4 Jun – Almost all events are forgoing physical editions these days in favour of virtual versions and SeaShorts Film Festival 2020 is no exception, as it strives to provide a safe environment for its festivalgoers.
This year's edition of the film festival will now run in a virtual capacity, instead of held at the previously announced location of Ipoh, Perak.
Though no changes will be made to its dates, so it will still run from 25 to 30 August 2020.
"There was a lot of uncertainty about whether we should continue this year, with all the challenges of COVID-19," said Festival Co-Director, Nicholas Chee, in a press statement "Taking the Festival online allows us to continue providing a unique window on the contemporary landscape of this land we call home."
A total of 544 submissions were received by the film festival this year. 30 of these will be shortlisted for the SeaShorts Award, while the best Malaysian title among them will be presented with the Next New Wave Award.
Apart from the top jury honours, all films in competition are in the running for accolades in direction, screenwriting, cinematography, editing, sound, and acting.
The jury lineup this year consists of Cambodian-French filmmaker Davy Chou, Indonesian cinematographer Anggi Frisca, Philippine producer Bianca Balbuena, Singaporean sound engineer Rennie Gomes, and Malaysian historian Dr. Farish A. Noor.
The SeaShorts Film Festival, first held in 2017, is the annual marquee event of the SeaShorts Film Society. It aims to draw greater recognition to the narrative wealth of Southeast Asian countries, encompassing Brunei, Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia, Laos, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and Malaysia.
A digital programme of industry sessions and art experiences are held alongside the main Official Selection. The festival line-up and streaming instructions will be available next month via SeaShorts' Facebook and seashorts.org.