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KLEFF 2018: 11 Must-See Films at this Year’s Festival

KLEFF 2018: 11 Must-See Films at this Year’s Festival

As the 11th installation of the Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival kick starts in October (22nd to 29th October 2018 at Publika Solaris), Malaysia’s first and biggest environmental film festival of the year will unleash almost 100 environmental films of all shapes and sizes. From animation to shorts and documentaries, and a wide array of work by emerging filmmakers from all over the world, this year’s film curation is an incredibly eclectic cornucopia of environmental stories that will shake your perspectives and inspire you to take action!

From the vaults of film critics that sit on the KLEFF Film Selection Jury, here are 11 must-see films at the 2018 Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival (KLEFF).


1 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.

Watch the trailer here!


2 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:  Lilian Fu Wing Yan




3 Mr. Garbage (2018, Malaysia) | 3.30 mins | Short, Documentary

Directed by Malaysian and Penangite Mark Lee, 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 Lee









4 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












5 River of Life Expedition (2016, Malaysia) | 8 mins | Short, Documentary

Photo credit: Ong Kian Ming’s FB Page

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


6 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 & Wiebke Finkler







7 Aghanashini (2017, India) | 42 mins | Documentary

This documentary is about a river of the Western Ghats of India – “Aghanashini”, which is a unique river from the perspective that it still flows in its natural course due to absence of any dams to change its flow and it doesn’t have any industries along its path to pollute its water. In that sense, so far it remains untamed and unpolluted by man. There has been no effort till now to document the uniqueness of this river through its entire length. In the time when ‘development’ is the mantra of any government in the country, there exists this silent river which is holding onto its ground and nurturing the land and forest and thus becoming a river of life for hundreds of thousands of people along with its flow. Made over a span of two years, the film covers the story of the river via various stories along its flow, some of which are shot for the first time.

Director: Ashwini Kumar Bhat

Writers: Sahana BalkalAshwini Kumar Bhat










8 The Drip – A Wettish Tale (2017, United Kingdom) | 5.30 mins | Animation

Directed by English Tim Britton and produced by Forkbeard Fantasy for the South Devon Catchment Partnership, his quirky animation run through water cycle and highlights ways anybody can become a water hero

Director: Tim Britton


9 The Jungle Man, Loiya (2018, India) | 20 mins | Short, Documentary

The film tells the story of Loiya Ngamba, a nature lover who chanced upon an area in Punshilok in Langol hill range in Manipur and created a green space for the local communities. When Loiya came upon Punshilok it was straggly, rock-strewn patch of land with nothing growing on it except for some wild weeds. He started by clearing the area of weeds and was eventually able to de-silt the stream, making it a good source of drinking water for the people of the valley. For six years Loiya stayed alone on the hill, building this forest, almost from scratch, but slowly it expanded and extended to many young people who joined him in this endeavour bringing in their own dreams and aspirations, and making this place a refuge for the tired souls. Amidst the backdrop of conflict ridden Manipur, surviving its everyday drudgery and turmoil of bullets and oppression, this little piece of land became a bubble where one could reflect on oneself, practice one’s art or just spend some time in peace. The film explores the rewarding journey of Loiya, of the forest and the people who have come to associate themselves with this place. The soundscape of the film too tells the story of this journey through the murmuring of leaves, chirping of birds, through music created in harmony with nature. At a time when trees are cut down rampantly in the name of ‘development’, when ‘civilization’, ‘urbanization’ has come to mean building blocks of concrete, when forests are being cleared and sold off to corporate houses to usher in ‘modernity’, this film asks pertinent questions as it tells the story of reorienting man’s relationship with nature and building a culture of peaceful coexistence.

Director: Farha Khatun


10 People of the Forest: ORANG Rimba (2017: Singapore) | 15 mins | Documentary

Three decades of oil palm plantations in Indonesia have replaced the ancestral forests of the nomadic People of the Forest, and today they have nowhere to go.

Director: Isaac Kerlow











11 Invisible Blanket (2017; United States) | 8 mins | Short, Drama, Fantasy

‘Invisible Blanket’ is a short fiction narrative, based on real events and publications of 1950s when the first climate change scientists started to voice their concerns in the major US magazines and newspapers. Their predictions turned out to be rather accurate, yet ‘unheard’ for more than half of a century.

Director: Pasha Reshikov

Writer: Pasha Reshikov

Stars: Jenny PellicerEllen Barney Williams






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