – 7 minutes

‘Can our generation who have not experienced the war inherit the memories of it?’ is always confronting each one of us as an important theme. Listening to the testimonies of those who have experienced it and letting them pass through my body, how can I talk about them in ‘my own words’? From such a perspective I would like to consider the question of ‘inheriting’ war experiences. (Yamashiro Chikako) (Oberhausen 2023)

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