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National Environmental Film Festival Uses Films to Encourage Malaysians to Protect the Environment

National Environmental Film Festival Uses Films to Encourage Malaysians to Protect the Environment


Kuala Lumpur – Are films powerful enough to help change humanity and protect the planet?

Feast your eyes and mind with a selection of more than 100 environment-themed stories at the 11th annual Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival (KLEFF), which returns from October 22 to 29 at Publika Solaris.

“In addition to the film screenings that take place all through the seven-day festival, we have several programs and activities lined up aims to foster conveners for conversations, and encourage the public, businesses and NGOs, to not just watch films, but to talk about the broader environmental issues which we are facing today,” festival director Fadly Bakhtiar told the media recently.

Starting early February this year, the KLEFF jury committee narrowed down 300 submissions to 100 films to screen at Black Box, Publika.

“The line-up is great,” Fadly said. “This year, we have 35 short documentaries, 24 short films, 15 full-length documentaries, 14 community service announcements and 10 animations”.

Opening night which falls on 22nd October (Monday) kicks off with films on the wildlife and marine stories. Among them include the work by American director Eliana Alvarez Martinez called “Spirit of Discovery”, a documentary that follows legendary oceanographer Walter Munk as he goes in search of a species of “flying” devil fish that bears his name.

Martinez focuses on Munk’s search for pygmy devil rays, a species that was named Mobula Munkiana in his honor. The Munk devil ray, as it’s also known, is famous for its ability to leap out of the water. The leaps give the illusion that the ray can fly.

“Our theme this year is ‘Forest, Water and Climate Change,’ so we’re trying to give a platform to films that highlight these issues and the environmental heroes that are making a difference,” Fadly said. “One of those people is Malaysian director Mark See. Several of his films will be screened at KLEFF highlighting the local Malaysian heroes that are making changes, no matter big or small, in their community and the environment.”

It all builds to closing day with “The Sun on top of the House” by Canadian filmmaker Farhan Umedaly. “Farhan has been to the festival before with ‘Last Stand for Lelu” two years back — so we’re glad to have him back,” Fadly said.

Farhan will have his film, “The Sun on Top of the House” screened on Sunday, the last day of the festival, and 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.

Farhan who won the Best Short Documentary at KLEFF two years ago with “Last Stand for Lelu” about the Canadian indigenous community, Lax Kw’alaams fighting to protect their sacred and traditional territory from a massive oil and gas pipeline project by Malaysian petroleum company, Petronas.

“This year we have a total of RM8, 500 that goes to 9 filmmakers for the awards,” Fadly said. “The awards are aimed to support them in raising these films up for the quality of filmmaking, artistry and environmental message.”

To find out more about the screening times and schedule, click here:

Or scan the QR code below to download the PDF version of the KLEFF Screening Schedule:

Find more details on the festival website.

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