1st Edition

Independent Filmmaking in South East Asia Conversations with Filmmakers on Building and Sustaining a Creative Career

By Nico Meissner Copyright 2021
    208 Pages 28 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    208 Pages 28 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Featuring interviews with 27 award-winning and emerging filmmakers, this book is the first comprehensive look at independent filmmaking careers in South East Asia with never-before published insights into the lives and careers of some of the most influential filmmakers in one of the world’s most exciting screen production regions.

    Celebrating filmmaking in South East Asia, the interviews offer unique perspectives that highlight the various paths filmmakers have taken to establish and develop their independent filmmaking careers. Presenting filmmakers whose films span narrative, documentary and experimental genres, and from all ten South East Asian nations, the filmmakers in this collection include:

    • Camera d’Or winner Anthony Chen
    • Sundance Grand Jury Prize nominee Mouly Surya
    • NETPAC Award Winner Sheron Dayoc
    • Brunei’s first female director, Siti Kamaluddin
    • Directors of the Wathann Festival, Thaiddhi and Thu Thu Shein
    • Lao’s only female and first horror film director, Mattie Do

    Aimed at aspiring filmmakers with a focus on career building outside of global production hubs, Meißner has curated a collection of interviews that reflects the diversity and ambition of filmmaking in South East Asia.

    The book is accompanied by a companion website (www.southeastasianfilmcareers.com) that includes 27 micro-documentaries on the included filmmakers.


    Chapter 1: Filmmaking in … Brunei

    • Siti Kamaluddin

    Chapter 2: Filmmaking in … Cambodia

    • Morn Vanntey

    • Neang Kavich

    • Sokyou Chea

    Chapter 3: Filmmaking in … Indonesia

    • Juan Mayo

    • Mouly Surya

    • Nia Dinata

    Chapter 4: Filmmaking in … Laos

    • Anysay Keola

    • Mattie Do

    Chapter 5: Filmmaking in … Malaysia

    • Imri Nasution & Isazaly Isa

    • James Lee

    • Nandita Solomon

    Chapter 6: Filmmaking in … Myanmar

    • Hnin Ei Hlaing (Snow)

    • Thaiddhi & Thu Thu Shein

    • The Maw Naing

    Chapter 7: Urban Sights – A Visual Essay

    Chapter 8: Filmmaking in … The Philippines

    • Hannah Espia

    • John Torres

    • Sheron Dayoc

    Chapter 9: Filmmaking in … Singapore

    • Anthony Chen

    • Daniel Yam

    • Sherman Ong

    Chapter 10: Filmmaking in … Thailand

    • Adam Yukol

    • Aditya Assarat

    • Anocha Suwichakornpong

    Chapter 11: Filmmaking in … Vietnam

    • Bui Kim Quy

    • Dao Thanh Hung & Pham Phuong Thao

    • Phan Dang Di



    Nico Meißner is Senior Lecturer and Deputy Director (Learning and Teaching) at Griffith Film School in Australia. He is researching and writing on entrepreneurship in the creative industries and the intricate relations between storytelling and innovation. He was the inaugural Dean of the Faculty of Cinematic Arts in Malaysia and has taught filmmaking, storytelling and entrepreneurship in the UK, Finland, Portugal, Malaysia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Ghana, Colombia and Australia.

    'Independent Filmmaking in South East Asia is a timely exploration of independent filmmaking away from hegemonic centres of production. These authentic voices from the diverse cultures of South East Asia, expertly captured by Dr Nico Meissner, reveal exciting new entrepreneurial and filmmaking practices that give us hope for the plurality and wellbeing of World Cinema.'

    Erik Knudsen is a filmmaker and academic. He is Professor of Media Practice and Faculty Director of Research in the Faculty of Culture and Creative Industries at the University of Central Lancashire, UK.


    'An inspiring book with pragmatic advice for filmmakers and rare insights for film programmers, policymakers and movie goers. Highly recommended for cinema students and faculty. Wherever you live, Nico Meissner’s interviews with 27 South East Asian filmmakers will convince you that while talent is important, patience and perseverance are the keys to success. '

    Jeannette Paulson Hereniko, Founding Director, Hawaii International Film Festival (1981 to 1996)