BMW Shorties 2019 announces winners for this year's competition

Florey DM

Ekin Kee Charles, BMW Shorties 2019 Grand Prize Winner and Director of "Pace".

26 Nov – In conjunction with Urbanscapes 2019, BMW Shorties Awards Night 2019 was held last weekend at REXKL, where the winners of the short film competition were finally revealed.

Taking home the Grand Prize worth RM80,000 in production grant was "Pace" by Syahnur Asyikin Kee Charles, also known as Ekin Kee Charles, a fresh graduate of University Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) who majored in Cinematography.

The 15-minute short film, with its intricate storytelling interwoven with stunning visuals and stellar production quality, won two accolades at the 13th edition of the competition, as it also received the Best Editing award.

"Making this short film was no easy feat but working with my niece and nephews made it a spectacular experience," said Ekin, as quoted in a press statement.

"We directed children with no acting experience and shot a short film without any written lines; the story was told through their candid emotions and reactions to the directions we gave them. With "Pace", I set out to convey a message about gender, identity and the many conflicts with ourselves, no matter the age; and I am proud to have achieved that."

A scene from "Pace", which stars the filmmaker's own niece and nephews.

The winning short is a moving coming-of-age story which explores identity at a tender age through the perspective of Yaya, a young girl who – upon discovering a longing for something her group of friends have - is contemplating her identity for the first time in a small town in Sabah.

Determined to be more than just the 'girl' in her group, she takes a leap of faith by pushing the boundaries of what it means to be feminine in a world that is seemingly built for the opposite gender.

"Upon watching "Pace" for the first time, I immediately knew Ekin had something unique to tell. Her clever use of emotional subtlety combined with the innocence of her young actors came together to present a beautifully raw telling of childhood intertwined with discovering one's identity for the first time," said Adrian Teh, director and BMW Shorties 2019 judge.

Below is the full winners' list of The BMW Shorties 2019:

Grand Prize Award
"Pace" by Syahnur Asyikin Kee Charles (Ekin Kee Charles)

People's Choice Award
"Ralat The Musical" by Khairi Anwar

Best Director Award
Putri Purnama Sugua for "Di Sini Aku"

Best Actor Award
Afiq Rahem in "Dibuaian Mimpi"

Best Actress Award
Putri Syahadah Nurjannah in "Kencing Malam"

Best Student Award
Tan Hong Ken for "The Past"

Best Cinematography Award
Adrian Wong for "Birthday"

Best Editing Award
Syahnur Asyikin Kee Charles (Ekin Kee Charles) for "Pace"

Best Screenplay Award
Hazim Hisham and Ariff Zulkarnain for "Untuk Satu Malam"

Best Sound Design Award
Ng Kwok Yong for "Husk"

Best Production Design Award
Justin Chong Jun Wee for "The Kingdom or The Beauty"