Can you believe it’s already May? We’re already halfway through 2015! So far it’s been a really busy year for FFF. Even though we’re still four months away from the festival, all the preparation is keeping us on our feet. In addition to the preparation for the festival, we also had several opportunities to organise screenings with some really cool events. Here are our April highlights:

artACT!

In conjunction with artACT! a month long program that explored the power of art to affect change, FFF held a weekly free screening at Publika. artACT! organised multiple exhibitions, talks, and forums that discussed different issues. From migrants and refugees, environmentally conscious businesses, and sexual and gender identity, there were many important issues explored at artACT!

FFF showed a total of 19 films every Monday for 4 weeks. The themes were children, short and sweet films, art and activism, and homes and heritage in Malaysia. We are glad to report that we were able to have good discussions with the audience after each screening.

Crossroads

In 2013, EngageMedia collaborated with MalaysiaKini’s Citizen Journalists Malaysia (CJMY) to teach migrant rights activists’ video production and distribution skills, the result is Crossroads. Crossroads tells the stories of people who have chosen or been forced to leave their homes. These are not only stories of struggle in a foreign land, but also of resilience and hope for a better future.

The 12 videos in our Crossroads collections feature migrant workers, refugees and stateless people in Malaysia telling their stories. All the videos have been translated and subtitled through Engage Media’s Lingua project into English, and are organised into five chapters according to the theme of migration they touch upon.

Currently FFF is working together with engage media to screen the films to different stakeholders including the migrants, refugees and stateless communities. So far 6 screenings have been done in Malaysia. Three more screenings will be held in East Malaysia, with more to come in West Malaysia.

FFF 2015 FFF Film Grant Pitch

On the 12 April 2015, eight shortlisted filmmakers were chosen to pitch their proposals for this year’s FFF film grant. Originally there were only supposed to be three winners, but in the end the judges decided that there were four deserving proposals. The four winners were each awarded a grant of RM 8,000 to start production on their respective documentaries. We are excited for these filmmakers, most of whom are newbies, to start production. Their completed films will be screened at FFF 2015. To read more about the four winning pitches, click here.

ASEAN People’s Forum Film Festival

The ASEAN People’s Forum is the largest civil society conference in South East Asia. This year it was Malaysia’s turn to play host to the forum from the 21 – 24 April 2015, with over 1500 participants in attendance. On the 23 April 2015, a screening was organised as part of the forum.

The screening saw a good crowd with 150 people turning up to watch 11 short films from around South East Asia focusing on the stories, hopes, and dreams of people from around the region. After the screening, filmmakers were invited to share their experiences and also answer questions from the audience. This was the 5th time Freedom Film Festival has been organised in conjunction with the ASEAN People’s Forum. It has been organized in Cambodia, Myanmar, Philippines and Brunei.

Stay tuned for our upcoming projects! We have some cool things lined up for the month of May, as well as updates on the projects of our four film grant winners.

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