Group photo of applicants, judges and organizers. Photo credit: FFF's website
Malaysia's annual human rights documentary film festival, FreedomFilmFestival (FFF) 2016 has announced the winners of its film grant for the documentary competition, which aimed to cast the spotlight on underrepresented human rights and public interest issues through the powerful medium of film.
Out of five shortlisted entries, the film grant was awarded to two winners; Nova Goh and Ashleigh Lim. Each of them will receive RM8,000 to produce their films which are set to premiere during the FreedomFilmFestival from 20th to 28th August 2016 at PJ Live Arts.
Nova Goh secured the film grant with her film proposal, Peluk and Simo which tells the story of two members of the oldest remaining Indigenous Bidayuh tribe; Peluk Apeh and Simo Sekam who were displaced from their home villages because of construction works.
Whereas Ashleigh Lim won the film grant with her proposal, Stories of My Father. The film follows the journey of a daughter as she strives to make connections between her seemingly ordinary life and her father's past of being detained without trial from 1968 to 1974 for his involvement in the Labour Party.
The finalists were evaluated by esteemed judges including Aloke Devichand, Senior Producer at Al Jazeera English; Premesh Chandran, Chief Executive Officer of Malaysiakini; Sharmini Darshini, Executive Director of Amnesty International Malaysia; Brenda Danker, FFF’s Production Consultant and documentary film director, Norhayati Kaprawi.
Established in 2003, the FreedomFilmFest meant to create a vital platform for filmmakers and activists to showcase human rights films and advocate their causes to the Malaysian public. It adopts the themes encompassed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), pioneering a documentary film competition method in Malaysia which encourages first-time film makers to turn their winning proposals into films.