Saturday, November 8, 2008

Penang Film Club's screenings to stop for end of year holidays

Halo friends!

The screenings of Penang Film Club will stop for the end of year holidays and resume on the 1st Sunday of 2009.

Happy holidays and an early Happy X-mas, Happy New Year!

See you folks again next year!

Ong BK

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Celebrating win of Eco-film Fest Best Environment (Pro-category) award

The crews and friends of `6 Days' had a reunion last night at Northam Cafe to celebrate the winning of the Eco-Film Fest Best Environment (Pro-catefory) Award. Everyone was satisfied that our work has finally been given some recognition! The positive energy was flowing again-and Johny Goh agreed to help do some additional shooting to spruce up another new film sent to the same festival but did not win any prize ie `Zero Waste Home'. The new film was filmed and editted too hastily(Shot only on Sept 9th -10 days ahead of deadline on Sept 20th!)-so we will spruce it up! We will resend the film to other festivals-and who knows if it will shine in other fests in due time!

Keep up the enthusiasm!

Ong K

Monday, November 3, 2008

`6 Days' wins `Best Environmental' film award at Eco-film Fest(Pro category)

This is a good news which happened this afternoon(Nov 2nd) at Aswara College, KL. Penang Film Club sent 2 films for the competition with a theme on climate change. The 2 films are -`6 days' (11min) and `Zero Waste Home'(14min). The 2 films were selected as the finalist films-and `6 Days' won the only prize given under the Professional Category. Audrey Yeoh's film won many awards for the ameteur category -including best environment film, best film through online voting, best director and so on. She is the president of the Aswara college's film club.

`6 Days' was scripted by Ong BK, directed and shot by Johny Goh, produced by Lim Chuin Nian & Ong BK, starring Chris Gan, Christine, Naweed, Nirvan, Lim Chuin Nian, Johny Goh &Joseph. Thanks to all and others not mentioned here! The story is about a very insular middle class man who discovered that switching his air conditioner's switch can gravely affect the global weather. The realisation caused him to junk most of his power-grabber gadgets from his home-which until then was full of them!

The non-cash prize given include a 1-footer trophy, a t-shirt and a a mysterious box of goodies presumably contributed by the film fest's many sponsors. When the news was broken to all the major participants of the film all were very excited and replied to me(the only one at the Award ceremony!) that they wanted to organise a celebration! Watch out for more details from them!

I'll be back to Penang on Tuesday with the trophy and goodies-please drop by-say Tuesday evening to check out the mysterious box under seal.

Ong BK

P/S There will be a small celebration at Northam Cafe 8.30pm, Tuesday(Nov 4th) evening. All friends are welcome-may be a piece of the non-cash prizes will be given to a non-crew attendant by drawing lots!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

UPDATE: Date changed to Nov 8th : banned film on Indonesia & how to steal votes in US elections

UPDATE: Please take note that due to unforseen clash between functions on the previously advertised date the next screening will be held on Nov 8th (THIS SATURDAY) instead. It will start at 7.30pm, at D' Space (62 Weld Quay). The 2 titles to be screened are `Promised Paradise' (7.30pm), and `Cheating American elections' (8.30pm). See you! Bring all your friends!

Ong BK

Halo folks,
Screening of recycling films attraced more audience

The screening last Sunday attracted about 20 audiences -consisting mainly the crowd who became the actors/extras for the film shooting itself. Well done ! See if we could make any splash at the 1st Eco-Film Fest to start from Nov 1-2nd, at Aswara College , KL. We will update you on that at next screening on Nov 9th.

Next screenings: Double titles!

There will be 2 films to be screened on our next screening according to these details:

1. Promised Paradise (52.10min) An outstanding film featuring a special theaterist's enquiry into terrorism post 9-11 and post-Bali bombing in Indonesia. The theaterist utilised his unique sense of humour to convey an anti-terror message which appeal to multi-target audiences ie both children as well as adults can get something out of it. Banned in Indonesia due to its portrayal of an interview of one of the Bali bombers -who are to be executed next week. Start screening : 7.30pm

2. Stealing votes-the American way (50min) -an enquiry into how votes can be `stolen' via `legal means' in US. The means to do it feature what is termed as `voters' suppression' where many blacks and minorities are purged from the voters' registers in key battle states. It has been noticed since at least 3 elections back-and is still continuing. Election watchers will find this film to be of extra interests-and you are most welcome to join the screening! Screening time : 8.30pm

Date : Nov 8th(Saturday)
Venue: D' Space (3rd floor, 62 Weld Quay, above Damacai shop. Map here)
Entrance: FREE!

