Subtitle Southeast Asian Shorts Film Festival

Subtitle Southeast Asian Short Film Festival

We’re a group of Asian film geeks and we’re bringing the FIRST EVER Southeast Asian short film festival to Chicago this October!

In collaboration with our Kuala Lumpur-based curator, Elise Shick, we’re bringing 23 films from 9 countries over the course of 3 days and we need YOUR HELP to make it happen!

Our program features a wide selection of films from established and emerging Southeast Asian filmmakers, ranging from documentary and fiction to experimental films. This will be the US premiere for many of these films and we want as many people in Chicago to come together in this unique experience.

Dates & Venues

October 10, 7.30pm
DePaul CDM Theater
Address: 12 E. Jackson Blvd, LL105, Chicago, IL 60604

October 11-12, 7.30pm
Open space in Argyle
Address: 5027 N Broadway St, 3rd Floor, Chicago, IL 60640

Our Story

Subtitle started out in 2018 as a group of friends who wanted to watch Asian movies together and then talk about it. We started an online magazine to write about the films Asian films we loved, and now we’re planning our first film festival. (Yeah, things escalated quickly.)

For us, this festival is about sharing the stories that matter to us—the ones we wish we could have seen when we were growing up, the ones that connect our community, and the ones that will inspire the next generation.

Our Goals

Through the film festival, we hope to bring together artists, filmmakers and communities in Chicago to center Southeast Asian voices who are redefining and advancing unique conceptions of identity. We want to uplift underrepresented film forms from emerging filmmakers, create accessible spaces that connect local Southeast Asian communities to the larger Southeast Asian diaspora and bring challenging and nuanced perspectives from the region to Chicago audiences.

How will we use your funding?

All of us are volunteering for this because we love movies and we’re part of the Asian diaspora. We really want to share what we love with the Chicago community, and we hope people will love these films as much as we do.

But still, we do need funding to make the festival happen. We need a total of USD $6,000 to cover essential expenses:

$2,750 for film screening fees
$1,250 for marketing costs
$2,000 for production expenses, volunteers and food

Other Ways You Can Help

Events - We’re planning some fringe events (panel discussions, art exhibitions, workshops, after-party) and need help to make these happen!
Volunteer - All hands on deck for the day itself.
Write - We’re publishing a festival zine and would love writers/illustrators/photographers to contribute.
Outreach - Spread the word! Get your friends and family to come!

Film Program


Our theme revolves around the concepts of ‘within’ and ‘without’ as ways to question how Southeast Asian identities have long been defined by nation-state boundaries that have rendered them rigid, distinct and exotic. Think of the distinctions between “Mainland Asia” versus “maritime Southeast Asia”, also known as Nusantara.

Through the filmmakers’ voices, this program explores the fluid identities of Southeast Asia that are encapsulated in conversations about love, death, gender, youth and dreams, mundane everyday lives, money, globalisation, traditions as well as myths. Alongside award-winning short films, this program also includes lesser-heard and newly-discovered works that challenge conventional forms and ways of telling stories.

[US Premiere] Weeping Birds (2018), Directed by Chan Teik Quan
RM 10 (2016), Directed by Emir Ezwan
Kampung Tapir (2017), Directed by See Wee Aw
[Chicago Premiere] Vinegar Baths (2018), Directed by Amanda Nell Eu

On The Origin of Fear (2016), Directed by Bayu Prihantoro
Ballad of Blood and Two White Buckets (2018), Directed by Yosep Anggi Noen

[US Premiere] Melodies of Bamboo: One Man, Two Wives, and A Flute (2016), Directed by Ka Xiong

Letters From Pandurangga (2016), Directed by Nguyen Trinh Thi
Taste (2016), Directed by Le Bao
Short/Cut (2017), Directed by Ostin Fam
Grasshopper (2012), Directed by Ash Mayfair
The Story of Ones (2012), Directed by Pham Ngoc Lan

Three Wheels (2015), Directed by Kavich Neang
[Chicago Premiere] Cambodia 2099 (2014), Directed by Davy Chou

[Chicago Premiere] Jodilerks De La Cruz, Employee of the Month (2017), Directed by Carlo Francisco Manatad
Baguio Address No. 10 (2018), Directed by Mervine Aquino
We Still Have To Close Our Eyes (2019), Directed by John Torres

[US Premiere] 32 Souls (2016), Directed by Sai Naw Kham
[US Premiere] Mother At Arms (2018), Directed by Nu Nu Hlaing

Piece of Meat (2019), Directed by Jerrold Chong
Still Is Time (2017), Directed by Gladys Ng

[Chicago Premiere] Teun (2016), Directed by Thanut Rujitanont
Ferris Wheel (2015), Directed by Phuttiphong Aroonpheng

Fundraising team: Subtitle (2)

Subtitle Magazine
Raised $150 from 3 donations
Chicago, IL
Timothy Collanto
Team member
Raised $10 from 1 donation

Your easy, powerful, and trusted home for help

  • Easy

    Donate quickly and easily.

  • Powerful

    Send help right to the people and causes you care about.

  • Trusted

    Your donation is protected by the  GoFundMe Giving Guarantee.