BMW Group Malaysia has welcomed the release of The Masseuse, an emotional sci-fi themed short film created by its Shorties 2016 grand prize winner, Tan Ce Ding, and his team.

The latest by the brand’s Shorties 2016 grand prize winner, Tan Ce Ding, BMW Group Malaysia has premiered The Masseuse. A vision steeped in science fiction, the short film depicts a futuristic-themed love story which captures the relationship between robots and humans and elucidates the former’s role in a developed society.

Inspired by the creator’s love of sci-fi stories and support of the genre’s extensive nationwide footprint, the narrative realises his aim to deliver an on-screen plot illustrating the triumphs of everyday people in facing adversity. The new production explores such emotional elements as love, hate, happiness, sadness, and reluctance.

“When my team and I won the RM75,000 grant, we saw an opportunity to explore a new angle for a sci-fi story. The Masseuse, a tale about a humanoid and her technician, was an interesting project since it created an avenue for us to think about how robots and humans might interact in a modern Kuala Lumpur,” said the filmmaker.

Playing the lead male role is Koe Shern, winner of the Shorties 2013 Best Actor award in conjunction with the film, 32°C Fall in Love, by Tan Seng Kiat. Meanwhile, Candy Ice, the leading actress from Murdered by Chua Dick Woei, which took top spot at the BMW Shorties 2012, stars as the female humanoid in The Masseuse.

“The BMW Shorties is a platform for aspiring film enthusiasts to explore new ideas. Tan Ce Ding embodies vision as well as a boldness which equips him with the potential to join an elite artistic movement aimed at redefining a generation via film,” said Han Sang Yun, MD and Chief Executive Officer of BMW Group Malaysia.

Returning for an eleventh year, the 2017 installation, with the tagline, Vision, celebrates the impact the competition has on the film industry in Malaysia. The platform’s decade-long success is a show of what the brand has in store for homegrown talent as well as the local film-making business, alongside its supporting communities.

The upcoming judging panel is comprised of a line-up featuring five film-making giants. The roster includes award-winning creative producer, Nandita Solomon; scriptwriter and actor, Redza Minhat; up-and-coming filmmaker and screenwriter, Nadira Ilana; as well as the award-wining filmmakers, Ho Yuhang and Tan Chui Mui.

The BMW Shorties will offer participants a chance to win a RM75,000 production grant, alongside other promising prospects. Further accolades include Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, Best Screenplay, Best Editing, Best Sound Design as well as the People’s Choice Award.

The 2017 competition is now open for entries until Friday, 20 October. For more information on participation, interested candidates can visit the official contest website (www.bmwshorties.com.my) or follow the latest updates on social media through the brand’s Facebook channel.

Text: Deborah Joy Peter