See you there!

Ong BK

Friday, October 24, 2008

Premier show: `Zero Waste Home' this Sunday!

Halo friends,

Screening this Sunday(Oct 26th) :
`Zero Waste Home'

(85min) 8.00pm, D' Space (3rd floor, 62 Weld Quay, above Damacai shop)

Introduction to film:

The film to be screened is a home made film on a decade long recycling campaign by the well known Penang couple Don Thesiera & Mylene Ooi of Bkt Mertajam. The film shows the seldom seen faces of the 30-year-old Jelutong Landfill -which has grown up to over 3-storey high, and if left to push into the sea, may well create a 2nd Penang-Prai Bridge at no financial cost to the tax payers! (But the environmental cost may send some shivers up your back!) To stop such garbage mountain from crowding out Penangites' (and Malaysia'ns') living spaces the committed couple have been making their recycling presentation to almost anyone who requested it in the country. The film was made as a way to document the presentation after some 200 times that Don & Mylene have done it on face-to-face encounters with residents groups, schools, clubs, corporations and even government officials! The film will help extend their green message, especially considering that they will get too tired one day. Come to meet the tireless couple and give them a pat on the back! You are also welcome to check out their web site through the link above.

Background to the film making:

The idea of making the film has started at least a year ago after the film maker(BK Ong) won a Freedom Film Fest award in 2007. Don & Mylene had been resisting the idea of filming their presentation because they prefer face-to-face talks which they rightly consider to be more effective. But they then saw that making a film and sending it to festival is also a very effective way to push their green message at well attended festivals. So they appraoched the film maker to make a film about their presentation and to look for a suitable film festival to send the future film to. When a suitable film festival was found ie the Eco-film Fest the film making was set into motion. But there was some unexpected twist: the film fest only offer financial support to film proposals from first time film makers. That information did not come to the film maker until after the proposal was sent out-which meant it was at quite late stage. To salvage the film project some calls were made around to locate alternate sponsors.

Luckily and quickly USM RCE (Regional Centre for Expertise) program offered RM3000.00 to sponsor the film's making! By the time the finances came through and Don & Mylene found time for the filming it was quite late before the submission deadline on Sept 20th (later extended).But thankfully some 50 people turned up for the shooting to play the live audience!

On top of that the film fest limit the films submissions to less than 15 min, which mean that the film maker need to make another shorter version of the presentation for submission. With the help of another few more volunteers and Don's neighbours the 15-min version film was successfully shot and express-edited by editor Johny Goh before the deadline.

So the screening will be joined by a number of the original audience of the shootings of the 2 versions of the film. For all others who had not seen the presentation before the film is definitely a recommendation! So cancell all appointments this Sunday evening and bring your family and friends to the FREE premier screening!

`Zero Waste Home'(85 min)
Producer & Director : Ong BK
Editor: Johny Goh
Language: English
Camera: Ronnie Yeoh, Lim Chuin Nian, Ong BK, Johny Goh

Penang Film Club

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Previews of Eco-film Fest

The 2-min trailer for 2 short films sent by Penang Film Club to the Eco-film Fest have been uploaded to the Eco-film Fest official web site here. Enjoy. The titles of the 2 shorts are: `6 Days' and `Zero Waste Home'. There are intro to the shorts at the Eco-knights web site.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Oct 12th screening: Pink Floyd The Wall

Halo friends,

The next screening by Penang Film Club will be as follow:

Title: Pink Floyd The Wall (1982)
Intro: This is a film which is more of an extended music video made to the tunes of Pink Flyod's album `The Wall'. It is highly relevant even today in the context of rising and persistence of repressive politics in the world. The film delved into the psychology that underpin fascist tendencies latent in many people eg the yearning for strong rather than rational leaders; the yearning to conform -thus the imagery of `a brick in the wall'; the yearning to be part of a big team-to go with the flow etc.
Time: 8.00pm
Date: Oct 12th (Sunday)
Venue: 3rd floor, 62 Weld Quay 10300 Penang.(see map here)

See you!

