KL Green Film Festival Strives to Offer Inspiration, Hope
Since its inception eleven years ago, the Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival (KLEFF) has taken on tough environmental issues such as wildlife trafficking and global warming, unsustainable business practices to the plight of indigenous communities facing the blow of destructive development. The seven-day long festival’s goal is not to just highlight the dire problems the planet is facing, but to also offer inspiration and hope to the annual audience of close to 3,000 people.
The desire to find a higher ground will be plentifully evident on the screen this year again. Despite rising public pressure on the government and businesses to strive towards sustainable development, and fears that the Malaysian government does not consider environmental protection a high priority, the Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival is taking the long view, in the belief that change has to come one person at a time and one community at a time.
”There have always been huge threats in the country,” said Yasmin Rasyid, founder and past festival director of the festival. “In my experience and based on my observations, the environmental movement in the country is used to hurdles, so this is nothing new.”
“It’s easy to become overwhelmed with all the environmental challenges we are facing. What we hope with the festival is that people will find their one passion and take it on. It’s impossible to solve everything, but you can do one thing and really make a difference.”
The festival, one of the most important and longest serving environmental film festivals in Southeast Asia, brings together a broad cross-section of people from all over the Klang Valley, including bloggers, filmmakers, entrepreneurs, young people, urban farmers and even technology or environmental scientists. “It’s like the recent May 9th national election,” Yasmin chuckled, “It’s for everybody”.
The festival will screen close to 100 environmental films from more than 40 countries that focus on this year’s theme, “Forest, Water and Climate Change”.
“Every film tells a very important story, be it about an issue, or about the effort(s) of one individual or a group,” Yasmin says – and in this year’s festival, eight award categories will be given out to film makers in recognition of their contribution to promoting sustainable development through films. A complete listing of the films and the screening schedule is already available on their website.
Here are some highlights:
The Sun on Top of the House (2018, Canada) | 14 mins | Short, Documentary
Canadian director Farhan Umedaly tells the powerful story of how the Haida indigenous community in Canada have taken back control of their sacred lands and become leaders in renewable energy establishing British Columbia’s largest community solar project.
Wetlands in My Heart (2018, United Kingdom and Hong Kong) | 11 mins | Animation
Old Chan reminiscent his life as a farmer and fisherman, adapting the wetland environment and utilizing the natural resources.
By: HK Wetland Park Hong Kong SAR
Director: Wing Yan Lilian Fu
Mr. Garbage (2018, Malaysia) | 3.30 mins | Short, Documentary
Directed by Malaysian and Penangite Mark See, this short documentary tells the journey of how an ordinary technician making extraordinary actions to his community. He protects the Life beneath land, making sure the waters in his hometown clean. Making positive change is a lifelong journey, persistence counts!
Director: Mark See Teck Lee
PM 2.5 (2017, Poland) | 7.5 mins | Short
A day in the life of a man who lives in a deadly polluted city. He faces a choice: him or hope for the future.
Director: Piotr Biedron
Writers: Artur Michalik (screenplay), Biedron Piotr (screenplay)
Star: Pawel Delag
River of Life Expedition (2016, Malaysia) | 8 mins | Short, Documentary
A short documentary by Malaysian director, Linus Chung as he documents Malaysian Member of Parliament of Serdang, Dr Ong Kian Ming and his friends meandering through the upper and lower reaches of Klang River, and discovering the dramatic and worrying impacts of anthropogenic factors on city river systems. The film also raises the impact of the River of Life project by the government to restore city rivers to prevent floods.
Director: Linus Chung
The Guardian of Kinabalu (2018, New Zealand) | 52 mins | Feature, Documentary
Borneo’s Mount Kinabalu, the highest mountain in South East Asia, is the most biologically diverse place on Earth. In 2015, it was the epicentre of a deadly earthquake that killed 18 climbers. The Kadazan Dusun locals maintain that the earthquake was caused by the disrespectful behaviour of climbers who angered the spirits of the mountain. One such local, Alim Biun, has been protecting the mountain and keeping the spirits happy for 40 years but, facing mandatory retirement, he is worried about Mount Kinabalu’s future and that of its incredible range of animals and plants. He needs to find a successor
Director: Lloyd Davis
About the Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival
What: A showcase of 100 environmental films along with a Green bazaar with 50 green businesses selling and promoting sustainable products and services, and public educational workshops and activities.
When: Monday, October 22nd to Sunday, October 29th 2018
Where: Publika Solaris
For more info: www.kleff.my