LAB 2014-2015 > Edmund Yeo & Sonja Tarokić – Mermaids

Edmund Yeo & Sonja Tarokić – Mermaids

Edmund Yeo


Edmund Yeo is a Malaysian filmmaker and producer, whose short films were shown in many important film festivals around the world. He was the youngest Malaysian director invited for competition at the Venice Film Festival with his Japanese-language short ‘Kingyo’ (2009). The following year ‘Inhalation’ (2010) won the Sonje Award for the Best Asian Short Film at the Busan International Film Festival and screened at Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival. Yeo was part of the ‘60 Seconds of Solitude in Year Zero’, an 2011 omnibus project with 59 other internationally acclaimed directors. He is also an accomplished film producer, who has produced, co-written, and edited Woo Ming Jin’s films ‘The Elephant and the Sea’ (2007), ‘Woman on Fire Looks for Water’ (2009), which played in Venice Film Festival, and ‘The Tiger Factory’ (2010), which premiered in Cannes Film Festival and received a special jury mention at the Tokyo International Film Festival. He was also one of the producers and editors of the Robert Award-winning short film ‘Girl in the Water’ (2011) by Jeppe Rønde and Woo Ming Jin. ‘River of Exploding Durian’s, Yeo's feature directorial debut, will have its world premiere at Tokyo International Film Festival, where it will be the first Malaysian film to get into the Main Competition.

Sonja Tarokić


Sonja Tarokić was born in 1988 in Zagreb. She has a Masters Degree in Film Directing and a Bachelors Degree in Literature with the focus on film theory. Sonja is a director and scriptwriter, who also writes film essays for magazines, teaches, and leads workshops. For a long time she was puppet studio, where she worked on several multimedia projects and performances. She is the author of several short films, which received a number of awards. Her first film ‘Red’ (2009) received awards as Best young author award and Best actress award at Sarajevo Film Festival. The success of this film was followed by recognition of ‘Smart Girls’ (2010),co-directed with Hana Jušić, ‘You Bitch!’ (2011), ‘I'm a Self-Made Woman’ (2012), and ‘Birthday Party’ (2013), codirected with Hana Jušić. Her latest film ‘On Shaky Ground’ (2014) premiered at International Film Festival Rotterdam and received Best young director award at Days of Croatian Film.




We dive into the world of resentment and stubbornness, as we are faced with three men sharing their stories of heartbreak. These men are placed in the abstract space of abandoned buildings, in an empty hallway with ruined walls and only small signs of its previous glory. The men tell their stories in a form of confession to the camera, in wide shots. The stories are obviously one-sided, they come from a dark place in their mind, and we get the feeling that they visit this place every once in a while since they still haven't been able to forgive. How they met the women, how they fell in love, what was the source of the problems, how did it fall apart. And then, we hear their descriptions of the women – not only of their characters but their physicality, all of the details that they remember and most importantly, how they remember it. We dive deep into these descriptions. The mermaids awake. They come alive whenever the sories are revisited. The resentment keeps them present. The men are back in the hallway, now faced with the representation of the women they described. The giant puppet is there, the „mermaid“, visually embodying what they described. The men have a chance to settle the score.