June 15, 2022

In this edition, we feature EngageMedia’s partnership with the 18th Mini Film Festival x Mini Arts Festival in Malaysia. We also highlight several social issue films: a documentary following a woman’s journey to help protect India’s coral reefs, a film on two siblings’ experience in a refugee camp in Bangladesh, and an experimental film depicting a Filipino sex worker's trauma.

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18th Mini Film Festival x Mini Arts Festival

Malaysia’s longest-running short film festival Mini Film Festival steps into its 18th edition this year with a variety of online and offline film screenings, discussions, performances, and exhibitions running from July 14 to 17.

EngageMedia is a partner for this year’s event, and Cinemata will be hosting the online screening of selected films from the festival.

With the theme “Revival”, this year’s festival also features other art forms – art exhibitions, live music, and artist talks – to celebrate the resurgence of the creative industry which had been upended by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Catch the online screening of 18 films on Cinemata by registering for a free festival pass here. Learn more about the online art exhibition and other events on this page.


‘Coral Woman’

Uma has been painting coral reefs as the subject of her art despite never having been underwater to see actual corals. At age 49, she learns how to dive and discovers some hard truths about the state of coral reefs in India.

In Coral Woman, Uma’s experiences underwater led her on a journey of discovery about climate change, its impact on corals, and an urgency to protect them.

On July 20, the team behind Coral Woman will talk about their creative approach for the impact campaign of the film, which resulted in the creation of a children’s book, art residency, and art installations. Director Priya Thuvassery and impact producer Anupama Mandloi will share their experiences in the next session of Impact Talks at Docs by the Sea.

Learn more about this free event and how to register by visiting this page.

Director: Priya Thuvassery


Trailer: 'The Ice Cream Sellers'

After the Rohingya genocide, two siblings begin their new life by selling cheap ice cream in the world's largest refugee camp in Bangladesh – all in a desperate attempt to earn enough money to secure their father's release from a Myanmar prison.

The little boy, Ayas, and his sister, Asya, were deeply affected by their experience and the ongoing generational trauma produced by witnessing genocide.

The Ice Cream Sellers won the best feature documentary film award at the 11th edition of the South Asian Film Festival in Montreal, Canada. The full film will have a limited screening on Cinemata this August to mark the fifth anniversary of the Rohingya genocide.

Stay tuned for more details on EngageMedia.org soon.

Director: Sohel Rahman



Himlay (Slumber) is an experimental documentary exploring a former sex worker's nightmares and her escape to pursue her real dreams.

The film was made for the benefit of Destiny Rescue, an organisation that rescues underage children trapped in prostitution or sexual exploitation. Himlay was officially selected for the Rome Independent Prisma Awards 2018, Human Rights Short Film Festival Dhaka 2018, and Lift Off Sessions UK 2018.

Content Warning: References to sexual exploitation

Director: Inshallah Montero



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