Ong BK

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Arts Festival on 30 to 31st August

In conjunction with Merdeka Day (Independence Day), the guys below us are hosting an arts festival.

Entitled INDIEpendent Fest, this two day event will feature a number of alternative musical groups & performers, poetry recitals, exhibitions, film screenings, etc.

Go here for more information.

Oh yes, that little documentary we made for last year's Freedom Film Fest? We're showing it there...

DATE: 30 and 31 August (Sat & Sun)

TIME: 2:00pm to late

PLACE: 62 Weld Quay, Georgetown, Penang

Friday, August 1, 2008

Aug 3: 'The Diving Bell And The Butterfly'

Based upon the true story of Jean-Dominique Bauby, and the book of the same name. A fashion magazine editor (played by Mathieu Almaric) is left totally paralyzed from a stroke. He cannot speak, nor move even a finger or toe of his body. The only exception is his left eyelid... which he can only blink.

Despite his condition, he remains mentally fit. With the help of two therapists, Mr. Bauby develops a method to communicate with them, and express (in coded form) his needs, thoughts, imaginations... and his plan to write a book, despite his invalid state.

This award-winning movie takes us into the mind of the paralyzed Mr. Bauby, and the story of his life before the stroke. He sets out to complete his book, with the assistance of his therapists who decipher his eyelid blinks and "translates" them to words...

Time: 8PM, August 3 (Sunday)

Location: 3rd Floor, 62 Weld Quay (see map)

Admission: FREE

Saturday, July 12, 2008

July 13: One Nation Under Lee & Behind The Revolt

1. 1 Nation Under Lee (45min) -a rare glimpse into what goes behind the squeaky clean Singapore. Produced this year by the oppressed groups in Singapore-must see for people who want another view of Singapore -especially the price for phenomenal economic growth. Many familiar tactics as in Malaysia-only they are perhaps pushed further. Bring your Singaporean friends along since this film will not be screened publicly in any Singapore Tv or cinema.

2.nov25 | Behind The Revolt
Chronology of the Rage (25min)

A documentary that analyzes and highlights the chronology of the events that has led Malaysian Indians to the street protesting on the Nov 25, 2007. By: Indrani Kopal(winner of Human Rights Film award in Freedom Film Fest 2007)

Saturday, June 7, 2008

June8: Special Screening Of "The Eleventh Hour"

Usually, we have screenings every two weeks. But for this Sunday, upon request from our members and in conjunction with World Environment Day on June 5th, we're squeezing in an eco-documentary called The 11th Hour.

Narrated by actor Leonardo DiCaprio (start the "Titanic" jokes please), the documentary is about the widespread damage that humans have done to the environment in the rush for development and money. The consequences to the human race is severe... and this film also explains possible disaster scenarios such as global warming, that will occur because of this environmental mismanagement.

Aside from the dire warning, the documentary interviews a myriad of foreign leaders, scientists, and activists for their suggestions to this problem. Stopping and reversing the consequences of environmental destruction will involve the people and governments; from reasonable pro-conservation policies to the use of technology to develop cleaner sources of energy and industry.

Time: 8 PM , June 8th

Location: 62 Weld Quay

Saturday, May 31, 2008

June 1: "Screening Of Taxi To The Dark Side"

On the last screening, we didn't really get to show Taxi To The Dark Side as originally planned. Most of the audience who turned up wanted another film instead, and everyone else was pretty ok by it.

So, we will be screening it again today... at 62 Weld Quay, 3rd floor. Time is 8PM, and admission is free.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

New Screening (May 18) : Taxi To The Dark Side

We have moved to a new place: 62 Weld Quay. It is just one door away from our previous premises. Its the building with the lottery shop on the ground floor. Our screening theatre is on the 3rd floor of the building. This place is nicer than the previous one...

