KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30 — A documentary film by two Malaysian university students was among the five winning documentaries by the Visual Documentary Project (VDP) 2020 in Japan recently.
The film, titled Red Wine Chicken, ranked top five among 1,066 documentary submissions and nearly 120 entries from Southeast Asian countries.
It is produced and directed by Angel Yuen Yi Qian and Chung Lay Woei who are pursuing their Bachelor of Communication Broadcasting at the Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) Faculty of Creative Industries.
The 16-minute documentary focuses on a Vietnamese bride, Ah Jiao, married to a Malaysian man living in Bukit Pelanduk, Negri Sembilan.
Weaving the story around Fuzhou Chinese delicacy red wine chicken, the film captures the couple’s life, marriage and love with Ah Jiao – who is Yuen’s aunt – mastering the skills of cooking the precious family recipe.
Initiated in 2012 by the Centre for Southeast Asian Studies at Kyoto University, VDP aims to provide a platform to deepen exchanges on Southeast Asia through documentary filmmaking, supplement academic regional research and create bridges between filmmakers and researchers working in the region.
“When Ah Jiao gave birth to her first child in 2009, I remember my grandmother prepared her red wine chicken daily during the confinement.
“For me, Ah Jiao became a family from the day she married my uncle,” said Yuen.
Chung, who directed the film, said she was attracted to the story as she was fascinated by how the Fuzhou family delicacy had been passed down through Ah Jiao.
Together the duo decided to turn Ah Jiao’s incredible story into a film project for their television production class.
The documentary was shot in early 2020 with support from the crews of a local production company, Just Another Production (JAP).
“We would like to thank VDP 2020 and the international committee for selecting our film to be one of the winners,” said Chung.
She also thanked the JAP production team and its founder Jermenn Yip for their efforts.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and movement restrictions, the screening of all five VDP 2020 winning documentaries will be available here from Dec 7.