FilmLAB Films Screening During Chinese New Year

Martijn van Veen CinemAsia Update, FilmLAB Screening Leave a Comment

Chinese New year, also refered to as the spring festival, is celebrated for about fifteen days, but in the Permeke library in Antwerp a program of three weeks has been created to celebrate the Chinese New year.

On January 19, 2020, from 12.0o to 14.00 CinemAsia will sscreen a selection of their shortfilms with amongst others Last Minute Tea, Carve Out en Father & Son. So drop by and enjoy these films.

For an overview of all further activities and events, click here.

Jam Session Review

Daan Vree FilmLAB Alumni Programme, Nieuws Leave a Comment

Recently 6 filmmakers gathered to participate in the first ever FilmLAB Jam session, a creative session where filmmakers get the chance to inspire each other and advance their filmplan.

A divers group of ex-FilmLAB participants had gathered at the CinemAsia office at the Volkshotel in Amsterdam. Some came by bike, others flied in from London and yet another participant skyped in from Hong Kong.

To make the session as effective as possible, the participants had reviewed each others filmplans and had gathered their thoughts. The phase the projects were in varied greatly, there was a plan for a documentary with an atmospheric montage for reference, while another wanted feedback on their script for a short film.

The six submitted projects were:

  • Her Wayside wedding: the exciting filmplan from Ami Tsang who’s filming her wedding in Hong Kong in the midst of the protests.
  • Mimi & Botti: a feature documentary from André Kloer about the love between a woman and her gibbon monkey, already in production.
  • (Up)Rooted: The feature filmplan from Jung Sun Den Hollander about a succesful, Korean executive who is confronted with a secret from her past .
  • The Girl with the Green scarf:  A film Outline from Roshni Oedit about a Hindu girls’ struggle for autonomy.
  • Renunciation of My Past:  The initial filmplan from Rinky Kalsy about the exodus of the Punjab population
  • Honeycomb: A filmscript from Haider Hussain that he developed in the CinemAsia writersroom of 2019.

It was an inspiring session where all participants gave each other interesting feedback. Lots of questions were posed about each others stories, plans and montage. By asking all these questions often the motivation and intention of the maker and the theme behind the project became clearer and that in turn lead to more effective or deeper storytelling. Also practical tips were shared: wether about putting a crew together or writing to certain funds.


Jam Sessions

CinemAsia regularly organises Jam Sessions to which FilmLAB alumni can register. Are you working on an idea or filmplan, montage, distribution plan or audiovisual project you would like to receive feedback on from other filmmakers in the community and the filmlab producers? Let us know!

2 FilmLAB Shorts @ Short Movie Sunday

Martijn van Veen FilmLAB Screening, FilmLAB Update Leave a Comment

The Short Movie Sunday is back at Volkshotel where a selection of short films curated by the broedplaats, Cineville, Doka, Lab 111, De Nederlandse Filmacademie en Pluk de Nacht will be screened throughout the hotel and incubator. This year’s edition of Short Movie Sunday will be on six floors in collaboration with six different movie curators. From an outdoor cinema with Pluk de Nacht on the rooftop to music videos curated by Philou Louzolo in the basement. Kick back, relax on our comfy beds and wander through the corridors of Volkshotel and find rooms packed with shorts.This evening will contain the CinemAsia FilmLAB short films Unicorn Cat & Hirofumi’s Suitcase. So drop by and come watch their shorts!

– Sunday 15 December
– 15:00 – 21:00
– Pre-sale €11 incl. service costs (Cineville pass holders get a 50% discount)
– Door-sale €12.50

– Tickets give you an all-access pass to see all screenings
– You are free to put together your own program. All screenings will be played throughout the duration of the event (15:00-21:00). If it’s too busy, you are able to come back on a later time
– Doors are closed during the screening
– English subs (if available)
– You can take drinks bought at Volkshotel with you on your route

Get your tickets here

48 Hour CIneKid

Team CinemAsians wins @ 48 Hour Cinekid!

Daan Vree FilmLAB Alumni Programme, FilmLAB Update 1 Comment

On October 13, 2019 the CinemAsians team received 4 awards for their short film ‘Betrapt’ at the 48 Hour Cinekid Festival.

