Glimpses of Freedom
Independent Cinema in Southeast Asia
Since the late 1990s, a vivid new sphere of cinematic practice in Southeast Asia has emerged and been identified as independent. What exactly does this term mean in relation to the way films and videos are made, and the way they look? How do issues of festival circulation, piracy, technology, state and institutional power, and spectatorship apply to practices of independent cinema throughout the diverse region? The authors who speak in this volume—contemporary filmmakers, critics, curators, festival organizers—answer these questions. They describe and analyze the emerging field of Southeast Asian cinema, which they know firsthand and have helped create and foster.
Glimpses of Freedom is the outcome of a project collaboratively conceived by a new generation of scholars of cinema in Southeast Asia, inspired by the growing domestic and international visibility of notable films and videos from the region. Contributors include internationally esteemed independent filmmakers, critics, and curators based in Southeast Asia, such as Hassan Abd Muthalib, Alexis A. Tioseco, Chris Chong Chan Fui, and John Torres. International scholars such as Benedict Anderson, Benjamin McKay, May Adadol Ingawanij, and Gaik Cheng Khoo contextualize and theorize Southeast Asia's "independent film cultures." The interaction between practitioners and critics in this volume illuminates a contemporary artistic field, clarifying its particular character and its vital contributions to cinema worldwide.
Benedict Anderson, Cornell University; Tilman Baumgärtel, Royal University of Phnom Penh; Angie Bexley, College of Asia and the Pacific (Australian National University); Chris Chong, independent film director, Malaysia; Hassan Abd Muthalib (artist, writer, and film director), Universiti Teknologi MARA Malaysia; Eloisa May P. Hernandez, University of the Philippines, Diliman; May Adadol Ingawanij, Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media, University of Westminster; Gaik Cheng Khoo, Australian National University; Mariam Lam, University of California–Riverside; Benjamin McKay (1964–2010), writer, critic, and academic, Kuala Lumpur; Vinita Ramani Mohan, Access to Justice Asia LLP; Alexis A. Tioseco (1981–2009), film critic, curator, and lecturer, Philippines; John Torres, musician and experimental filmmaker, Philippines; Chalida Uabumrungjit, Thai Film Foundation and Thai Short Film and Video Festival; Jan Uhde, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada; and Yvonne Ng Uhde, editorial board, KINEMA journal, University of Waterloo