Malaysian Non-Fiction: A Short Film Program
Non-fiction films allow us to critically and creatively grapple with the world, form an opinion about life and express fears, dreams, thoughts and believes. This collection of non-fiction films presents a diverse range of topics explored by Malaysians in their early-20s with relevance to their peers around the globe: friendship, identity, sexuality, traditions, immigration, home, religion, abuse, death, etc. Through the medium of the documentary or the experimental film, these young citizen become part of a social exchange of ideas. They make themselves heard - creatively, critically, cinematically - using the cinematic medium to its fullest: personal but global, emotional and intellectual, visual and aural.
Mencari Teduh (Seeking Shade; 2014), Luqman Sheikh Ghazali, 10’10’’
According to the UNHCR, there are roughly 100,000 Muslim Rohingyas living in Malaysia. ‘Mencari Teduh’ follows the story of one of them - Mr Noor Alam, who has lived for decades on what he calls ‘the soil of the Muslims'.
Luqman Sheikh Ghazali is a 22-year old film graduate of the MMU Cinematic Arts Programme. His passions lie with the humanitarian and social issues of the Muslim people.
Nur An-nisa (2015), Izni Husain, 9’57’’
A single mother in Malaysia shares her story of domestic violence. Following her fourth pregnancy, her husband abandons the family only to return to inflict pain. After horrific events, she finds the strength to stand up and focus on her children.
Izni Husain is an aspiring writer and director from Taiping, Malaysia. She is a student at Multimedia University’s Faculty of Cinematic Arts. Nur An-nisa is her first directorial effort.
Something Fishy (2015), Nabil Lukman, 9’42’’
Something Fishy explores the relationship between fish breeder Luqman, his fish and his employee Khan - against the backdrop of Teluk Kerang, Johor, Malaysia.
Nabil Lukman is an adventurous 23-year old filmmaker in his final year studying Cinematic Arts at Multimedia University.
Mountaineer (2015), Emmy Ong, 9’09’’
John Lennon once said: “I used to think it was mere homesickness, then I started getting it at home”. This is a film about home, Mount Ledang, and Hazma - the mountaineer.
Emmy Ong is a final year Cinematic Arts student at Multimedia University and the inaugural recipient of the Rhizophora Scholarship of Excellence.
Bread (2015), Chan Hwee Lan & Mary Grace Liew, 2’04’’
Bread explores the life of an old couple that runs a bakery in a suburban town in Malaysia. They produce handmade bread every morning for the past 30 years, with only each other's shoulders to support for.
Chan Hwee Lan & Mary Grace Liew are final year Cinematic Arts students in Malaysia.
...Plus a rapid-fire Potpourri of eight ultra-short ‘thoughts’:
The Decisive Moment, David Choo, 1’59’’
Aku Perempuan (I’m a Woman), Izni Husain, 1’07’’
Unnamed, Aiman & Shanky, 2’00’’
Habits, Emmy Ong, 1’07’’
PRSM, Mary Grace Liew, 2’00’’
Purpose, Naqib Bin Wan Mohamed, 2’01’’
Secrets, Fabeeha Lodhi & Thevanesan, 1’17’’
?’s Gaze (an examination), Chloe Yap Mun, 2’13’’
...and Five works from the Kuala Lumpur Experimental Film, Video & Music Festival
KLEX is an independent, artist-run grassroots international festival of experimental film, video art and music founded in Malaysia in 2010 by a cross-disciplinary group of artists. The works here present fragments of everydayness, social and meditative observations, conceptual and psychological explorations, and a play with abstract visual and sonic rhythms. A brief survey of video works experimenting with various approaches and styles. (Kok Siew-Wai)
Alor Setar Pulse (2015), Andrew Stiff, 4’55’’
Naturally drawn to patterns and order, we see the world sequentially, even though events and communication are not. Like pulse, the motion of blinds swaying in the evening breeze of Alor Setar is fractured into a series of cuts that balance disorder against the linear order of colour and context.
Andrew Stiff studied painting at the Chelsea School of Art in London, and gained his masters at the University of Liverpool in England where he explored his interest in digital media and architecture. Andrew is currently teaching at RMIT University in Vietnam.
Lulai (2014), Lim Chee-Yong, 6’30’’
A visitor’s sympathetic portrait of the Bajau Laut and Bajau Darat people from Mabul island, off Sabah. This group of Bajau people is stateless. Without nationality they do not enjoy benefits of citizenship. Given a choice, will they choose to lead a “free” life as they are now?
Lim Chee-Yong is a Malaysian fiction and documentary filmmaker. He graduated from New Era College in 2008, majoring in Drama and Visuals; and from the National Taiwan University of Art in 2013 in the Motion Picture Department.
The Song of Life (2015), Winston Liew Kher-Cheng, 6’40’’
In a forgotten place where a family calls it home, they have left a trace. As time passes by, a song of their lives is heard.
Winston Liew Kher-Cheng graduated from the New Era College Drama & Visual Department in Malaysia. He is currently a freelancer in theater and video production.
Morning (2011), Kok Siew-Wai, 3’50’’
The artist was awaken by very loud barking of dogs early in the morning, and saw four dogs toying with a dead cat. She took out a camera and recorded the scene, witnessing a reality in nature that is blunt, intense and beyond human morality.
Kok Siew-Wai is a video artist, vocal improviser and independent artist-organizer from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She graduated from University at Buffalo and Alfred University and has shown her videos, curatorial programmes and performed in Asia, Europe, Canada and USA.
Soli (2013), Adrienne Marcus Raja, 10’00’’
Soli follows the sun, symbolized by an enigmatic figure, Sole, as he explores the city and illuminates the lives of a series of lonely people, symbolically lighting the darkness that we have in our own and the pressure that forces us to make decisions in life.
Adrienne Marcus Raja is a filmmaker from Borneo, Malaysia. She holds an M.F.A. in Documentary Media from Ryerson and a B.A. in Mass Comm from Curtin University.