The team was created as an iniative of CinemAsia FilmLAB’s Alumni program. The team participated in the 48 Hour Project of Cinekid Film Festival during the weekend of 11 to 13 of October. The team consisted of CinemAsia FilmlAB Alumni and people who have collaborated before on one or more CinemAsia (film)projects

Diverse team

Most crewmembers have an Asian background. This was also the case for a majority of the cast. The three 9 year old actrices were Ishani Markus (Javanese, Indian and Dutch roots), Disha Doekharan (Javanese, Guyanese and Indian roots) and Emma Simons (Turkish and Dutch roots). This project was their very first experience with film acting.

The initial outset for the composition of the team was accesibility. Both more experienced and less experienced crewmembers joined the film production. For instance a 15 year old crewmember thuroughly enjoyed working with adults and a (deafmute) crewmember learned how to clap while the team tried to communicate with handgestures. Sharing expertise and coaching were central during this weekend. Put a groups of creative forces together, all with their own expertise, and it created an energetic and great atmosphere that lead to a great final product.

Betrapt filmposter

Award winning filmposter

Climate Change
“Betrapt” is a short film with footing in reality. Climate change is something that this generation of children is actively discussing at school. The scene in the film where the young Zoë steals her sister Noah’s tooth to collect money to make some positive change is based on a true story. The fairytale narrative was artifully combined with vlog imagery and has a larger message: Be nice to each other. Positive behaviour will be rewarded.

The jury members enjoyed the film. They gifted the film “Betrapt” the award for “Best Writing”:

“A funny and original story, the scenario was well constructed, the story was round. It’s a sweet and small story with a larger message. The jury is impressed with the nice combination of elements and the genre (fairytale/comedy) of the scenario. And all that in a mere 48 hours”

Behind the scenes

Achter de schermen bij de opnames van “Betrapt!”

A special mention was given to Ishani Markus in the category ‘Best actress’. The jury really enjoyed her joyful and spontaneous vlogsfilms in the film. They jury even asked Ishani to please keep vlogging. One jurymember already pledged to follow her! And to cap it all of the films also won the award for ‘Best Poster’ and ‘Best Art Direction”


text: Roshnie Markus-Oedit, director of “Betrapt”

Roshnie Markus-Oedit was a participant of CinemAsia FilmLAB. In 2014 she wrote and directed the short film “Forbidden Love” and a year before she was production director of the short film “Bundah di Rumah” by Raoul Groothuizen. She also is active as a member of the CinemAsia Alumni Newsroom.  Would you also like to share an article? Then send a message to Daan Vree, FilmLAB Alumni Coördinator at



Podcast: Sandra Beerends about her film ‘They Call me Baby’

Martijn van Veen Nieuws, Tip Leave a Comment

Director and mentor of FilmLAB Shorts 2014 Sandra Beerends has directed the beautiful documentary film They Call me Babu: a film telling the story of a babu taking care of her dutch colonial family recounting her life, dreams and struggles in the first half of the 20th century. In a VPRO Podcast she share more about this documentary.

Click here to listen to the podcast. It is in Dutch!

Meet…The Chinese Community @ de Zwijger

Martijn van Veen Verslag Leave a Comment

Martijn from CinemAsia FilmLAB went to the event at Pakhuis de Zwijger organised by the PAC, Pan Asian Collective on Monday November 18 in the series Transnational Amsterdam of Pakhuis de Zwijger.

This was a really cool evening with a packed room.  A range of creatives from the community introduced themselves and shared their experiences on being Chinese-Dutch. Pete Wu shared a passage from his new book de Bananengeneratie and afterward discussed his family history further. In the next segment a conversation was started with psychologist Lia Lu and real estate agent Albert-Jan Shi who also discussed some of the positive experiences they have as having both an Asian and Dutch identity. In the third segment of the evening there was a talk with creatives such as FilmLAB’s own filmmaker Jimmy Tai, Artist and activist Sioejeng Tsao, and dance and theatermaker Nita liem about the role of their cultural background in their art. The evening was pleasantly moderated by presenter Laiying Wang. Afterward the audience had the possibility to enjoy the arts works of diverse Chinese artists and photographers in the hallway.


