Borneo eco film festival to showcase 18 films from around the world

KOTA KINABALU: The seventh edition of the Borneo Eco Film Festival (BEFF) will be screening 18 films from around the world in Sabah on Sept 22-24 at Suria Sabah Shopping Mall here.

BEFF Director Melissa Leong said among the participating countries, besides Malaysia, are United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Turkey, Myanmar, The Netherlands and Singapore.

She said seven short films would be screened during the BEFF "365 Fringe Screening" at selected locations around Sabah throughout the year.

"The three-day festival is an annual non-profit event celebrating Borneo's biocultural diversity through showcasing environmental films and nurturing local community film making.

"During the festival, cinephiles are treated to Asian and Southeast Asian premieres of documentaries that highlight a variety of issues from elephant conservation to indigenous land rights," she said at a press conference here today, adding that all the film screenings were free to the public.

Leong noted that one of the films that would touch the hearts of the people in Sabah titled Mount Kinabalu - North Borneo 1961 and produced by the UK Royal Society was filmed in 1961 on old film reels discovered in the Royal Society archives.

To name a few, she said, the other films highlighted insects as delicacies, how the fashion industry impacts the environment and how cats became an integral part of a city.

Besides the film-screenings, Leong said the festival would also feature educational talks, discussion panels, workshops and an Eco Art Carnival showcasing eco themed art installations as well as an arts and crafts market.

In conjunction with the festival, she said that BEFF organised the Suara community filmmaking programme with a series of film making workshops since Mar for the indigenous and local community, whose films would premiere on the final day (Sept 24) of the festival.

"Through thematic and intensive workshops helmed by leading creative industry professionals from Malaysia and Indonesia, villagers who joined the Suara community programme learn to harness the power of images and sound to tell the stories about their communities, experiences, the environment around them and world views related to Borneo's biocultural heritage," she explained.

Further information and updates on the festival is available at www.beff.org.my or on BEFF's Facebook page. — Bernama