The BMW Shorties returned to the heart of Kuala Lumpur after more than two years to celebrate the return of the Creative Industry as well as introduce the competition’s newest Grand Prize Winner – ‘Fasa’ by Syahmi Norsan.
‘Fasa’ is a 10-minute story that tackles the complex themes of morality and choices, explored through a deep and contemplative exchange between two characters – Ehsan and Razak who are at different stages of their lives and the circumstances driving them to those decisions.
Syahmi Norsan, the Grand Prize Winner of the BMW Shorties competition went home with RM80,000 as part of a production grant after his film, Fasa, was unanimously selected by a panel of judges from the creative industry comprising of filmmaker Saw Teong Hin, Nadiah Hamzah, Jeany Amir, Joon Goh and Anwari Ashraf.
“As a first-time director, ‘Fasa’ has been one of the most challenging yet rewarding experiences in my journey as a storyteller. For it to be recognised on a platform as prestigious as the BMW Shorties, alongside such a talented pool of contemporaries no less, is truly humbling. It was a monumental task every step of the way, to ensure we depicted complex themes in a sensible, yet impactful manner. I have my team to thank for their dedication in bringing this story to life with me. Thank you also to the BMW Shorties for allowing us to share our vision with a wider audience,” said Syahmi Norsan.
‘Fasa’ received unanimous acclaim from the judges for the short film’s masterful take on its central themes, excellent production quality, intricate pacing, as well as the measured yet powerful delivery by its actors. Despite its dialogue-centric nature, the film managed to remain captivating and engaging throughout. Further affirming the deliberation, Syahmi and his team also took home the Best Director and Best Actor awards.
Saw Teong Hin, a returning judge for the BMW Shorties competition, commented, “Watching ‘Fasa’ for the first time leaves the impression of a very well-made and told story, but at the same time, it leaves just enough space to suggest that there is more than meets the eye. The intricacy of the piece successfully draws you in for a second viewing, where you can fully appreciate every decision Syahmi as a creator has made, as well as the individual choices made by the actors in their portrayal of the characters. Firdaus Hamdan, in particular, exercised masterful restraint in his delivery, delivering a performance that came across not only as natural, but also powerful.”
Fellow judge Nadiah Hamzah said, “When it comes to navigating the heavy themes as seen in ‘Fasa’, a film needs to tactful in its execution, as it treads the fine line between overreaching or coming across as a hollow representation. ‘Fasa’ managed to achieve that balance beautifully and I commend the team for taking on that challenge and sticking the landing.”
Meanwhile, Jeany Amir added, “I have always believed that even seasoned veterans in the creative industry can learn much from emerging creators. ‘Fasa’ is exemplar in that regard – while we, the judges, applied our experience in the industry to break down and analyse the story, we gleaned just as much from Syahmi’s own personal experiences and vision that led to its creation. Platforms such as the BMW Shorties play an important role in bringing together creative minds, both established and new, and fostering a two-way relationship that can only serve to bring the Malaysian creative industry to greater heights.”
Sashi Ambi, Head of Corporate Communications and Sustainability of BMW Group Malaysia said, “Returning this year with the theme RE:IMAGINE, the BMW Shorties continues to demonstrate the unbounded creativity of Malaysians that transcends even the circumstances of the pandemic. The last industry to emerge from the pandemic, RE:IMAGINE is inspired by the Sustainability and Circularity strategies of the BMW Group where we are able to repurpose and reengineer innovation. Much like the Shorties, it is philosophy for creativity and solutions for the future. The BMW Shorties will always hold true to its promise of providing a space for creative voices to be heard in Malaysia, as the platform continues to evolve and adapt to the times.”