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Freedom Film Fest’s impressive line-up includes Amir Muhammad’s latest plus Sarawak exposé ‘The Borneo Case’
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Freedom Film Fest’s impressive line-up includes Amir Muhammad’s latest plus Sarawak exposé ‘The Borneo Case’

by Yvonne TanAugust 6, 2016

THE country’s first of its kind human rights documentary film festival organized by Pusat Komunikasi Masyarakat (KOMAS) is back once again in PJ Live Arts, Jaya One from 20 – 27 August 2016.

Organised annually, Freedom Film Festival (FFF) this time around asks What Lies Beneath the surface of pressing and underrepresented issues, specifically with how they impact ordinary lives, and the stories that mainstream media wouldn’t nudge with a stick.

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FFF is based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and it hopes to advocate human rights, freedom, justice and a better world through the film medium. The ambitious 8-day long festival includes an exciting line up of screenings, master classes and festival talks of both local and international filmmakers.

We’re especially pumped for the premiere of Amir Muhammad‘s highly-anticipated, self proclaimed “kind-of-travelogue” Kisah Pelayaran Ke Terrengganu, and Nova Goh‘s curious Unlocking Bengoh, which uncovers the effects of relocating the Sarawakian Bengoh community for impending development.

still-image-1-Rising-from-Shadows--600x600Another strong contender for this year’s prize (they’re given out each year) has to be Norhayati Kaprawi‘s Bangkit Dari Bayangan. Spanning 30-minutes and shot in indonesia last year, the documentary tackles female leadership in the Islamic tradition through the life of Nyai Masriyah Amya.

The fascinating Nyai took charge of a pesantren with 1200 students after her husband’s demise even though Indonesian society only recognises males as prospective leaders of these religious boarding schools. Then she even starts advocating gender equality and inter-religious harmony among the conservatives.

Meanwhile from outside the nusantara region FFF will be screening acclaimed films like Sean McAllister‘s BAFTA-nominated A Syrian Love Story and three-time Adolf Grimme Award-winner Mark Vetter‘s latest movie The Promise.

Rather scarily, there will also be opportunity to engage up close with these very directors in FFF’s masterclasses and talks.

Borneo-Case-Poster-724x1024But whatever you do, don’t miss Dylan Williams and Erik Pauser‘s The Borneo Case.

Filmed over a span of 25 years, it exposes the biggest environmental fraud of the century happening right here in our rainforests, and it has the Chief Minister of Sawarak State involved. As if one sovereign wealth fund crisis wasn’t bad enough, this film points to a serious need for more transparency in government as well as some serious decentralisation.

Needless to say FFF will offer a cinematic thought-provoking week that will leave you discussing sociopolitical issues relevant to our community for a while, which is really the kind of thing you should be doing with your friends instead of watching Netflix or getting baked.

And the best part about the entire thing? The festival will be travelling to cities around Malaysia and we can safely confirm that Penang, Ipoh, Johor Bahru, Kuching and Kota Bharu are on the list so far!

But if you’re not from around here, get tickets to Bangkok’s ASEAN Film Festival, or wait for news on screenings to happen in Singapore, Melbourne and even London.


Don’t forget to stay updated for Freedom Film Festival 2016 by following them on their Facebook page here, but for the full line-up of activities from 20 – 27 August at PJ Live Arts, check out their website here!

About The Author
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Yvonne Tan
Butter chicken enthusiast. Yvonne is an intern at The Daily Seni.

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