For directions to the conference venue (National Museum of Singapore: 93 Stamford Road), please follow this link.
Register for the 7th Association for Southeast Asian Cinemas Conference (19-22 June 2012) to be held at the National Museum of Singapore. Registration is free, space allowing, courtesy of the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Centre for Liberal Arts and Social Sciences.
If you are scheduled to present and have not yet registered, please send in your registration form immediately, as the regular deadlines have passed.
If you would like to attend as an audience member (non-presenter), the deadline to register is 4 June 2012. Please email your completed form back to email@example.com.
We are fortunate in that this year’s conference is receiving financial support from the Centre for Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at Nanyang Technological University. Thanks to this support, we are, for this year only, able to waive registration fees in order to help offset the higher cost of staying in Singapore compared to other Southeast Asian cities (it was recently ranked as having the highest hotel room rates in Asia).
There will additionally be some funding available to assist paper presenters within income guidelines (as specified on the conference registration form) with hotel costs upon application. This funding will be in the form of one night or more of lodging at one of the three conference hotels (the YMCA International House, the Victoria Hotel, and the Santa Grand Hotel Bugis, described below), which would be billed directly to NTU. Those of you who plan to apply for the funding (by ticking the box on the registration form) should therefore also make reservations to stay at one of the conference hotels in advance of the respective deadlines.
The main conference hotel will be the YMCA International House, where we have a preferential rate for a Superior Single/Twin of SGD 169.49 nett per night, in a block of rooms being held until 7 May. The YMCA has the advantage of being located directly across the street from the conference location, and its comfortable, renovated rooms include free wi-fi and daily breakfast. Another advantage is that for those on a tighter budget, the YMCA also has dormitory-style accommodation available, for SGD 40++ per night. Please make your reservations promptly should you wish to stay at the main conference hotel. For those wishing to reserve a Superior Single/Twin, please use the reservation form, which should be mailed back to the specified YMCA email address (not to us). For those wishing to reserve a space in the YMCA dormitory, please use the online reservation form at the website; the on-line menu refers to this option as the “Students Room’s Bed.”
We have additional blocks of rooms at preferential rates in the other two designated conference hotels, the Victoria Hotel and the Santa Grand Hotel Bugis, held until 31 May. The Victoria Hotel has the advantage of a Victoria Street location that is easy walking distance from the Museum. The rate of SGD 180 nett does not include breakfast, though there is free wi-fi. It is an older property, and the rooms are fairly compact and basic, though clean and well maintained. Further up Victoria Street at the corner of Jalan Kubor, and thus a more substantial walk from the Museum, is the Santa Grand Hotel Bugis. This is a newer hotel, and the rate of SGD nett 200 includes breakfast and free wi-fi. It is also right near the Arab Street nightlife and dining area. More details about the properties can be found at its website. To make a reservation at either of these Santa Grand properties at the preferred rates, use the form and email it to the indicated addresses on the form.
For those who do not fall within the income guidelines for funding, but who wish a more economical single room (rather than YMCA dormitory lodging), another very basic budget option within ready walking distance of the Museum is the South East Asia Hotel, which offers rooms at SGD 100 nett, including breakfast. Their terms are cash only, and reservations can be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lastly, for those who would prefer somewhat more deluxe accommodations close to the Museum, we would recommend the Rendezvous Grand Hotel Singapore, which is just a block away. The best available rate during the conference period is SGD 300++, which is only guaranteed until 30 April. To receive this rate, use the reservation form.
For the Conference,
Adam Knee, Tan Bee Thiam, Jasmine Nadua Trice
Call for papers
7th Annual Southeast Asian Cinemas Conference
THE POLITICS, PRACTICES, AND POETICS OF THE ARCHIVE
19 – 22 JUNE, 2012
Eight years since the first Annual Southeast Asian Cinemas Conference which heralded the resurgence of cinematic new waves in the region, we turn our eyes to the state of film archiving and the relationship between cinema and the archives. Filipino film critic Alexis Tioseco’s 2009 open letter to the Film Development Council of the Philippines mentions current holdings stored in ‘deplorable conditions’. In his letter, Tioseco praises the National Film Archive of Thailand for its work in doing so much with so little. In Indonesia, the Sinematek Indonesia which was established in the early 1970s has also seen cuts that make the archive a shadow of its former glory. It is only in Singapore that a young Asian Film Archive (est. 2005) has taken root.
The 7th Southeast Asian Cinemas Conference (2012) emphasizes the politics, practices, and poetics of the archive. How does one define an archive? And who can be said to do archival work? Might DVD pirates, private collectors, cinephiles, film bloggers and film societies be considered film archivists of a sort when governments do not or no longer perceive the need to fund national film archives? If so, how does this change the public nature of an archive, and what implications does it have on the production of knowledge? What might film curators take into consideration when they select and preserve films for the archive? What are the social, political, aesthetic, and scholarly roles of the archive? How does the archive negotiate issues of power and accessibility? What is the role of the archive in the digital age of new media?
