Notions of Independence in Southeast Asian Cinemas
Prof. Eloisa May P. Hernandez
Department of Art Studies
University of the Philippines
The panel looks forward to papers that investigate the notions of independence in Southeast Asian cinemas, as well as the historical shifts in the meaning of the term in its different contexts and localities such as in relation to notions of independence in Europe and United States. Interrogations on the various sites of contentions of independent filmmaking vis-à-vis mainstream are also welcome.
The panel emerges out of a lively and growing “independent” cinema scene in Southeast Asia - particularly Indonesia, Philippines , Malaysia , Thailand , Singapore and Vietnam – where the so-called “digital revolution,” has been synonymous with “independence” and hailed as the way to liberate filmmakers from the hegemonic grip of Hollywood and “local hollywoods .”
In such contexts, the term “independent” has become a fraught and problematic nomenclature. Once limited to a small select group of filmmakers working outside of the commercial film industry, several sectors have now appropriated the term. The panel thus proposes to delve into the different and changing notions of independence in the different Southeast Asian countries. Among the questions the panel wishes to address and ponder on: What does it really mean to be independent? Is it in the mode of production? It is in the mode of distribution? Is it in the content of the film? Is it in the intent of the filmmaker? Independent in relation to what? If independent films use mainstream modes of distribution and exhibition, do they lose their independence? If a filmmaker receives production grants from corporate or government support, does it mean his/her film is no longer independent? If an independent film aspires to make a profit, does it diminish its independence? Are there degrees of independence? How are independent films perceived and received by the audience?
Topics of interest also include but are not limited to: studies on particular independent filmmakers; aesthetics of independent films; the surfacing of independent film production companies and film groups; emerging independent modes of production, distribution and exhibition; the appropriation and/or cooptation of the digital technology by mainstream film industries in the guise of independence; the role and effect of international film festivals in independent filmmaking; the impact of the digital technology on independent filmmaking; funding independent filmmaking in Southeast Asia; sustainability of independent filmmaking; censorship; and the role of state and private institutions on independent filmmaking.
Please submit abstract of no more than 500 words and brief biographical data to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com by January 31, 2010.
For information about EUROSEAS 2010 please visit http://www.globalstudies.gu.se/english/newsandevents/conferences/EUROSEAS/