Across the Sea: East Malaysian Shorts

This programme of East Malaysian shorts was screened twice. The first time at Urbanscapes 2016 on the 5th of May and the second time on the 5th of June 2016 for Art For Grabs, Black Box, Publika.

We’re so hung up over the semenanjung, it’s time to take notice of what’s been going on in Sabah and Sarawak. As such, we scored an award-winning young Sabahan filmmaker to serve as our East Malaysia correspondent in this segment featuring short films by our brethren across the waters.

First on Thursday night's agenda is Across the Sea: East Malaysian Shorts, a short shorts program curated by Nadira Ilana. Look out for more information on her chosen East Malaysians in the next couple of days, but know that you can catch Nadira, Bebbra, Mallory and Uzair at the post-screening forum!

Very excitingly, this night also comes with an exclusive preview of Big Stories Bongkud-Namaus, the debut Malaysian installment of Australian documentary initiative Big Stories Small Towns. In this special screening, catch rural Malaysian folk like never before for the first time outside its world premiere in Sabah last month.

Time: 8:00pm
Date: 2 May 2016
Venue: Urbanscapes House (old OCBC bank building), 2 Jalan Hang Kasturi, Kuala Lumpur.

Admission to all screenings is FREE!


FRAGILE (2015)
Director: Bebbra Charles Mailin
Duration: 10 min 40sec
Nirwana is a 12 year old with big dreams of becoming a singer. Opportunities are short for her however as she comes from a family of Indonesian migrants living day to day in the heart of Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

Director: Anjali Venugopal
Duration: 2 min 31 sec
Happiness is fleeting but sweet. And it is sad that sometimes I can forget how true happiness feels like when I fall into that deep pit called depression.

TUDTU (2006)
Director: Margaret Bong
Duration: 15 minutes
Tudtu follows Ken, a precocious boy who lives with his family in a Kelabit Highlands, collecting salt. This film is part one of a series of documentaries called Weight of Salt, where the filmmaker revisits Ken in 2009 and 2011.

Director: Mallory Lee
Duration: 15 minutes
Adam is still reeling from heartache after being separated from the love of his life, Angel. The strain of being in a long-distance relationship ended things for them. Family and friends encourage him to move on, but he won’t budge. The inevitable happens and once again, love is making a move - towards Wangsa Maju, Seksyen 2. Last Christmas, love is - Lost and Found.

BEJALAI (2013)
Director: Uzair Sawal
Duration: 7 minutes
Bejalai is about the filmmaker's journey back to his hometown and experience the revival of an almost dying rite of passage tradition.


Duration: 15 minutes

Big Stories is an internationally acclaimed community storytelling project from Australia, collaborating with local filmmakers across the Asia-Pacific to tell heartwarming stories with local people living in small towns. From outback Australia to rural Cambodia, stories focus on people caring for and creating their community.

The project has won numerous awards including SXSW Community Champion and has screened at film festivals including two selections for the International Documentary Festival of Amsterdam – the world’s most prestigious documentary film festival.

Big Stories Bongkud-Namaus is the first Malaysian partnership with Big Stories Co. At the helm of this community project is Nadira Ilana, an independent filmmaker from the Borneo-Malaysian state of Sabah.

After a year of production and having survived the Sabah earthquake, on the 12th of March 2016, Big Stories Bongkud-Namaus had its world premiere in Kampung Bongkud, Ranau in collaboration with FINAS Malaysia. All materials will be made available at, making Malaysia the first Big Stories Co. partner to have its own domain.

Big Stories, Small Towns in Sabah is funded by the Australia Malaysia Institute and the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. FINAS Malaysia is the project presentation partner and main sponsor of the Big Stories Sabah launch. Big Stories Co. acknowledges the ongoing support of Screen Australia.


Presented by The Daily Seni in collaboration with Urbanscapes! Check out the full (1+RE)DISCOVER programme via our website, and make sure to join us from 2 - 6 May at the Urbanscapes House!

Filem-Filem Underground by FINAS

Kuala Lumpur, 21 March 2015



'Filem-Filem Underground' is a screening of short films from established as well as up and coming young Malaysian directors. Some of these are award winning films have previously screened at festivals such as Sundance Film Festival, SXSW,International Film Festival Rotterdam and 부산국제영화제 Busan International Film Festival (BIFF), some even with the support of FINAS.

Part of the KL ALTERNATIVE BOOKFEST (KLAB) 2015 + ART FOR GRABS, we're doing this 'santai' style - chill out before our silver screen on picnic mats and comfortable bean bags. Treat yourself to a movie snack from Poco Gourmet Popcorn while watching good Malaysian shorts, which will be playing on repeat throughout the weekend. We have screenings, a forum and prizes to give away!

Our Underground Films include:

1. Budak Baru dir. Megat Sharizal (2014)

2. FIX dir. We Jun Cho (2013)

3. Hujan Panas dir. Nadiah Hamzah (2011)

21st March (Saturday) - 12pm, 3pm, 6pm

22nd March (Sunday) - 1pm, 4pm


4. Langad di Odu (Grandma’s Longing) dir. Bebbra Mailin (2012)

5. My Name is Francois dir. Ismail Jamaludin (2012)

6. Pasak dir. Amanda Nell Eu (2012)

21st March (Saturday) - 1pm, 4pm, 7pm

22nd March (Sunday) - 2pm, 5pm


7. Welcome to Kampung Radioaktif dir. Liew Seng Tat |(2012)

8. Kekasih dir. Diffan Norman (2014)

9. Springtime Nostalgia dir. Edmund Yeo (2012)

21st March (Saturday) - 2pm, 5pm

22nd March (Sunday) - 12pm, 3pm




While you're at our little cinema, let's give our filmmakers some love! We're having a social media competition called 'Everyone's a Critic'.

Stand a chance to win some prizes by taking a photo on of our screen or programme with your own short, honest review of any of the short films. Extra points for a photo with one or more of the Filem-Filem Underground Filmmakers! Post these pictures onto Instagram or Twitter with these hashtags:

#pocopopcorn #filemunderground #doofunderground or #finas and stand a chance to win free Poco Popcorn, Doof merchandise or film books and DVDs!



21st of March from 6.30pm - 8pm.

A topical discussion on censorship and self-censorship in Malaysian cinema. It's generally perceived that Malaysia mostly produces vapid "hantu-gangster" films however over the years, independent Malaysian filmmakers have gotten more success abroad at international festivals with films shot in Malaysia but that are nearly impossible to view on home soil.

Can only mainstream films survive in Malaysia?

Is there a market or avenue in Malaysia for honest, thought provoking films?

How have Malaysian filmmakers adapted in order to maintain their creative integrity?

Speakers include Director-General of FINAS, Datuk Kamil Othman, producer and founder of Red Communications Sdn Bhd, Lina Tan, producer-director Woo Ming Jin, Doghouse73 Pictures' James Lee and filmmaker, Rewan Ishak. The forum will be moderated by Nadira Ilana.

This programme has been carefully curated by filmmaker Nadira Ilana of Working Title Film Drinks, on behalf of FINAS, the Malaysian National Film Development Corporation.


Daily Seni
BFM Interview about Filem-Filem Underground.