Power down


The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - FRONT PAGE - By DARYL GOH en­ter­tain­ment@thes­tar.com.my


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:

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