IFFAM | Documentary examining depression, family wins LVP

LVP jury member Shekhar Kapur

locally-produced documentary titled “The Melancholy of Gods” won the Local View Power (LVP) at the 3rd International Film Festival Macao.

The festival’s LVP hopes to nurture local directors and filmmakers in the pursuit to create innovative work, encouraging emerging directors to pursue career paths as independent filmmakers.

The winning feature, directed by Lei Cheok Mei, explores family matters and the director’s aunt who suffered from depression, with hopes to find solace. “It’s my first time to do a 50-minute long documentary. This award is a great support to my career path later on,” said Lei.

“The main character is my aunt. My aunt suffered form depression so I wanted to bring the real story [of depression] to the public and ask people to be optimistic in life,” she added.

Citing her research, Lei argued that depression in Macau has a higher incidence compared to other regions, thus the feature aimed to show the public that depression is more than just a mental illness. “It’s an illness that affects our physical health, so that’s what I wanted to show,” she said.

The local aspiring filmmaker has kicked off another documentary project, which she hopes to showcase in next year’s LVP.

A plaque was awarded to Lei, along with a portion of the feature’s production costs.

“I’ll pursue my career in this path,” Lei pledged, citing the support of local entities.

The past eleven editions have gathered a total of over 500 proposals, resulting in 118 new works, including 82 documentaries, 19 short features and 17 animations.

Commenting on the works of the emerging directors, LVP jury member Indian filmmaker Shekhar Kapur highlighted the young filmmakers’ naivety, saying that this was in fact their strength.

“They were naïve and […] made [the features] without too much knowledge of film making and that is what creativity is about,” said the director who has worked in Bollywood and Hollywood films. “All the films were heartfelt, came from moments in their own lives. They were talking about real things, real life and real experiences. We learnt and we were moved by the films. I hope they stay naïve because great creativity is about being innocent and naïve,” Kapur added.

This year’s edition screened a total of 14 features, with the jury composed of members from Switzerland, Australia, USA and India.

Categories Headlines Macau