• Yoshida Campus

Visual Documentary Project 2017: Southeast Asia Short Documentary Film Screening and Discussion

In 2011, the Kyoto University Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS) set up the "Visual Documentary Project" as a platform for young Southeast Asian filmmakers to share their realities through documentaries -- to let others look through their eyes, feel through their minds and imaginations, and experience Southeast Asia from the ground.

Each year has had a specific theme, selected based on the interests of CSEAS researchers, leading to stimulating discussions, and bringing about new ways of looking at local issues.

This year's theme was "Urban Life in Southeast Asia", and has attracted over 100 submissions from across the region. Five were selected for screening this December in Kyoto and Tokyo .

The directors and other members of the selected production teams will attend these screenings to deliver talks and take part in discussions with commentators.

The events are free to attend, with no prior registration required.
  • Thursday 07 December 2017
(Doors open at 13:00)
Large Meeting Hall, 3rd Floor, Inamori Center (Inamori Foundation Building), Kyoto University Pharmaceutical Sciences Campus
Intended for
Max attendees

13:30: Ceremony

14:00: "White Egret"

14:35: "Nostalgia Senja (Reminiscences of the Dusk)"

15:10: "I don’t know much about ABC"

15:45: Break

15:55: "Yangon, the City Where We Live"

16:35: "Timbre (Tip-off)"

17:10: Discussion


  • Makiko WAKAI (YAMAGATA International Documentary Film Festival)

  • Hiroyuki YAMAMOTO (Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University)

  • Shota FUKUOKA (National Museum of Ethnology)

  • Satoru KOBAYASHI (Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University)

  • Kanae KAWAMOTO (Ryukoku University)

  • Wataru KUSAKA (Nagoya Gakuin University)

"White Egret"

"White Egret" focuses on the Orang Seletar, an indigenous people who lead a life afloat in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. Focusing on Ain and Nasir, a couple, the documentary draws out how their move from the sea to a coastal village has affected their lifestyles and livelihoods. The couple describe both the resilience their community has shown, as well as the uncertain future they face, in a period of rapid social transformation.

Director: Loh Yoke Ling / Malaysia

"Nostalgia Senja (Reminiscences of the Dusk)"

This documentary offers a sensitive portrayal of Mr Gohyong reminiscing about his former days as a successful performer with a Gambang Kromong. Nostalgia Senja foregrounds one man’s lifetime dedication to preserving music in the present, and highlights the pressures some traditional arts face in contemporary Indonesia.

Director: Fazhila Anandya / Republic of Indonesia

"I don't know much about ABC"

This documentary offers an intimate portrayal of a relationship between a father and his son, and the challenges of homeless life on the streets of Phnom Penh. Drawing out the importance of education in opening opportunities to improve one’s lot in life, it traces the everyday challenges that Ron Dara faces raising his son.

Directors: Sok Chanrado and Norm Phanith / Kingdom of Cambodia

"Yangon, the City Where We Live"

This film offers a unique window onto Yangon, a city undergoing immense change. Living in harmony is the art of living in life. A city’s attractions can be irresistible and enticing. Yangon is a safe fortress for the migrants where all live together. Through a unique mixture of narrated poetry and juxtaposed images from Yangon’s urban landscape, this documentary depicts a city that holds the hopes and aspirations of a diverse population, struggling and enduring in the hearts of all who live within it.

Director: Shin Daewe / Republic of the Union of Myanmar

"Timbre (Tip-off)"

Ever since the Duterte administration rose to power, nightly killings have terrorized the Philippines in an all-out government-endorsed war on drugs campaign. This documentary follows the plight of a family who recently lost a loved one in this war, offering a stark personal perspective on the current political crisis in the Philippines.

Directors: Camille Samonte and Pam Bareo / Republic of the Philippines

Free of charge
Registration Not required.
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Hosted by the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University
Co-hosted by Japan Foundation

Visual Documentary Project official website: