To mark the occasion of its 15th anniversary, the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) organised the Asia-Europe Short Films Contest, inviting young filmmakers, film enthusiasts and students from 46 ASEM countries to express their ideas of Asia-Europe relations through a short, up-to-3 minute long film of any format. Below are the films from two of the five winners.
Italian national Lorenzo Ciani began directing films two years ago and has since made short videos for his YouTube channel: GHH PRODUCTION. At about that time, Ciani lived for a period in Japan and learning about a new culture and way of life changed his perceptions. In his view, although the regions are very different, they are both interdependent and there is an aspect of fasciation between the two.
The theme of food was immediately evident for Ciani as a topic for this short film due to his experience working in restaurants where he met people from around the world who visited Florence for Italian cuisine. This was also his inspiration behind selecting ‘food’ as the theme of his film. The documentary interviews Matteo Bini and Toshifumi Mitsubiki.
Riyanto Lasmana is a fresh graduate from the Department of International Relations, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia. His short film idea for the Asia-Europe Short Films Contest emerged while compiling some video footage and pictures for his Facebook friends from Uppsala, Sweden. He met them during the exchange program at Uppsala University. They encouraged Lasmana to submit this video to share the spirit of their friendship with a broader audience.
Travelling different destinations including Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, and South East Asian countries, Lasmana has always witnessed people share common values. He tried to communicate that common thread of sharing through his language of film.
In talking about how his exchange experience affected him, Lasmana comments:
“By mingling with local people as well as international students from all over the world, I learned that people in one place can be very curious about people in other places. I was lucky enough that I could share some stories about people from my country, cook some traditional food, and teach some Indonesian words to my friends. In return, I got to know theirs too. This circle of social and cultural exchanges have been very popular among international students and would work out as one of many ways to bridge the divide among us. But I can also transcend this circle when I return to our community back home, and share the positive and inspiring human stories from Sweden, and get in touch with people whom I met in Sweden. I believe that the connection between Asia and Europe today is pretty much reflected on this kind of circle.”