ECO FILM FEST
IT’S always a challenge to tie down the programming for a festival that involves films, workshops, gigs, performance art and activities for the entire family. Take for instance the Eco Film Fest 2010, which opened on Monday, at the Faculty of Economics and Administration campus, Universiti Malaya in Kuala Lumpur which seeks to develop a sustainable cross platform event to drive home environmental messages and promote green living awareness.
The Eco Film Fest, which began modestly in 2008, has managed to link film, music and community rather successfully in terms of the scale and budget range of an emerging annual festival.
The free-to-public festival, organised by environmental NGO EcoKnights, is rolling in the right direction and this weekend’s bump-bumper list of activities at Universiti Malaya reflects Eco Film Fest’s growth and diversity.
“Taking care of the environment is an ongoing concern for everybody – it is an issue that resonates far and wide. What we have set up with Eco Film Fest is, hopefully, a festival platform that comes into its organic own – not just a list of static activities found in a pamphlet,” said Fadly Bakhtiar, Eco Knights, programme manager.
“The festival’s profile, consid-considering the word-ofmouth support inin the early years, has picked up in the mainstream. More people know about it while others want to find out how they can get involved ... the interactive and collaborative spirit is something special here,” he added.
On the Eco Film Fest list is 30 short and feature length movies (shown daily) at two special screening rooms at the university campus while over 45 exhibitors/ vendors are part of the Greenscapes public space this weekend, hawking organic food, specialist/enviromental literature, Earth-friendly merchandise and more.
More than 30 performers/musicians (depending on last-minute inclusions) also look set to bring colour and life to the festival grounds tomorrow and on Sunday.
This year also sees the Power Down concert making its debut with award-winning singer-songwriter Aizat Amdan, newcomer pop jazz singer Amirah Ali, rock ‘n’ roll outfit Rollin’ Sixers and alternative act Monoloque slotted for tomorrow’s evening session which starts at 7.30pm. Tree Theatre Group, Wakaka, Raman the Nose Flautist and Eco Drum Circle complete the diverse and fun line-up on the Power Down stage tomorrow.
“It’s the first time we are having activities after sunset at the Eco Film Fest. The Power Down gig is an exciting addition and the public is encouraged to bring their own lights (candles, lanterns) to make the atmosphere extra special this Saturday night. The Power Down concert is presented by The Star. But the music element is practically everywhere at the festival with stages featuring unplugged acts from 2pm this weekend,” said Fadly.
“I’m hoping for an intimate ambience where I can sing along with the audience ... it will be even better if I don’t have to use the microphone during my showcase (at Power Down),” said singer-songwriter Aizat who will be accompanied by a few friends on stage during tomorrow’s performance.
Musicians at the Eco Film Fest are providing their services free.
“When the organiser contacted me to perform, I immediately said yes! The fact that they will have performances such as wayang kulit and a dance showcase by an Orang Asli group, makes it even more interesting as I like these kind of (showcases),” said Amirah Ali.
Elsewhere, frontman Loque from the alternative rock outfit Monoloque is planning to arrive early to catch a few films at the festival. Monoloque will be playing as a full band in acoustic mode at Power Down.
“I’ve been checking out this Saturday’s film marathon on the website and there are a few that have caught my attention. Basically, it’s great that musicians can be a part of the programme as well as also mingle in the crowd to enjoy the festival’s activities,” said Loque.
Outside the Power Down live schedule tomorrow night, the checklist for tomorrow and Sunday’s acoustic sessions is a long one with names like Kyoto Protocol, Diandra Arjunaidi, Markiza & Peter Hassan, Ferns, Izzy Mohamed, and Goodbye 20th Century slotted for the day-time stage events.
Newcomer acts like Keladak, Memorex Dream, The Great Metropolitan Expressway, Senoritas, Think!Tadpole!Think, Shh...Diam!, Elton & Eileen and Wanted Symphony can only benefit from festival exposure while DJ Loveseat adds a new deejay element to the music programming.
An added highlight is John Trinh, the film-maker and director of
Agent Orange: 30 Years Later who will also be making a special appearance at the Eco Film Fest tomorrow at 2.30pm at screening Hall 1 of the Faculty of Economics and Administration. Trinh will be answering questions from the audience about this film, screened for the first time in this region.
The Power Down concert is organised by The Star and is in line with The Star’s Go Green Campaign. Bring your own picnic mats, hand-held fans and candles. For more details, go to http://ecofilmfest.my/
Going acoustic: Monoloque will perform a stripped down set at the Power Down concert tomorrow.
Musicians at the Eco Film Fest’s Power Down concert tomorrow include Raman the Nose Flautist and Aizat (pic right).
Casual for the cause: Amirah Ali encourages the masses to get involved in concerts with messages.
For Mother Earth: