March 2019 marked the day of Projek Dialog’s second instalment of Pesta Filem
Kita 2. Boasting a reputation of showcasing films which illustrate the
Malaysian experience and lifestyle, it aims to bring people together through
films as an important cultural medium.
This event was proudly supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the US Embassy in Malaysia, and Malaysians 4 Malaysia. After close consideration of multiple factors, this 10-hour long event is decidedly held in RUANG by Think City, which is right in the heart of KL, surrounded by an area best known for KL’s rich, traditional and modern culture. Apart of its accessibility granted for our guests, a closed-off event space is able to provide a privatized atmosphere, definitely suitable for enjoying movies!
preparations for this event were undergone for about three months. Spearheaded
by the curators: Victoria Cheng, Muzzamer Rahman, and Fuad Rahmat, they are
able to ensure the success and smooth-running of the festival.
its promotional stage, it garnered a lot of attention and positive responses
from the public, especially on social media platforms such as: Facebook,
Twitter, and Instagram are able to showcase incredible statistics. This time
period is crucial for the success of the event, as it is important to spread
event space is effectively utilized by splitting it into sections: a large
screen with a raised platform for screenings and speeches served as the room’s
centrepiece, bamboo mats and beanbag chairs strewed across it for a fun and
casual movie-going experience, while higher chairs lined tidily beyond them up
until the back of the room.
the stage featured a large poster board of the events’ logo: a plate of nasi
lemak – which is Malaysia’s most famous delicacy – shared among people of
different races – which is exemplified by the skin tones and cultural
characteristics of their hands, serving as a designated space for taking
and buntings about the event’s information lined the walls, accompanied by
large cardboard cubes with the filmmakers’ profile stacked together, and the
filmmakers definitely enjoyed them, as most of the filmmakers took the cubes of
themselves home! Furthermore, a plasma television was set up to showcase films
from the last ‘Pesta Filem Kita’, which was held in 2016.
vendors ran their businesses with their stalls set up next to the buntings,
while the registration and free goodies table was placed by the entrance to
make a guest count and hand out free t-shirts and laptop stickers.
Filem Kita 2 kicked off with ‘Malaysians 4 Malaysia Short Video Contest’ open
to Malaysian students with a top cash prize of RM 2,000. The theme of the
contest was ‘The Hopes for the Youth for a New Malaysia’, which is importantly
relevant to the current state of our country with its recent government change
and youths being next in line to shape its future. The contest had gathered
more than 30 applicants, and it was narrowed down to 9 finalists after meticulous
consideration. The finalists are as followed:
Hukum (by: Ahmad Syazwan Bin Rosli)
Penamat (by: Izaq Yuzaini Bin Ismail)
(by: Adam Taufiq Suharto)
All Liberties (by: Tengku ‘Alauddin Mahmud)
(by: Syarul Akmal)
Hope and Dream For A New Malaysia (by: Bea Jia Hui)
Malam (by: Hakim Hasnan)
(by: Khairi Hizami Bin Zalani)
Change: Beyond the Ballot Box (by: Teoh Sing Fei)
a screening of videos which showcase the title through diverse perspectives, it
is evident that the youths of Malaysia possess immense potential to be not only
filmmakers, but future leaders who pledge patriotism and love for the diversity
in our country. Then, a short interview and Q&A session were held with the[U1]
young filmmakers, conducted by the event’s emcee – Sadiq.
finally, the winners were announced based on a collective decision by our
esteemed curators, Victoria Cheng, Muzzamer Rahman, and Fuad Rahmat, who were
also the judges for this contest:
1st place: Memoir
2nd place: Butang Hukum
3rd place: Garisan Penamat
Butang Hukum also swept up Audience
Choice Award, as decided by the guests through an online poll, determining it
as the popular crowd favourite. A speech was given by Yana Rizal to
congratulate the contestants for their dedication and creative endeavours. The
contest ended at 1pm as the winners went home with prize money and certificates
as a proof of their provision.
the same time, registrations were made throughout the duration of the event,
and the statistics gathered were very impressionable and proved the event to be
successful: more than 300 guests, consisted of mostly Malaysian youths
attended. After the guests have successfully registered, event-themed t-shirts
and laptop stickers (sponsored by Malaysians 4 Malaysia) were handed out as
complimentary gifts to guests, the gifts proved to be popular as they sported a
simple yet meaningful design and was widely demanded.
in the afternoon, two workshops aimed to spread knowledge about filmmaking were
conducted from 1.30pm to 3.30pm. The first workshop was led by Dr Khairul Fazi,
lecturing the finer points on the topic ‘Documentaries: The Bold New Cinéma Vérité’,
reflecting on the documentary style as a prevalent filmmaking technique.
The second workshop was conducted by Joshua Michael,
explaining and elaborating on the topic ‘New Media, New Malaysia’, thus
commenting on the media landscape in the current political and systematic
climate. Waves of people filled the seats, eager to get a fill of filmmaking
Evening GALA began on 5.30pm with a light-hearted cocktail reception to break
the ice. The buffet table was crammed with neatly-arranged finger-sandwiches,
spaghetti Bolognese cups, kuih muih and beverages, as the guests mingled about
the crowds settled down for the screening, the highly-respected YB Fahmi Fadzil
– who is the member of Parliament for Lembah Pantai – was given the honour to
give an opening speech, stressing the importance of filmmaking as an art form
and its power within Malaysian culture.
first session of the screening started off with 160 Juta (Directed by: Ashrafiqal Aleef), featuring a strong female
lead to defend her village against an exploitive person in power, but what
makes it stood out was its western cowboy film inspired style, merging with and
also contrasting against traditional Malay kampung culture.
Aku Dan Roxane
(Directed by: Mohammad Fais Hafiz) was up next, leaving the audience to ponder
the deeper meanings of ‘chaos’ in the city life of KL through its avant-garde
editing, characters’ complex emotional space and stunning visuals of sombre,
city neon lights.
finally, Rumah Tidak Bertanah (Directed
by: Putri Purnama Sugua) served as an ending to the first session, following
the story of an undocumented child in Sabah, living in extreme poverty,
striving to receive education and finally being separated from his parent as he
ran from the police, accurately representing a current issue in Sabah.
a Q&A session (led by Victoria Cheng) was held with the three filmmakers in
order to give us a glimpse into the effort behind their productions.
second session was held after a 30-minute prayer break. It began with Keretapi Ke Pangi (Directed by: Mohamad
Yusof B. Sadjirin), illustrating the sentimental bonds between family members
and their simple lives in a rural area, most particularly between a father and
his son, their relationship was magnified during the father’s accident which
requires the son to rush him to a faraway hospital as there aren’t any trains
up, Khilaf (Directed by: Khairi
Asyraff & Produced by: Rais Aqil) effectively portrayed the political issue
of child marriage and contradictory religious values through the story of a
single father and his daughter being manipulated by a close friend into
marrying his daughter after raping her, leaving the audience at the edge of
by: Bebbra Mailin) narrates a common cultural problem between Islam and
Christianity through Ninavau, who came from a Christian household, converting
to Islam and face familial and societal pressures to freely follow her
Malaysian Like Me
(Directed by: Cech Adrea) is a documentary emphasizing on the lives through light-hearted
banter between characters, showcasing a specific Malaysian-style of
friendliness and humour that surrounds the relationship between us.
second Q&A session (led by Muzzamer Rahman) was held with the remaining
filmmakers to understand more about their films.
films were then considered by a diverse panel of judges: Nova Goh – a
documentary filmmaker, Redza Minhat – an actor and a scriptwriter, Indrani
Kopal – a filmmaker, and Dr Wan Aida Wan Yahaya – an academic and a scriptwriter.
Before the announcement of winners, speeches were given by each judge, along
with the events’ curators to give their acknowledgements.
the winners of each category were announced after a decision was made:
Best Cinematography: Khilaf, which used of wide-angled shots and clever character and object placements were able to enhance the thrilling effect, shots on the sun-lit rubber plantation particularly stood out.
Best Editing: Khilaf, which effectively used fast-paced, match-on-action cuts to emphasize intensity and suspense, but also to portray a coherent sequence.
Best Director: Rumah Ndak Bertanah, applauded for the director’s competent management of actors – which featured the locals – and decisive leadership skills to depict an accurate plot of a true, lived experience.
Best Storyline: Rumah Ndak Bertanah, which features an accurate portrayal of a prevalent social issue occurring in Sabah, also has a coherent narrative which stresses the logic of cause and effect.
On the other hand, the audience were making their own decisions as well, as they decided on their favourites through an online poll. As a result, the Audience Choice Award winner is: 160 Juta, which features an interesting mash up between western culture and Malaysian culture, and an aesthetic of surreal golden-hour sunlight and dreamy ocean blue moonlight.
award giving ceremony marked the end of Pesta Filem Kita 2. Overall, it managed
to exceed the target of 300 visitors and welcomed more participation from the
youths of Malaysia. Therefore, this event reserved a lot of potential for
Projek Dialog, as we will definitely look forward to Pesta Filem Kita 3!