Featured on shortoftheweek recently, Steven Chow’s ‘Munkie’ is a confronting, thrilling short, reminiscent of ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’ in its ability to allow space for audiences to empathise with immorality.

We’ve been keeping quiet for a while here at Smithstreet – but with good reason! With the post-lockdown recovery of the Creative sector, we’ve all been hustling away and working towards quite the slate of projects. Smithstreet’s Amber Leigh “Stevie” Stevens had a hand in ‘Munkie’, advising on Health and Safety for the shoot.

As discussed by Short of the Week Curator Rob Munday, for years now, True Crime has been inspiring storytellers, but we haven’t seen this narrative trend have a great deal of influence on the world of short film. However, when director Steven Chow became obsessed with the story of Jennifer Pan, a 24-year-old Chinese-Vietnamese daughter of immigrant parents who staged a fake home invasion to murder them and free herself of their strict rules, he’d unconsciously discovered the inspiration for his latest short film and ‘Munkie’ was born.

With its world premiere at Fantasia in 2021, ‘Munkie’ continued to tour film festivals throughout the rest of year, playing the likes of Beyond Fest, Nightstream and San Diego (where it won an Audience Choice award) before premiering online at Short of the Week.

With this short an impressive calling card for Chow and his team, it comes as no surprise to hear that the director is already working on a feature version of ‘Munkie’. He also has a new horror short film and a one-hour doc for Māori TV, about Race Relations Commissioner Meng Foon, in the works.

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