Curtains go up for first JB Film Fest

Join filmmakers of international excellence for three days of screenings and workshops in the inaugural Johor Baru Film Festival from June 11 to 13.  

Event logo for the first JB Film Festival
This is the third in a series of festivals organized by the Johor Society of Performing Arts (JSPA) under the Johor Baru: International Festival City (JB:IFC) initiative.  Through hosting a calendar of arts, music, cultural and lifestyle events, JSPA aims to position JB as a leading festival city in the region.

Held at MAP@Nusajaya in the Mall of Medini and the Multimedia University Nusajaya, the JB Film Festival 2015 is jam-packed with a programme of screening eight feature-length films from Singapore, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Cambodia, Thailand, the Philippines and Malaysia, as well as six short films by independent Malaysian filmmakers.  Parents can also bring youngsters along to enjoy two children’s movies from France and Japan.

This gathering of delegates from 11 participating countries was made possible by festival curator, Hassan Muthalib, an eminent figure in the Malaysian film industry and director of Malaysia’s first animated feature film, with committee members, Wong Tuck Cheong and Faisal Mustaffa, who together, reflect the collective might of Malaysian cinema and filmmaking.

As with other festivals under JB:IFC there is an interactive element for participants to join two workshops and one forum in the programme.  The first workshop, Telling Stories from the Filmmaker’s Culture, will be conducted by award-winning US filmmaker, Lawrence Johnson, while the other workshop on Story & Visual Development will be conducted by award-winning director of movie from the Philippines, Halaw, Sheron Dayoc.  Various directors and producers of the films screened in the festival will participate in an exciting forum entitled, New Directions in Storytelling, Production and Funding.

The film fest will kick off with a Red Carpet reception on June 11 with invited guests like film directors and producers, actors, international delegates and other distinguished guests.  This will be followed by the screening of, Cuak, a Malaysian film jointly directed by 5 local directors – Khairil M. Bahar, Manesh Nesaratnam, Lim Benji, Tony Pietra Arjuna and Shamaine Othman.

In the next two days, seven more films will be screened: Sayang Disayang by Sanif Olek (Singapore), Halaw by Sheron Dayoc (Philippines), Labour of Love by Aditya Vikram Sengupta (India), Television by Mostofa Sarwar Farooki (Bangladesh), Soekarno by Hanung Bramantyo (Indonesia), Cambodian Son by Masahiro Sugano (Cambodia) and Pee Mak by Banjong Pisanthanakun (Thailand).  The children’s films are Komaneko – The Curious Cat by Tsuneo Goda (Japan) and My Mommy is in America and She Met Buffalo Bill by March Boreal and Thibaut Chatal (France).  The five short films by Malaysian talents that will be screened are Terbang, Doors of Horrors, Ragut, Doghole and Silhouette.

While MAP@Nusajaya is the launch venue, the official screening venue for the JB Film Fest is the Multimedia University Nusajaya.  Children’s movies are Free of Charge while entry to each movie is charged a nominal fee of RM5 only.  For more info on the JB Film Fest, visit website: and Tel: +60197139900/+60197169900.

A version of this was published in The Malaysian Insider on 11 June 2015

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