In it’s 4th year running, the BMW Shorties has become a platform for Malaysians to participate in, and show the budding and impressive talent; showcasing their film making creativity, ingenuity and passion. The winner of this year’s BMW Shorties is Chen Yih Wen for her harrowing and brilliantly executed 4 1/2 minute film which brings forth the topic of infant dumping. Yih Wen says of the film, “Like Toy Dolls was a short film graphic enough to make people appreciate the horror of what was being done on a too regular basis in Malaysia, without having to resort to any genuinely graphic horror.”
Winning the grand prize, Yih Wen is the recipient of the RM75,000 BMW Shorties production grant, the 25 year old freelance video editor also swept up the awards, winning the categories of Best Cinematography and Best Production Design, and was also nominated for the Best Screenplay Award. Although Like Toy Dolls is a confronting short film to watch, it opens up the viewers’ eyes to what’s going on in our very own country. An issue that’s very relevant to Malaysia, infant dumping happens regularly, with 472 found dumped since 2005, over half of which were found dead.
This year, the BMW Shorties for the first time extended to categories that go beyond the director, including awards for Best Actor/Actress, Best Cinematography, Best Screenplay, Best Production Design and Best editing. Previous winners of the awards have gone on to successful careers in film making, 1 such finalist went on the working on the production team for Mission Impossible 4 and another went on to win an award at the Pusan International Film Festival.
Other BMW Shorties Award winners for 2010 included Mahendra Chidambaram Pillai for Kickstart, which won the People’s Choice Award for showcasing a talented youth being corrupted by our society, uncaring for the youth’s promise and potential. This film also won the category for Kaman Kanapaphy’s role as Best Actor.
BMW Shorties has become a stronghold for Malaysians to voice out about issues and themes unspoken for in our society, and let’s hope more talent in our film industry continue to follow suit.
All finalist films can be viewed online at the BMW Shorties website www.bmwshorties.com.my. You can watch the winning film Like Toy Dolls by Chen Yih Wen here. More info can also be found on the Facebook page on www.facebook.com/BMWShorties.