Southeast Asian Independent Cinema


Edited by Tilman Baumgärtel

ISBN : 978-988-8083-60-2

Film, Media, Fine Arts TransAsia: Screen Cultures

January 2012

304 pages, 6″ x 9″, 47 b&w illus.

Not for sale in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, or the Philippines

  • HK$395.00
No longer available

Also available in Paperback HK$195.00

The rise of independent cinema in Southeast Asia, following the emergence of a new generation of filmmakers there, is among the most significant recent developments in global cinema. The advent of affordable and easy access to digital technology has empowered startling new voices from a part of the world rarely heard or seen in international film circles. The appearance of fresh, sharply alternative, and often very personal voices has had a tremendous impact on local film production. This book documents these developments as a genuine outcome of the democratization and liberalization of film production. Contributions from respected scholars, interviews with filmmakers, personal accounts and primary sources by important directors and screenwriters collectively provide readers with a lively account of dynamic film developments in Southeast Asia.

Interviewees include Lav Diaz, Amir Muhammad, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Eric Khoo, Nia Dinata and others.

Tilman Baumgärtel taught film and media studies in Germany, Austria and the Philippines before joining Royal University of Phnom Penh in 2009. He has curated international film series and art exhibitions, and has also published books on independent cinema, Internet art, computer games and the German director Harun Farocki. His blog can be found at

“That there is a vibrant independent cinema in Southeast Asia is now known thanks to the awards won by Brillante Mendoza, Apichatpong and others. But what is the sociopolitico-cultural context within which they are working? How do these iconoclastic, cutting-edge, independent filmmakers view the cinema and how are they forging their own highly original paths? This book provides revealing glimpses into their worlds through insightful essays and lively interviews with the directors. It must be read to gain an understanding of the quite remarkable films coming from this so far little known part of the world.” —Aruna Vasudev, Indian film critic, the Founder-President of Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC), Founder-Director of Cinefan, Festival of Asian Cinema, and Founder-Editor of Cinemaya, The Asian Film Quarterly

“The book has great merits in giving all together a historical and contemporary picture of South-East Asian cinema which is little or not properly known.” —Jean Marc Thérouanne, Managing Director, Vesoul Asian Film Festival

Southeast Asian Independent Cinema is chockfull of vibrantly insightful essays, manifestos, and interviews. It is an invaluable resource for those interested in the region—and in a wildly creative generation of filmmakers that deserves to be in the global spotlight.” —Anne Ciecko, University of Massachusetts-Amherst