The conversation also brought out interesting responses from the audience. For instance one woman shared the difficulties her son had at his school. He was being teased incessantly with his chinese identity and it appeared the school had done little to solve the problem. She wanted make a change! It became apparant that many in the audience could relate. Even recently two acquiantances of mine from the Chinese community shared their stories on how they, on an almost daily basis, still have to deal with a range of nasty comments and sarcastic Ni Hao’s from complete strangers on the streets of Amsterdam.

Speaking Up

This might not be a big issue if it were an isolated incident. But this happens structurally! It reveals how common this issue still is. Thus far the Chinese community has appeared to be more divided and less verbal as was also brought during the event. That’s why this almost daily discrimination still seems to be completely invisible to many in the Netherlands. The first changes appeared when the action Nummer 39 with Rice took place after Dutch Celebrity Gordon joked about a Chinese contestant on Holland’s got Talent and afterward received backlash.

A new phase

Now it seems as if the conversation is entering a new fase by for example Pete Wu’s book, Sioejeng Tsao’s outspokeness and others who appear to be more willing to speak up and to use this in their art and share it with the public at large. Luckily for the woman in the audience there was a lawyer present willing to help the woman further in her legal struggles with the school.

Obviously there is still much to do to improve the representation of the Chinese community in the Netherlands and to reveal how ignorant and short sighted some people still deal with their fellow Dutch neighbours. But an event such as this event really helps! It doesn’t shy away from having this tough conversation. It starts a dialogue and helps connect and inspire the Chinese community. May there be many more of these nights to bring the community together and to celebrate their art inspired by both a Dutch and a Chinese identity.

If you are curious to learn more then please listen to the Pakhuis de Zwijger podcast interview with Pete Wu. Be aware: tt is in Dutch!

Amber Nefkens at NPO Radio 1

Martijn van Veen Nieuws Leave a Comment

Amber Nefkens, FilmLAB Alumni from 2014 who made the short documentary Indië on a plate, has created a theatre and musical play about her grandmother and her life in Indonesia.  She shares more about the play and her colonial roots when she visited the NPO Radio 1 show De Dag. you can listen to the podcast here. But be warned, this podcast is in Dutch.

If you want to find out more about Amber, you can check out her website as well.

FilmLAB Modules

Martijn van Veen FilmLAB Update Leave a Comment

Currently we are working on creating and sharing our FilmLAB Modules. The CinemAsia FilmLAB team has transitioned to the concept of Modules so internally and externally the different programs CinemAsia FilmLAB has to offer will be more distinct and insightful. It’s a good choice to make this distinction clearer so we can setup more specified and clearer budgets and project management. But also help our communication with the funds. With the FilmLAB modules we can seperate our programs and request funding for our seperate programs instead having to request funding for FilmLAB in its entirity. It will become clearer how much budget for which program is necessary and how much funding is necessary to greenlight a particular program.

At the moment we have created three distinct modules: the Alumni Netwerk, The FilmLAB Shorts Program and the Writers Room / Development Room.

We are now in the midst of writing and sending in our fundapplications. This takes more time than people usually think. Luckily we have already started with our Alumni Network in modest form as a team of FilmLAB Alumni has recently participated with 48 Hour Cinekid. There will also be a FilmLAB Jam Session at the end of November. FilmLAB Producer Daan Vree is working to set up a alumni newsroom to regularly update the website with interesting and relevant content.

FilmLAB Producer Eva Aussems is busy at work writing and applying to funds for the FilmLAB Shorts Program. She’s also finishing the FilmLAB Shorts planning for the next edition and will check the planning with the sponsorpartners. Will the newly tweaked planning also be better for our production sponsors? We’ll find out soon!

FilmLAB Coordinator Martijn van Veen is also in conversation with Dramaturge Gwyneth Sleutel, who has helped with the organisation and dramaturgic feedback for the Writers Room edition of 2019, to see if we can also start to setup the next edition of the Writers Room.

We will keep you up to date!