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  • Writer's pictureThe Horizon Short Film Festival

Horizon 2023 – The Forefront of Youth in Today’s Climate

Updated: May 8

“A creative project founded by co-chairs Jay Tan and YB Jamaliah Jamaluddin, took steps to ensure the future of freedom for storytelling in Malaysia, which marks the first collaboration of Youth in Wilayah Persekutuan and Selangor, the 2023 Horizon Short Film Festival came to a successful close on April 15.”

By Mei Hui Kelly – Published: 1st May 2023


(Pictured from left to right) Chief of Wilayah Socialist Youth Edmund Teoh, ADN Balakong YB Wong Siew Ki, Deputy Minister of Communications and Digital YB Teo Nie Ching, YB Jamaliah Jamaluddin, Jay Tan, HSFF Operations Manager Yip Sean Yi.

When the Horizon Short Film Festival was first officially announced in last August with both Jay Tan and YB Jamaliah being established as the festival’s Co-Chairmen, it has always been their focus to create a safe space for the new generation’s filmmakers to express their voices and bring their stories further, with Youth of Wilayah Persekutuan and Selangor being the main organizing unit behind HSFF.

In addition, the Deputy Minister of Communications and Digital YB Teo Nie Ching, Chief of Wilayah Socialist Youth Edmund Teoh, Chief of Selangor Socialist Youth Wayne Ong, ADN Balakong YB Wong Siew Ki, ADN Kampung Tunku YB Lim Yi Wei and Operations Manager Yip Sean Yi have also attended the event.

Co-Chairs Jamaliah Jamaluddin and Jay Tan at the photocall before the event started.

The group photo of the main organizing unit – Socialist Youth of Wilayah Persekutuan and Selangor – before the event started.

ADN Kampung Tunku Lim Yi Wei (fourth from left) and members of Socialist Youth at the photocall before the event started.

Chief of Selangor Youth Wayne Ong (second from right) and team members having their photo taken before the event.

The festival in Saturday’s afternoon was kicked off with opening speeches by the co-chairs Jamaliah Jamaluddin and Jay Tan.

Jamaliah Jamaluddin – a state assembly woman who dedicates her work on youth empowerment and racial unity – made an emotional appeal to films and how sometimes watching a short film could gain one’s perspective. She made a point by addressing the lack of interest from young people toward politics and how providing a platform for them to have the freedom and make short films might bring a change to that issue.

Jay Tan – who’s currently acting, writing and directing in his first movie titled “Day and Dream” – emphasized the importance and relationship between politics and storytelling. An additional focus was on the challenges and obstacles filmmakers might face when it comes to them telling a story in Malaysia, as there are too many restrictions and policies that are too conservative and outdated for those who simply trying to voice out their personal point of view.

The main event of the festival, Official Selections, which was the screening for the 5 selected short films: OTW, Politik-us, 4-3=10, Garek and The Fowl Play, offered audiences a diverse film programme and numerous audience discussions with the film teams. The films encountered audiences who showed enthusiasm for the works’ political relevance, their specific aesthetics and their emotional power.

The Deputy Minister Teo Nie Ching made an appearance at the festival as one of the award presenters for the evening’s top prize – Gold Prize – which went to a 4-minute short film Garek and YB Wong accepted the award on behalf of the winning team.

The Garek winning team couldn’t have made it for the event due to the commitment to a project which they are working on at the moment with Busan Asian Film School in Korea. The short’s producer Ms Zika Azemi said her thank you and expressed her gratitude through a pre-recorded video.

“Garek” tells the story of how the main character Rose is at a crossroads when an eleven year old child bride asks her about out-of-wedlock pregnancy.

It shouldn’t go unnoticed that the festival is sponsored and supported by several representatives’ offices included MP Cheras YB Tan Kok Wai, MP Seputeh YB Teresa Kok, MP Bukit Bintang YB Fong Kui Lun, MP Kepong YB Lim Lip Eng and ADN Balakong YB Wong Siew Ki.

HSFF has received 40 submissions and the members of the Jury Panel – Jay Tan, Jamaliah Jamaluddin, TV & Film Producer Joey Lim and Film Educator Azmyl Yunor – have selected 5 short films as winners, with a total cash prize of RM10,000.

GOLD PRIZE: Garek by Cech Adrea

SILVER PRIZE: The Fowl Play by Shafie

BRONZE PRIZE: OTW by Adam Chong Jao Xuan

SPECIAL JURY AWARD: 4-3=10 by Muhammad Ibrahim Khairulsani

SPECIAL JURY AWARD: Politik-us by Angah Bahrin

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