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A truly international and enriching film experience

KUCHING, June 21: The highly anticipated 19th Mini Film Festival and Mini Arts Festival returns from July 6th to 9th at La Promenade Mall, showcasing an exciting lineup of free film screenings and engaging art workshops all in one location.

Festival director, Yow Chong Lee revealed that this year’s edition offers an extensive selection of over 60 captivating short films from a diverse range of cinematic creations hailing from Southeast Asia, Japan, and the United States, promising a truly international and enriching film experience.

He added the theme chosen for this year’s festival is (Un)Trapped, as it captures the ability of film and arts to entrap and untangle audiences and makers to taste the freedom of creative works.

“(Un)Trapped gives us hope for new possibilities, fantasy, and imagination that we never thought of.

“They prompt us to think outside of the box, confront our fear of uncertainty and unfamiliarity, and take action for the betterment of ourselves and others,” he told TVS.

Two featured films will be screened, “KITA”, a documentary directed by Sarawakian filmmaker Nova Goh and “OBAKE” by Nakao Hiromichi from PIA Film Festival, a prestigious film festival in Japan that spotlight new talents in that country.

Among the featured workshops in this year’s Mini Film Festival are “Improvisation and Arts of Storytelling” by actor Rashid Salleh, “A Film Producer’s Journey” by producer Nandita Solomon (Interchange, 2016, Bunohan: Return to Murder, 2011 and Imaginur, 2022), and “Fun with Watercolour” by renowned Sarawakian artist Sylvester Jussem, whose paintings are prominently exhibited in hotels in Kuching.

As such, the festival has forged new partnerships with cultural organisations such as Japan Foundation Kuala Lumpur and Goethe-Institut Malaysia to curate special programmes for audiences in Kuching such as an origami workshop, as well as FINAS for film-related workshops and forum.

“We’ll also be having a forum on “Building A Healthy Art and Film Ecosystem in Sarawak and Malaysia” featuring artists and filmmakers from Sarawak and other parts of Malaysia.

“There will be 20 captivating short films nominated in the festival’s short film competition, with a number of them exploring compelling themes that strike an emotional chord,” he noted.

He pointed out short films such as “The Blessing”, “Carousel”, “Funeral for Two” and the documentary “The Absent Guest” from the Students’ Category depict the theme of loss and parting that is portrayed beautifully through sentimental storytelling methods.

Meanwhile, in the Open Category, short films such as “Garek”, “Kumbang”, “The Flying Snail” and “Phone Call Man Woman” shine a light on overlooked societal issues and aim to evoke awareness among the audiences.

The short films will be judged by a panel of juries, they are Nabila Shohimi from Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival, actor Rashid Salleh, filmmakers Bebbra Mailin, producer Nandita Solomon, filmmaker Nova Goh and Sarawak Media Group executive director Sarbini Hamdan.

Adding to the excitement, the Mini Film Festival will also be the Malaysian premiere of most of these exceptional films, providing an unforgettable cinematic experience that showcases diverse inspiring short films.

The annual Mini Film Festival, which is the longest running short film festival in Malaysia, is organised by the Cinematography Programme, Faculty of Applied and Creative Arts, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak.

For festival’s schedule and registration, please click here. – TVS

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