A Moving Images Programme
Minor Issues – 3 Short Films by Sherman Ong
Q & A session after screening.
The Substation Guinness Theatre
Wed 13 October 2004
Admission: $5 / $4 (Concession)
Sherman Ong is a filmmaker and photographer who is fast
gaining regional and international attention for his work.
Sherman, who first came to Singapore from Malaysia on an
ASEAN Scholarship, has always curious about minority groups
and their relationship with the majority. He was selected for the
first Berlinale Talent Campus 2003 and recently served as
member of the jury at the Trevignano International Short Film
Festival Italy. His works have been exhibited in Europe, US,
Brazil and Asia.
As a photographer, he is interested in documentary and art
photography. The European House of Photography selected his
photographic works for the Singapore edition of The Month of
Photography in 2003. In June 2004, he participated in the
Singapore leg of the 'The Month of Photo 2004' as part of the
Singapore Arts Festival.
"Minor Issues" showcases three of Sherman's short films.
Ground I Stand On (Winner of the Gold Award for Best
Documentary at the 7th Malaysian Video Awards) is a
documentary about the tenacity of a 75 year-old Malay lady while
State of Things, is a short film about the marginalisation of a
minority language in Singapore.
And making its Singapore premiere will be Sherman's
acclaimed dance film Exodus. The film tells the story of a
relationship between a working-class Chinese shampoo girl
and Javanese court dancer entirely through contemporary dance.
A visually stunning and mesmerizing work, the film had its
International Premiere at the 33rd International Film Festival
Rotterdam, got the 2nd Runner-Up Audience Choice Award at
the Q Film Festival Jakarta, Special Jury Prize at the Malaysian
Video Awards 2004, and is still screening at Film Festivals
The screening will be followed by a discussion with the
All proceeds from the screening will be donated to The
Substation Moving Images film programme. Donations are
welcomed at the door.
The Ground I Stand On (Di Mana Bumi Dipijak)
2002 / Singapore / 24:40 min / Malay with English subtitles
A wise and even-tempered elderly Malay (Muslim) woman,
Nyaterang Salleh, who was born in Malaysia but raised in
Singapore. Living by her tenacity and thrift, she tells her life,
philosophy and inimitable anecdotes as she pours out her
homespun wisdom, confirmed by her spartan, disciplined life.
Her revelatory confessions give us an insight into the life of a
minority in Singapore's "heartland".
State of Things
2003 / Singapore / 6:20 min / Malay & English with subtitles
Given the state of things at this point in time, what do we really
want? It should be more than just sex, I hope. Do we speak the
same language when we sing the same tune? Are there deeper
issues that get buried under the veneer of superficial
classifications? Or are we still grappling to find a meaning with
the current state of things?
Exodus (Wanita Yang Berlari)
2003 / Indonesia-Singapore / 29:53 min / Indonesian with
Two women and a man in cinematic dance,
Subtle emotions and hidden desires,
Revealing truth and deadly beauty.
Exodus deals with the unspoken nuances of human emotions.
An encounter between a lower-class ethnic Chinese shampoo
girl and a Javanese court dancer sparks an awakening that
manifests the dialectics of obsession and the transient nature of
human affection. Set against the backdrop of the dominant
Javanese culture, this story deals with the aspirations and
identity of two women, each gambling for a better life in a