At the same time, in interrogating the relationship between film and the archive, might film itself as a socio-cultural text not be regarded as an archive and as a necessary site to re-think temporalities and the reasons for nostalgia? As Derrida reminds us, “The question of the archive is not a question of the past” but rather “a question of the future itself.” Where does the archive lie in creating, defining, and constructing cultural memory or cultural heritage? This conference then invites papers that comment not only on the nature of what an archive is and the role it plays in South East Asia, but also how films and film archives ask us to think about the timeliness of cultural work.
Each year, the conference has included film practitioners in recognition of the crucial role they have played in increasing film education and discourse in the region. We have previously provided space for independent filmmakers and screenings of their works, focused on curriculum development, and highlighting alternative cultures of cinema. This year, the conference seeks to include workshops that bring together film archivists from within the region.
We invite panels that address this theme, particularly questions concerning:
- Film Archival Materials as Intertexts
- Comparative Studies of Archives or Case Studies of Specific Archives
- Role of the Academic / Film Critic / Filmmaker in Relation to the Archive
- Technology / New Media
- Production of Temporalities and Spatialities
- Politics of Taste
- Preservation and Dissemination
- Archival Research Methods
- Intellectual Property
- The Relationship between Southeast Asian Archives and the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF)
- Scholarly Accessibility
- Subtitling and the Archive
- Film Policy and the Archive
- The State and the Archive
- Short Films and the Archive
We also welcome submissions for the open call. Please check our website archives and conference programs for past paper topics as we are less likely to accept topics that have been covered before: http://seaconference.wordpress.com/conference-program/
Abstract Submission Deadline: Nov 30, 2011
Please send an abstract (max. 500 words) and short bio (max. 100 words) to: Sophia Siddique Harvey (email@example.com), Khoo Gaik Cheng (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Jasmine Nadua Trice (email@example.com). We are currently attempting to get funding for travel subsidies and accommodations but cannot offer any as of yet.
The Association for Southeast Asian Cinemas (ASEAC) began in May 2004 with the inaugural meeting organized by and held at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore. An organising committee comprising young scholars and film practitioners was formed shortly after 2004 and a decision made to make it an annual event that would rotate through the region: thus far Singapore 2004, Bangkok 2005, Kuala Lumpur 2006, Jakarta 2007, Manila 2008, Ho Chi Minh 2010 and Singapore 2012.
The committee aims are to raise the level of film discourse in the region as well as to promote global awareness about Southeast Asian Cinemas as a diverse field of study within film studies and area studies. It seeks to showcase and create academic and social discourse among scholars, film critics, buffs and media activists about the multiple new cinemas from the region, highlighting film as a vehicle for artistic expression, socio-cultural reflection, as an ideological and educational tool and to provide a forum for international networking among participants. The unique feature of the event is its interdisciplinarity and combination of theory and practice: it is a place where film scholars, anthropologists and sociologists and cultural activists mingle with filmmakers, critics, programmers, archivists, and other film practitioners. The meeting usually includes academic panels focusing on contemporary issues facing filmmakers, history, genre, gender and other identities, etc., and dialogue with film practitioners.
The 6th Annual Southeast Asian Cinemas Conference was held in Ho Chi Minh City. Due to the amount of work and energy it takes to organise these gatherings (mostly done by a group of dedicated volunteers spread throughout the globe), we decided after Manila 2008 that we would hold our conferences bi-annually instead. As a result, and perhaps also because of growing interest in the field, we received over 80 abstract submissions for this year’s conference. In order to accommodate as many quality papers, the conference was spread out over 4 full days, sprinkled with short film screenings and one feature-length film and two panels with film producers and directors.
The conference went smoothly and was by many accounts, a huge success. We had about 118 people in attendance. Many participants appreciated the intimate and informal nature of the conference: since there were no concurrent sessions, the panels were well-attended and fostered an atmosphere of collegiality and closeness. The proximity of the accommodations to the conference venue also helped ensure relatively high attendance in the morning sessions—though the late night World Cup matches were probably our biggest competitor. Although we had to relocate to another venue a month before the event, everything fell into place when we secured the alternative venue.
The conference kicked off with Adam Knee’s plenary speech on the complexities of the term and field of cinema in “Southeast Asia.” Knee outlined the problematic of the term as a historical Cold War construct for the region but at the same time also pointed out similar social themes that cinemas from the various countries in the region share: among them rural versus urban concerns, gender and sexuality, as well as the impact of political and traumatic events. This was inevitably reflected in some of the individual papers. This year however there were no papers on cinema from Malaysia (one had been selected from the submissions but the presenter could not come), and although participants were treated to excerpts and short films from Vietnam, as well as a few papers on Vietnamese cinema, unfortunately we did not get as many local Vietnamese students attending as compared to previous years (though we had two Vietnamese academics from Hanoi attending).
