Packing 358mins minutes of social conscious filmmaking over two days, the FreedomFilmFest hopes to celebrate a new genre of films exploring social realities. At the same time it hopes to unearth new talents as well recognise the efforts of critically acclaimed Malaysian filmmakers who are fast building a following outside of mainstream cinema. All in the name of unravelling our Bolehland!
Vying for honours in the Professional category are well known Malaysian alternative films such as Amir Muhammad’s critically acclaimed The Big Durian, about an amok soldier and a very jittery country, Ho Yuhang’s Classrooms which explores how death becomes a museum in Phnom Penh, and Hanim Bamadhaj’s unravelling of the East Timor story in Moris Rasik. Meanwhile Zan Azlee hops onto an urban bus adventure and meets strange ‘locals’ in The Black, White and Grey while Kumar Thangaiah lets Ramli Ibrahim’s feet to do the talking in The Rebel Dancer. Azharr Rudin’s Dancing Kites and Albert Hue’s 1979 make it a true smorgasbord to savour but judging was a nightmare!
The Student category sees talented debutants with promising entries addressing various issues relevant to contemporary Bolehland from Pauline Tay’s take on three girls talking about their sexuality in The Road Not Taken to Shasha’s Speak up about students doing just that. Angie Choo delivers a little girl looking for the right tune in Kangkung while Jimmy Choong’s HIV/AIDS patients share an emotional swansong in A Place Called Home. Other promising entries include Sylvia Ong’s Raaga Mood, Lee Chien’s mlm, William Kok’s The Paper, Alvin Seah’s Blacked out, Lachperabu Santhinath’s A Displaced Lot and Tan Siang Men’s Firefly in the Darkness.
The Amateur category entries up the tempo with Low Tuck Chan’s expose of communal struggles against school closures in Let’s Campaign and Ong Boon Keong’s take on housing misallocation in Sheltering the Wrong Ones, while Lydia Lubon and Ahmad Yazid, asks why our schools still fight shy of sex education in Sex Education In Malaysia -Are We Doing Enough? Lack of education doesn’t stop two NGO leaders’ achievements in Sathesan’s Success while Nirmal Shan shares life lessons in Love Hurts. Elsewhere, At the First Glance takes to the streets as Azram Norhakim ponders what it must mean to be hungry in Bolehland! while Sam Hui’s 2020 wonders if the future is indeed bright.
Otherwise rest assured there will be many bright smiles and shiny happy people of all colours vying to take the first Justins home at the 1st FreedomFilmFest Awards Nite on 16th May 2004.
Come and watch them!
website : http://freedomfilmfest.komas.org/index.htm