After the success of Kota Wanita in conjunction with International Women’s Day, activist Sarah Amer will next host a discussion on female roles on the screen.
“The whole idea is to create discourse,” she begins.
“As a person that enjoys local cinema, and reflecting from the diversity that we once had in Malaysian cinema, women roles were a lot more diverse than what they are now.”
The panel discussion aims to dissect the issues causing this lack of diversity. Sarah hopes that with this edition of ‘Bukan Sekadar Bicara’, there will be an attempt to understand what has happened to female lead roles on film over the years.
Among those confirmed to appear on the panel are film historian and critic Hassan Muthalib, award-winning actress Sofia Jane, Kakiseni head Low Ngai Yuen, and Viddsee BUZZ editor Grace Chin.
“Leading female roles are lacking in general nowadays. As an observer, 20-30 years ago we had more female lead characters than we do now,” Sarah states.
“I don’t think we’ve gone forward and acknolwedge why this is happening, no one’s really questioned why or what has happened.”
The decision to host the discussion is based on her experience as a filmgoer, as well as the oversaturation of ‘Suami’-centric shows which have been popular as of late.
“It’s a dialogue worth having because I don’t feel represented when watching local film – there’s no fair representation of what females really are. It’s more along the lines of what females are expected to be more than anything else.”
By curating a panel of industry practitioners with diverse backgrounds, Sarah hopes that the discussions will help glean valuable discussion. At the very least, she wants discourse to be more common in Malaysian society.
“Far too many things have just been accepted without anyone really questioning why,” she notes.
“With the Bukan Sekadar Bicara series, I hope to create a safe space for people to engage in discourse.”
‘Bukan Sekadar Bicara: Perempuan Dan Filem’ will be held at Gerakbudaya, Petaling Jaya on the 27th of March.