Almost Famous


In this four-part documentary series, sixteen different personalities from four Asian countries share how they challenge conventional norms through their lifestyles and alternative forms of self-expression. In Thailand, three ladyboys depict the tough lives that the country’s marginalised transgendered population leads, while young Taiwanese are moving away from the genteel listening habits of earlier generations, embracing corpse paint, black leather and metal music. In India, young women are expressing themselves by making documentaries about their lives, while in Japan, a new generation of enthusiastic comic book fans are changing the face of stoic Japanese society through outrageous Cosplay.

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SKU: 3005 Categories: ,
DIRECTORS Mark Pestana, Kenny Png, Marilyn Tan, Angus Yang
COUNTRY Singapore
YEAR 2009
GENRE Documentary
DURATION 4 episodes x 1 hour
LANGUAGE Various languages with English subtitles
SYPNOSIS Ep 1: Close-Up for the KathoeyLadyboys or “kathoeys” occupy a precarious position in the Thai social landscape. While alienated as outcasts, they are an important feature in the package of images making up “Amazing Thailand”.  Follow the social phenomenon of Thailand’s ubiquitous transgendered population through the triumphs and tragedies of 3 Thai ladyboys.

Ep 2: Voices

Young Taiwanese they have traded their white lilies and gentle folk songs in exchange for corpse paint, black leather and the hellish howls of metal music. Is the Taiwanese obsession with independent music a reflection of the island’s own search for an identity?

Ep 3: Small Movies in India

India’s educated middle-classes are picking up cameras to shoot their own stories. Find out how women, armed with cameras are finding their voice through documentary making. The documentary has become for them, a means to declare, “I exist”.

Ep 4: Cosplay: Cult to Culture

Not content with merely reading manga, fans are taking it a step further by dressing up as characters and imitating their trademark mannerisms. Yet, while Cosplay has become a global phenomenon, Japanese cosplayers are frowned upon in their own country. Are these sub-cultures slowly creating a new image of Japan?

Screened on Channel NewsAsia