September 30, 2022

In this edition, we highlight films on martial law-era Philippines and religious intolerance in Bangladesh and Indonesia. We also announce partnership updates and news of our recent outreach to film festivals in Malaysia.

As we mark the 20th edition of the newsletter, we thank the Cinemata community members for your continued support.

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Cinemata team strengthens collaborations with Malaysian festival partners

Earlier this month, the Cinemata team attended two film festivals in Kuala Lumpur to meet with filmmakers and curators and explore opportunities for partnerships and collaborations around shared advocacies.

The first stop was Freedom Film Festival 2022, which was held live for the first time since the pandemic lockdowns. With the theme Pandemik Dua Darjat (Pandemic of Inequality), the festival featured over 35 films on the health crisis. Cinemata was one of the event partners and hosted the films screened during the live event.

The Cinemata team also attended the Seashorts Film Festival, a Southeast Asia screening event showcasing the region’s best short films, emerging talents, and opportunities for learning and collaboration. Two films from the Tech Tales digital rights film collection (Appa and his Invisible Mundu and Black Out) were screened during the festival’s Open Screen event.

Watch out for the blog post highlighting the team’s experiences and learnings from the Malaysian film festivals.



Crowdfunding campaign: ‘PENDATANG’, a Malaysian film on racism

Malaysian film company Kuman Pictures has launched a crowdfunding campaign to support the production of their upcoming film PENDATANG, a thriller movie tackling racial segregation in a dystopian future.

The film is set under a Malaysia ruled by draconian laws where people of different races are forbidden to mingle with each other. When a Chinese family finds a Malay girl hiding in their house, they are faced with a dilemma: report her to the authorities or bring her to safety?

PENDATANG aims to become Malaysia's first fully crowdfunded movie and will be available to watch online for free in August 2023. With its themes of racism and extremism, the film faces challenges in securing funding and distribution through conventional channels.

Learn more about the film and the crowdfunding campaign here.




Philippine martial law films now permanently available on Cinemata

As advocacy groups commemorate the 50th anniversary of the declaration of martial law in the Philippines, the producers and filmmakers behind the films featured in “Daluyong: Political Filmmaking in a Period of Social Unrest Redux” have decided to permanently archive the collection in Cinemata.

During the Marcos regime, alternative films exposed the harsh realities of life under the dictatorship and played a key role in countering government propaganda. The five films in the “Daluyong” playlist capture the Filipino people's experiences and highlight stories of resistance during this critical period in history.

First made available to watch on Cinemata in April 2022, the film collection was curated by EngageMedia in partnership with archiving advocate Rosemarie Roque.




'Lingkis (Coiling)’

In Lingkis (Coiling), the Philippines is plunged into darkness by a mythological serpent borne of the Marcos and Duterte regimes. But how can its people defeat a monster that they created?

This animated documentary by Yvonne Elizabeth G. Salazar and Isabel Margarita P. Valenzuela was awarded an honourable mention in the Documentary Category of the 34th Gawad Alternatibo, the longest-running independent film competition of its kind in Asia.

Director: Yvonne Elizabeth G. Salazar & Isabel Margarita P. Valenzuela
Country: Philippines


'Dosena (Twelve)’

A timid young boy who grew up with misfits deals with confusion and tragedy on the night of his 12th birthday.

This coming-of-age short film won third prize in the 34th Gawad Alternatibo Short Feature Category.

Director: Kyla Romero
Country: Philippines


'Tale of an Ecliptic Time’

A Bangladeshi visual artist is traumatised by global terrorism and widespread unrest. He turns to his artistic creations to counter the psychological chaos. One day, a group of militants comes to confront him.

Inspired by true stories, this narrative film depicts the experiences of bloggers, writers, publishers, intellectuals, and activists killed by religious extremists for their progressive and secular views between 2013 to 2016.

Director: Zayed Siddiki
Country: Bangladesh


‘Pretty Good Podcast Episode 22: Narrating Conservative Islam in Indonesian Trolling Culture’

In this episode of Pretty Good Podcast, Imam Ardhianto, lecturer and chair of the University of Indonesia’s Media, Culture, and Research Center for Anthropological Studies, discusses the transformation of religious social media movements in Indonesia and how they shaped the socio-political landscape of the country.

Producer: EngageMedia
Country: Indonesia



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