Commissioned by Discovery Channel Southeast Asia, documentary series Jumpcut Asia is a brand initiative looks to spotlight eight singular short films by some of our region's best up-and-coming independent filmmakers.
In previous editions, they've covered everything from the pro wrestling scene in Singapore to the world of chicken beauty pageants in Malaysia and Indonesia - offering "unconventional takes on the weird and wonderful side of our region."
As great as the series has been, it's their latest episode that hits closest to our hearts. Directed by budding filmmaker Joseph Sim, the new short film entitled Unsung gives us an intimate look at the passions and daily struggles of two pioneering Singaporean musicians.
As it's title implies, the episode chronicles the unsung stories of Nurmalis Meutia, a founding member of local hardcore legends Obstacle Upsurge, and Lim Kiang, a founding member of homegrown psych-blues band The Straydogs (who just reunited for their 50th anniversary last year).
Obstacle Upsurge circa 1997
The Straydogs circa 1967
The film follows Nurmalis she wrestles between being a mother of three (with the youngest suffering from chronic lung disease) while still persuing her dreams as an instrumental figure within Singapore's first all-girl hardcore band. Importantly, she also shares her unique perspective as a faithful Muslim woman playing extreme music.
The story of Lim Kiang on the other hand, centers more on the veteran musician giving it his all in the later stages of his storied career. Unsung follows him to Kuala Lumpur as he works hard to record a new album and play more shows.
Interestingly, the whole movie is also framed around a touching original song written by Singaporean indie-pop darling Inch Chua (watch her new music video here), using her lyrics to narrate the up-and-down journey of both protagonists.
New episodes of JumpCut Asia air every Sunday on their Facebook.
Watch Unsung below.