“Somehow I feel that an ordinary person-the man in the street if you like-is a more challenging subject for exploration than people in the heroic mold. It is the half shades, the hardly audible notes that I want to capture and explore. My films are about human beings, human relationships, and social problems. I think it is possible for everyone to relate to these issues”
— Satyajit Ray, filmmaker

Social Films for Social Change

We believe that social films can create social change.

FreedomFilmFest, the international human rights film festival, is organised by Freedom Film Network and Goethe-Institute Malaysia and is a key activity in the Social Films for Social Change project funded by the European Union.

This five-year project aims to use creative media, films and videos to strengthen democracy and human rights in Malaysia, with a particular focus on women rights and empowerment of indigenous peoples.

Freedom Film Network’s key activities are:

  1. Grants for production of social films & advocacy
  2. Capacity-building workshops
  3. Social film archive
  4. Film screenings and engagement platform
  5. The Film Censorship Act & You


Grants for production of social films & advocacy

We produce documentaries in our annual human rights festival’s film grant programme, based on each year’s theme and with civil society organisations. 

These filmmakers are often first-time directors who represent their community voices and struggles, such as the rights of the elderlysex workers, and the rights of the forgotten and marginalised, such as farmers, the blind community, and the urban poor.

Capacity-building workshops

Working with renowned, talented and experienced industry experts, we organise workshops for social filmmakers and civil society organisations to explore new methods and mediums to be more effective in bringing desired change and sustainable impact.   

This includes topics on story development, technical production skills, using film in education, using film with a strategic impact framework, and audio documentary workshops.

Social film archive

This is an initiative to archive 17 years of films, raw footage and documentaries screened and curated for our international human rights festival for educators, community leaders and civil society organisations. This remains to be the only archive of human rights footage in Malaysia, and is an ongoing effort.

Platforms for film screenings and engagement

We organise a bi-annual international documentary human rights film festival that showcases award-winning and cutting edge human rights films from around the world as well as those from Malaysian and the SEAsia region.

We believe that social films should not be passive. Each screening we organise is accompanied by a discussion, as nuances and context on issues of the day deserve to be delved in-depth, represented not just by the filmmakers, but also by community voices, to a wide range of audiences.

This includes the general public, policy-makers, lawyers, educators, academicians, farmers, social activists, worker’s rights activists, and marginalised communities such as the indigeneous community, sex workers and the LGBT community.

The Film Censorship Act & You

This is a campaign to reform media laws and policies to ensure freedom of expression is protected in films.   

Our activities include legal and social research to ascertain potential issues and areas of reforms; ongoing engagement with stakeholders from the industry, lawmakers and related official regulatory bodies; and also producing relevant resource materials on this subject.