My Ba’s Radio managed to beat some 1,500 entries from around the world to win Best Short Film at the first edition of Mantova Lovers Short Film Festival, in Matua, Italy.
The win on May 10 gives Malaysian director Victor Chen Yee Fei access to a workshop conducted by photographer Oliviero Toscani, who also served as a member of the jury at the festival.
According to the press statement: “The tale of love, loss and reconciliation of the short film fits perfectly with the theme of the film festival which is, ‘The Love That Survives Over Time’.”
With a running time of 10 minutes and 15 seconds, My Ba’s Radio tells the story of an elderly man dealing with the passing of his wife by listening to an old radio. Overcome by grief, he refuses to be consoled by anyone, not even by his adult son who takes time off from work to look after the father. After an incident, the two finds a connection.
My Ba’s Radio is Chen’s directorial debut. Before making its way to Italy, the short won Best Short Film and Best Cinematography at Panasonic Digital Short Film Competition in 2016.
It has also travelled to Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia 2017 (Japan), Asian World Film Festival 2017 (the United States), Expressions Short Film Festival 2017 (India), Asia Peace Film Festival 2017 (Pakistan), Our Shorts Their Shorts 2018 (Bangladesh) and One Country One Film Festival 2018 (France).
One of the reasons for its appeal could be because the short film carries the truth.
The dad in My Ba’s Radio is based on Chen’s own father, and – within the film – Chen has included his father’s radio as the main prop and the filming location is none other than his father’s own childhood home in Semenyih, Selangor.
The film stars Malaysian actors Fai Chen and Tam Yee Swee, and was made under the mentorship of filmmakers Yasu and Bea Tanaka (of Nota).