Film Grants Selection Panel

DREW AMBROSE is a senior producer for Al Jazeera’s Asian current affairs program “101 East”. Based in Malaysia, he has reported from over 25 countries. The 32 year old has produced documentaries and news reports for Australia’s two public broadcasters- often as a foreign correspondent. His work has won the New York Festival Gold Medal, Asian Human Rights Press Award, United Nations Media Peace Prize and a Global Media Award amongst other journalism prizes in Australia

ERIC PAULSEN started his legal practice in a leading criminal and public interest law firm in Malaysia and also worked at Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram), a civil and political rights advocacy organization. Over the last decade, he worked with UN organizations in Cambodia, Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar and also co-founded Lawyers for Liberty (LFL), a human rights lawyers’ organization in 2011. He was its Adviser until 2014 when he became the Executive Director. He has been charged under Malaysia’s Sedition Act for criticizing JAKIM, (The Malaysian Islamic Development Department) of allegedly promoting extremism through its Friday sermons

VIMALA SUNDRAM has 14 years of working in the Administrative and Diplomatic Service giving her a good grasp of the public sector and skills to ensure targeted and successful government programs. In 1986 Vimala worked as a public relations consultant in Ogilvy and Mather Public Relations firm and later as the General Manager of another public relations agency. In 1992, she founded Capital Corporate Communications, a PR and communications consultancy firm serving a select client group. Vimala has a BA Hons. Degree (English and Economics) from the University of Malaya and an MSc in Social Planning for Developing Countries from the London School of Economics

Best International Film

AL JAFREE MD YUSOP began his career as a scriptwriter. He wrote the film “Paloh” for director Adman Salleh and the stage musical “P. Ramlee, The Musical” for Enfiniti Production. His directing career started with “Senandong Malam”, a telemovie which he co-directed with Dain Said. He then directed “Melur vs Rajawali” and “Kembara Nak Dara”, both telemovies for RTM. He directed his first feature film “Mencari Rahmat” in 2017.

MARCUS VETTER (born 1967) graduated in Economics (1991) and Media Theory and Practice (1994). Since 1994 he has been working as a TV editor, producer and director at ARD/ SWR in Baden-Baden and Stuttgart. His films have received attention at national and international film festivals and won numerous prizes, among which are 3 Adolf Grimme Awards – the German Oscar and the German Academy Award. Among his portfolio of films and documentations are “The Tunnel” (1999, 90 min.), “My father the Turk” (2006, 90 min), “Heart of Jenin” (2008, 90 min), “Hunger” (2009, 90 min), “Cinema Jenin” (2011, 90 min), “The Court” (2012, 90 min), The Promise (2016, 131 min.) and The Forecaster (2014, 94 min.).

NANDITA SOLOMON has worked on award-winning feature films, documentaries and video art installations that have screened in Malaysia and abroad, including “Near Intervisible Lines”, which was invited to the Sydney Biennale 2006, and “Karaoke” (2009) which debuted at the Cannes’ Directors Fortnight. Her first feature “Bunohan” (2011) which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival was pre-sold to Universal Pictures and was Malaysia’s 2nd. ever official submission to the Oscars. Her latest film, “Interchange” (2016), premiered at the Locarno International Film Festival’s Piazza Grande and was screened at numerous festivals including Toronto, BFI London, Singapore, Jogja NAFF, Goa, Sitges and Bucheon.

Best South East Asia Film

ONDŘEJ MORAVEC is the program director of One World Film Festival, based in Prague, which is the biggest human rights documentary film festival in the world. He graduated at Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (FAMU) where he studied screenwriting. He also graduated at the Charles University in Prague, where he studied media and journalism. He worked as a reporter in the cultural room of the Czech Television for 4 years and was also the program director of the film festival Čačikano which was about Romani culture. He was also then working as a documentary filmmaker.

SHARMIN PARAMESWARAN heads the Video on Demand Business in Astro Malaysia. She keeps abreast with content from digital and broadcast platforms in movies and TV series to today’s short formats. Sharmin believes that content makers today have good opportunities to tell their stories. She is also an independent curator in the Malaysian art visual scene and has collaborated with AWAM to stage “The Good Malaysian Woman: Ethnicity, Religion, Politics” which highlighted how female stereotypes affect women’s sense of self, community and nationality. Other collaborations include the acclaimed Obscura Photo Festival on the exhibition Person (a) and her most recent, Collective Individuals, with Urbanscapes 2017.

SHARAAD KUTTAN is a presenter and producer on BFM89.9’s morning show, the Klang Valley’s premier English language talk radio station. He has been a working journalist and educator for the last two decades in Malaysia after getting an MA in Sociology from the National University of Singapore. In 2006 he was awarded the Nippon Foundation’s Asian Public Intellectual fellowship. He co-edited “Looking at Culture”, a collection of essays on cultural politics in Singapore, and contributed a chapter to “Elections and Democracy in Malaysia” (2005) published by the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Press. He has an interest in art and is a member of the Singapore branch of the International Association of Art Critics.

Best Short Film

NALINI ELUMALAI is a grassroots and human rights activist. She is currently the program officer of “Article 19”, an advocacy NGO in Malaysia. She also served as a campaign coordinator and later the Executive Director of Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) for several years. Nalini is also active in grassroots struggles of the rural poor, plantation workers and indigenous people. Since 2006, she has been an active volunteer in the Oppressed People Network, a communitybased organization, fighting for safe housing, land rights and workers’ rights.

ANDREW KHOO has been in Malaysian legal practice in for more than 22 years. He has been an elected member of Bar Council Malaysia since March 2009 and currently serves as Co-Chair of the Human Rights Committee. He has acted as watching brief counsel for the Malaysian Bar, the Malaysian Human Rights Commission, the Christian Federation of Malaysia and the Bible Society of Malaysia before the Malaysian High Court, Court of Appeal and Federal Court in a range of human rights-related issues. Andrew has authored the Law and the Judiciary chapter of SUARAM’s Annual Report on Civil and Political Rights in Malaysia from 2007-2014 and 2016, and his articles have been published in New Straits Times, The Sun, Malaysiakini, Nut Graph, Micah Mandate, Wall Street Journal, and on the Malaysian Bar website and journal. He has been watching TV and movies for as long as he can remember

SHUFIYAN SHUKUR (SHUF) was the senior producer at which he joined in November 2006, and helmed it right up to 2013 when was replaced with He then undertook a less stressful role producing features and documentaries until April 2014. He is now on a break from media work and has been flying camera ‘drones’ in corporate video work and for leisure.

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