Nevertheless most people came away with the knowledge that indie filmmaking here was beginning to catch up with other parts of SEA. Marcus Manh Cuong Vu introduced us to YxineFF, the first online Short Film Festival for the Vietnamese Speaking Community, and the strong presence of Vietnamese and Vietnamese American filmmakers who are making films in Vietnam testified to a burgeoning interest. In fact, the filmmakers‘ panel which featured Sherman Ong (Malaysia), Pepe Diokno (Philippines) and filmmakers like Victor Vu, Doan Minh Phuong, Charlie Nguyen and Nguyen Trong Khoa attracted a surprising number of local Vietnamese (including media) who showed up for this wrap up session.
For me as organiser and someone who had only missed one conference (Manila), it was good to see interesting papers that focused on the history of cinema in the region (as part of circuses, as Nadi Tofighian’s paper shows), film aesthetics (Philippa Lovatt’s paper on the work of Apichatpong Weeresethakul—fresh from his win for Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives in Cannes) and a serious study of Filipino indie filmmaker Raya Martin’s works in relation to history. This year’s focus on theory and practice saw the use of theoretical concepts like the Parergon (Teh) and Derrida’s specter (Manzanilla) and from Christian theology (Zulueta). Brett Farmer’s paper introduced the concept of “vernacular queerness” in Thai cinema which might easily be applied to cinema in the Philippines too. In future, however, we would like to have conversational dialogue sessions on theory, nationalisms and cinema rather than straight paper presentations as we have been doing with the academic panels.
Gaik Cheng Khoo - ASEACC organising committee member
At this conference, we paid tribute to the memory of two larger than life contributors to contemporary Southeast Asian cinema who passed away in 2009: Malaysian filmmaker Yasmin Ahmad (July 2009) and fellow ASEACC organiser and film critic Alexis Tioseco who was murdered together with his lover, another film critic Nika Bohinc in early September.
This year though, sadly, two weeks after the conference wrapped up, we lost another ASEACC organiser, film writer and lecturer Benjamin McKay, in Kuala Lumpur. He was 46. I had invited both Alexis and Benjamin to the first conference in Singapore in 2004: Alexis in 2004 had been a writer for a website indieFilipino.com but he went on to start up Criticine.com, became a well-travelled film programmer, critic as well as film lecturer.
Benjamin, then a PhD student working on his dissertation on Malay cinema of the 1960s at Charles Darwin University(Australia),
moved to KL and lectured at Monash there. His Malaysian cinema course was packed to the brim with loyal (and I’m sure royally-entertained) students. Benjamin consistently contributed articles on Malaysian cinema.
He played a major role in organising ASEACC in KL (2006) and Alexis, in Manila (2008). Both will be sorely missed: Alexis for his passionate struggle to highlight the region’s art cinema, and Benjamin for his wit, vim for life and critical recognition that popular cinema for other reasons also merits study. We hope the affectionate dialogue between them continues in a place unencumbered by the coils of mortality.
UPDATE on 6th ASEACC Meeting at Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, 1-4 July, 2010
We have a few changes and some information for you regarding the upcoming meeting:
It is no longer at the IDECAF. The new venue is on the same road as the 2 A&Em Hotels:
Golden Central Hotel Saigon,
140 Ly Tu Trong Street, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1
Information about money changers:
The best exchange rate usually if you just use your bank debit card and withdraw directly from ATM machines in VN Dong. Most exchanges in District 1 tend to be more expensive (tourists). For safety, the best locations tend to be inside the malls, like Saigon Tax and Saigon Center. The Highlands Cafe chain is like the Starbuck’s there. As of Friday 18 June, the exchange rate for $100 is vnd 19,000 for a dollar.
Money changers in District 1:
Ben Thanh market (opens 10am), Le Thanh Ton and Mac Thi Buoi (opens at 7am). We recommend the money changer inside Ben Thanh.
Payment of donation for registration
We only accept cash (in US dollars) for the donation to register on the day of the event. If you have not registered already, please fill up the registration form on our website together with details of your Ho Chi Minh address/accommodations and submit to firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you.
For international guests who need visas, please apply for tourist visas.
Local contact in HCMCity
If you need any assistance when you arrive, you may contact ASEACC organisers Merv Espina at this mobile number: +84 121 225 6795 (dial 0 121 225 6795 in Vietnam) or Mariam Lam’s mobile number: +84 121 755 1198 (dial 0 121 755 1198 in Vietnam)
You can download the updated program HERE. we start at 9 am every day. Please be punctual as we have a tight schedule.
We look forward to meeting you in Ho Chi Minh City.
Gaik Cheng Khoo
ASEACC organising committee member