BMW Shorties, Malaysia’s longest-running short film competition, has just wrapped up its 13th edition. The short film ‘PACE’ by Ekin Kee Charles has been named Winner of BMW Shorties 2019, taking home a grand prize worth RM80,000 in production grant. 

‘PACE’ is a 15-minute short film about a young girl contemplating her identity for the first time in a small town in Sabah. Determined to be more than just the ‘girl’ in her group, she takes a leap of faith by pushing the boundaries of what it means to be feminine in a world that is seemingly built for the opposite gender.

‘PACE’ is Ekin’s first submission to the BMW Shorties. A Cinematography fresh graduate from the University Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS), her winning short film was also awarded the Best Editing award for the stunning visuals and stellar production quality.

Syahnur Asyikin Kee Charles, or better known as Ekin, said “Making this short film was no easy feat but working with my niece and nephews made it a spectacular experience. We directed children with no acting experience and shot a short film without any written lines; the story was told through their candid emotions and reactions to the directions we gave them.

“I set out to convey a message about gender, identity and the many conflicts with ourselves, no matter the age; and I am proud to have achieved that,” she added. 

The dialogue-less short received all-round praises from the judges, with BMW Shorties 2019 judge and filmmaker Amanda Nell-Eu saying “It is rare we see a short film so silently moving yet so loud in its storytelling, despite the minimal dialogue between her characters.”

This year’s BMW Shorties, themed ‘UNCHARTED’, received the highest number of submissions in the competition’s history. The finalists’ short films can be viewed on the BMW Shorties YouTube channel

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