Freedom Film Festival comes to Penang

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Hi folks, I highly recommend this film festival. Choose a film that catches your fancy and support the cause of freedom and justice. And it’s free! This event has been growing and growing over the years. The old venue near Green Hall was just not big enough anymore, so the organisers had to find a bigger place to hold the festival. This year’s festival will be held in Wawasan Open University in Penang on 26-28 September.

The theme “Democratic Space – Making Room for Human Rights” was chosen to draw attention to the deteriorating state of democracy in Malaysia. What was once a desperate situation of increasing restrictions to freedom of speech, assembly, information, free and fair elections, religious practice and other basic rights, since the March elections and with the dawn of a new political era, the space suddenly feels bigger.

The questions that still beg to be asked are: what really is democracy, where are the democratic spaces in Malaysia and what can we do as citizens to reclaim the space?

Festival Highlights

FFF, the first event of its kind to be organised in Malaysia will, over three days, screen over 20 thought provoking films from all over the world with local and international filmmakers taking part; “One Nation Under Lee”‘s Seelan Palay from Singapore, Indonesian filmmaker Ariani Darmawan (Dragons Beget Dragons) and Malaysia’s very own filmmaker and activist, Chi Too (What Forest?).

The festival will also have a special screening of international award winning documentaries ‘The War on Democracy’ by critically acclaimed journalist John Pilger also ‘Anna, Seven Years on the Frontline’ the story of the controversial Russian journalist who was assassinated, directed by Masha Nokikova. We will also be screening a short film from the Queer Women of Color Arts Project film festival called ‘Sambal Belachan San Francisco’.

The three day festival features a photo exhibition with photographs submitted by the public which challenges and explores the very idea of ‘Democratic Space’ plus local favourite, Tikar Talk, an intense dialogue between the public and filmmakers, returns.

The winners of the ‘Dare2Document’ filmmaking competition will also screen their films at the event –

“Who Speaks for Me?” by Justin Johari Azman (Winner of ‘Most Outstanding Human Rights Film’ award), explores the question of Freedom of Expression with regards to “sensitive issues” in Malaysia.

“Pilihanraya Umum Malaysia ke-12: Demokerasi atau rebutan kerusi” by Abror Rivai, looks at whether elections in Malaysian are free and fair.

“Pecah Lobang” by Poh Si Teng, explores what it’s like to be a Muslim transsexual sex worker in Malaysia.

For the past five years, FFF has earned a strong reputation for catalysing and creating an open space for sharing socially engaging media and critical discussions among different sectors of the Malaysian public.

For an updated film schedule or for more event details please visit www.freedomfilmfest.komas.org or visit us on facebook (FreedomFilmFest 2008).

The event is open to the public and is completely free. To make a reservation, please email [email protected] and type the city you wish to attend into the subject line e.g. ‘reservation Penang’ for Penang.

We dared you to document. Do you dare to watch?

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