PENANG, Malaysia, Feb. 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Filmmaker Polen Ly became the second Cambodian to raise the Tropfest South East Asia winner’s trophy, with his film, “Colourful Knots,” winning top prize at Tropfest SEA 2015 on February 1.

Polen Ly accepts ​his prize from Mike Ellis, President of Motion Picture Association, Asia Pacific​ (Credit: Jaky Lim)​

Polen Ly, who won second prize in Tropfest SEA 2014, is the second Cambodian to win Tropfest SEA. The film focuses on the daily journey of one girl diagnosed with cancer, and how she changes the lives of those around her.

The filmmaker won over the judges and triumphantly walked away with a US$12,000 cash prize courtesy of Yayasan Sime Darby, as well as a money-can’t-buy industry immersion trip to Los Angeles, sponsored by the Motion Picture Association (MPA).

Second prize went to Filipino director, Jake Soriano, for his film “The Steel Child,” and Cambodian Somchanrith Chap picked up third prize for his Western-inspired short, “A Fistful of Pebbles.”

The winners were chosen from the line-up of 16 films by an expert panel of five judges — Australian actor Sullivan Stapleton (Animal Kingdom, 300: Rise of an Empire, Strike Back); renowned cinematographer Christopher Doyle (In the Mood for Love, 2046); Director General of Malaysia’s National Film Development Corporation (Finas), Dato’ Kamil Othman; CEO of Infinite Studios, Mike Wiluan; and Astro Vice President, Regional Acquisitions & Distribution, Ms. Teng Lee Yein.

Tropfest SEA Managing Director, Joe Sidek, said, “Tropfest is all about celebrating creativity among talented filmmakers, and I am constantly inspired by the incredible films we receive. The fire of storytelling burns strong in Southeast Asia, and we will keep working to make Tropfest SEA a platform for stories that might not otherwise be told.”

Sidek also thanked all the sponsors and partners of the festival for their commitment to the arts. “Our vision is to give Southeast Asian filmmakers a strong foothold in the global film industry, a dream that can only be made a reality with the help of strong supporters of the arts.”

In particular, he thanked the major sponsors Yayasan Sime Darby, Malaysia Major Events, the Motion Picture Association and the Penang State Government.

“With the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Malaysia, including us among the MYFEST 2015 Calendar of Events, I see a bright future for Tropfest SEA in future years,” said Sidek.

Mike Ellis, President of Motion Picture Association, Asia Pacific, said, “These filmmakers offer fresh new voices to reflect the breadth of cultures in the region, and Tropfest will provide a launching pad that will connect their stories to a growing audience. We treasure our close association with Tropfest around the world, and we are incredibly pleased to help support filmmakers with their budding careers. Congratulations to Polen and all of the finalists on their ability to entrance the audience with their films.”

Tropfest SEA 2015 also saw show-stopping musical performances from Platform 11, the Jamie Wilson Trio, and Dasha Logan, as well as a comedy performance by renowned Singaporean stand-up Kumar.

John Polson, the founder of Tropfest, congratulated the finalists in a video message, and announced the signature item for Tropfest SEA 2016 as “SWITCH”. All entries for Tropfest SEA 2016 must include this item, although it can be interpreted however the filmmaker wishes.

Audience Choice Award

Viddsee, Tropfest SEA’s online screening partner, will be hosting the Audience Choice Award on their dedicated Tropfest SEA channel until from February 2 – 16. The public can watch and vote for their favourite film at for the next two weeks. The winner will receive US$500 from Yayasan Sime Darby and a Canon EOS 70D DSLR camera, sponsored by Canon Marketing Malaysia.

Media Enquiries: Isabel Asquith | | +604-261-3061

Festival Enquiries: Lisa Case | | +604-261-3061

About Yayasan Sime Darby

Yayasan Sime Darby, or Sime Darby Foundation, was established in 1982 and is the primary driver of Sime Darby Berhad’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives.

The objectives of Yayasan Sime Darby are supported by its five pillars, namely: education; environment, community & health; youth & sports and arts & culture. While led by independent members of a Governing Council and managed by a dedicated team, Yayasan Sime Darby works closely with the Sime Darby Group, in areas of mutual interest.

Since its inception, Yayasan Sime Darby has awarded scholarships worth RM217 million to 2,519 students both in and outside Malaysia. It is supporting long term research projects of significant scientific value like the Stability of Altered Forest Ecosystems (SAFE) project which is the world’s largest ecological project, a joint effort with the Royal Society (The UK and Commonwealth Academy of Science). Yayasan Sime Darby is also actively involved in the development and improvements of sports in Malaysia namely track cycling, lawn bowling, cricket, tennis and golf. Under its community & health pillar, Yayasan Sime Darby supports initiatives to promote the well-being of disadvantaged people irrespective of race, culture, religion, creed or gender and works with established organisations to promote the development of arts and culture.

For more information, please visit

About Motion Picture Association

The Motion Picture Association (MPA) and the Motion Picture Association International (MPA-I) represent the interests of the six international producers and distributors of filmed entertainment. To do so, they promote and protect the intellectual property rights of these companies and conduct public awareness programs to highlight to movie fans around the world the importance of content protection. These activities have helped to transform entire markets benefiting film and television industries in each country including foreign and local filmmakers alike.

The organizations act on behalf of the members of the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc (MPAA) which include; Paramount Pictures Corporation; Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.; Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation; Universal City Studios LLC; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures; and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. The MPA and the MPA-I have worldwide operations which are directed from their head offices in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. and overseen in the Asia Pacific by a team based in Singapore. For more information about the MPA and the MPA-I, please visit

About Malaysia Major Events

Malaysia Major Events (MME) is a division of Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB), an agency under the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Malaysia (MoTAC). MME was established under the Government’s Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) to identify, promote, facilitate as well as support viable international events to be staged in Malaysia. With its main objective to enhance Malaysia’s economic growth and profile, MME is also tasked to identify and support major event bids for sports, arts, lifestyles and entertainment events and provide assistance to home-grown and home-hosted events in order to further strengthen Malaysia’s global appeal as the venue of choice for major events in the region. MME also acts as a conduit between the public and private sectors in ensuring seamless processes are achieved through synergistic relationships with diverse event stakeholders in staging successful events in Malaysia.

For more information, please visit

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Via:: Cambodian Filmmaker Polen Ly Takes the Top Prize at Tropfest SEA 2015