WI DING HO’s latest short film "Summer Afternoon" had its world premiere in the Directors’ Fortnight of the Cannes Film Festival 2008 – the only Asian short film selected. So far, it has been screened in many major film festivals, including the Pusan International Film Festival, Vancouver International Film Festival and International Film Festival of Rotterdam. In the fall, "Summer Afternoon", along with two other shorts, had a successful three-week theatrical run in Taipei.
His previous short film – Respire – also world premiered at the International Critics’ Week, of the Cannes Film Festival (2005) and garnered a pair of awards – The Kodak Discovery Award for best short film and the TV5 (very) Young Critics’ Award. In addition, Respire won the best fantasy short film award at the SITGES Fantasy Film Festival and the Special Jury Award at the Taipei International Film Festival. Respire has been screened at more than 35 film festivals around the world, including its latest stop at the prestigious National Gallery in London.
Wi Ding has written many full-length feature screenplays. His screenplay "Sketches" was nominated for the NYU Richard Vague Production Grant; "Sons and Fathers" (which he co-wrote) won NYU Richard Vague Production Grant Special Mention the following year and was asked to submit for consideration at the Sundance Institute‘s Screenwriter’s workshop. "Pinoy Sunday" was asked for the second time.
Wi Ding also directs TV length documentaries: "Museum without walls", a documentary commissioned by National Palace Museum, and "Man behind Giant", a Discovery Channel documentary.
Wi Ding was born and raised in Malaysia. A graduate of the film school at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts (紐約大學的蒂施藝術學院). He currently resides in Taipei, Taiwan.
For two decades, I’ve lived as an outsider, first in North America where I studied, then in Singapore, and now Taiwan where I work. Like most, I always thought I could go back to a place of belonging. However on a recent trip home to Malaysia, I found myself alienated when I expected to feel most at peace. My long absence has rendered me a foreigner no matter where I go.
All over the world, more and more people are working in other countries. Some do it for survive and some do it for inspiration. Simple facts of life become more challenging and rewarding in a foreign country. Emotional needs become clearer, and sometimes that much harder to attain. For expatriate artists as well as migrant laborers, the sensation of living is more vivid in places that are home and far from home at the same time. Pinoy Sunday is an attempt to celebrate this dichotomy.
On Sundays, the immediate vicinity around St. Christopher’s Catholic Church in Taipei turns into a ‘Little Philippines’. For one day this is not Taipei. It could be Manila, where Filipino immigrants go about their Sunday rituals and routines. The natural optimism of this community of outsiders shines and made a great impression on me. I hope to share this ‘optimism of the outsider’ with my audience.
Trailer for A Summer Afternoon (2008)
AJAY BALAKRISHNAN is a New York based screenwriter. He splits time writing (feature length screenplays) and editing (TV shows & short films). He was born and raised in India and graduated from the film school at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts (紐約大學的蒂施藝術學院); where he intermittently serves as adjunct faculty.
Ajay has written four length feature film scripts. He was invited to submit all four of them to the Sundance screenwriter’s lab. Two of his screenplays were co-written with his classmate from film school, Widing Ho. The first of these, “Sons and Fathers”, won a Richard Vague preliminary production grant.
Pinoy Sunday (also co-written with Widing) was invited to, and showcased at, the 2009 edition of the Cannes film festival’s L’Atlier. Here Pinoy Sunday found support and funds from the Japanese television broadcast company, NHK. It is now a feature film, directed by Widing, making its way across film festival screens.
Ajay’s most recent screenplay, Travel Notes, was selected for the Binger Film Lab’s script development program. Ajay attended the five-month long residency in Amsterdam where he worked extensively on the script. Travel Notes is now ready to be filmed.
NATACHA DEVILLERS, with her French feature film production company Les Petites Lumieres, acts as a full-fledged co-producer and producer of Chinese and international films. Based in Shanghai, Natacha has co-produced and executive produced eight movies, which have garnered top awards and played major festivals.
The company’s feature credits include: Guka Omarova’s feature Native Dancer, (a co-production with Russia) and Kinofabrika (Germany), sold by Fortissimo Film Sales and premiering in the Toronto Film Festival 2008; Yesim Ustaoglu’s film Pandora’s Box, co-produced with Silk Road and Ustaoglu Productions (Turkey), sold by Match Factory, winner Best Film San Sebastian International Film Festival 2008; David Verbeek’s Shanghai Trance, co-produced with Holland’s Motel Films, which opened in Competition at the Rotterdam Film Festival and was released on 240 screens in China in October 2008; Diao Yinan’s Night Train, co-produced with Hong Kong’s Ho Hi Pictures, premiered as an Official Selection in Un Certain Regard at Cannes, and sold by MK2; Indonesian filmmaker Nan Achnas’ The Photograph, which was in the Official Selection at the Pusan Film Festival, winner Best Actress in Karlovy Vary 2008; Guka Omarova’s Schizo, an Official Selection at the Cannes Film Festival, which won Best Actor Award at the Tokyo Film Festival as well as Best Director at the Copenhagen IFF; Han Jie’s Walking on the Wild Side, co-produced with XStream Pictures, and Winner of the VPRO Tiger Award at the Rotterdam Film Festival.
Award-winning director MARK MEILY founded Spark Films in 2005 after the successful and award-winning international releases of his films "Crying Ladies" and "La Visa Loca“. Mark continues his own style of branded entertainment for television with the highly rated sit-com "Camera Cafe" for QTV channel. His latest project — Baler — swept the 2008 Manila Film Festival
Spark Films is one of the first production companies in the Philippines to specialize in branded entertainment. The success of Canesten’s Kamot video, STI’s Fab-5, Nescafé’s Camera Cafe on QTV has proven that alternative media is very effective and free!
SUNNY HU CHIH-HSIN has been exhibiting her printmaking in Europe and the US for years, since graduating from The Slade School of Arts at University College, London (斯萊德美術學院的倫敦大學學院). She is the founder of Change He Films (2006). and the Taiwan Producer of"Discovering the Other"(2007), an international film installation at Taipei’s National Palace Museum (國立故宮博物院), curated by Gertjan Zuilhof, the programmer of the International Film Festival in Rotterdam (鹿特丹國際電影節).
She is now the lecturer of the “Project Study in Creative Industries” (2009/2010) at Tamkang University (淡江大學), Taipei, and has just completed her painting exhibition this May 2010.
GUS ADAPON provides corporate communications consulting to the healthcare industry in China and Taiwan through his firm Certified Medical Editing. He is the former Business Intelligence Manager for GlaxoSmithKline China/Hong Kong (葛蘭素史克). He worked in the Commercial teams of GSK Taiwan and GSK China/HK since 2003 focused on special projects and corporate communications. He is also the founder of Forumosa.com, Taiwan’s largest online community for foreigners and English speakers. A graduate of New York University’s Stern School of Business — Undergraduate Colleage (紐約大學斯特恩商學院) with a BS in Information Systems, Gus completed his MBA with the University of Chicago Booth School of Business (展位商學院芝加哥大學) in 2003.
Currently, Gus is deepening his biomedical editing skills by attending the Medical Writing and Editing Program at the Graham School of the University of Chicago (格雷厄姆學校芝加哥大學). The program is designed for those who wish to go beyond the grammar and spelling correction that is offered in Taiwan, and using tools and techniques like AMA style and the CONSORT statement.