Part of the Why Democracy? series, this weekend's movie by Alex Gibney tells the true story of Dilawar, a taxi driver who died from torture in the custody of the US Military in Afghanistan. Mr. Dilawar had been driving his passengers past a US army base that had been attacked earlier, and was stopped at a checkpoint by pro-Alliance Afghan militia. The militiamen had framed Dilawar and his passengers, and turned them over to the US military for interrogation.

This Academy Award winning documentary also examines the United States and its intelligence organizations' policies & research on torture for information extraction, and the views from opponents and supporters of torture practices.

Runtime: ~105 minutes

More info here (Needs Flash)

* * * * * *

screening time has been moved to 8PM due to requests from many members. Aside from being more convenient, it would be dark by then and we wouldn't have the setting sun interfering with the projection.

Place: 62 Weld Quay, 3rd Floor

Time: 8 PM

Admission: FREE

Sunday, April 27, 2008

New Movie, May 4th: Half-Moon (Niwe Mang)

Iranian-Kurdish film director Bahman Ghobadi ("Turtles Can Fly", "A Time For Drunken Horses") takes us on a road-trip from Iran to post-Saddam Iraq on a minibus. And just like the previous two movies we screened, "Goodbye Boys" and "Ten Canoes", the director uses non-professional actors and actresses to play the characters in his film.

Besides the driver, the passengers are an old Kurdish musician called Mamo, and his "children" -- actually his ex-students. The famous Mamo wishes to travel with his band to Kurdish-Iraq for a concert, his first in Iraq in 30-plus years. Saddam Hussein had repressed Kurdish culture in Iraq during his rule. The situation is better in Iran, but by not much... women are prohibited from performing.

The trip to Iraq would be risky, and a village elder predicts that serious danger would befall the old musician. Still he presses on with his dream to play in Kurdish Iraq.

Along the way he searches for his singing partner, a woman named Hesho, to join his group. Old Mamo also faces obstacles from the overzealous Iranian police, ever on the lookout for religious transgressions... such as female singers.

More info here

Location: 4th floor, 60 Weld Quay

Time: 7PM (Sunday), 4th May

Admission: Free

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

April20: Bernard Chauly's "Goodbye Boys" (2006)

The year 1990. Ipoh. A former mining town now surrounded by a moonscape of abandoned mining machinery & quarries. Eight Boy Scouts (Kinta Troop No.2) from St. Michael's High School embark on a camping expedition to earn their Scout badges. For the trip to be successful, they must cover 100 kilometers of ground around Ipoh on foot. No "help" from any other transport (pedal-powered, animal-powered, or motorized) is allowed. Some aim to complete the expedition fairly, some plan to cheat...

Bernard Chauly's low-budget film takes us through the minds & antics of the eight as they trek through Perak's Kinta Valley; their friendships, the childish pranks they play upon each other, pimples, family relationships, the upcoming school prom, the impending final exams, ... and their future after graduation...

At the end of the expedition, which nearly turned tragic, the eight schoolboys have changed... each of them now with an entirely new outlook on life, and new post-highschool ambitions...

The movie is in a mixture of Malay, mostly English, and some Chinese. But subtitles are provided. From what I've read, most of the actors are first-timers.

Location: 4th floor, 60 Weld Quay

Time: 7PM (Sunday), 20 April

Admission: Free

Monday, April 7, 2008

We Will Be Moving Soon

"Ten Canoes" was screened to an audience of 10 people yesterday night. Although the Australian-Aboriginal dialogue in the film wasn't subtitled, the voiceover of the narrator and the visuals provided the clues for the audience to figure out what the characters were talking about.

The movie also provided us a glimpse into ancient Aboriginal practices (laws, culture, music, hunting activities, etc.) and storytelling. One wonders if a similar film could be made featuring one or some of the many indigenous Orang Asli tribes of Malaysia...?

As our lease on our current premises at 60 Weld Quay is expiring, the Penang Film Club will have to move. We have a new place in mind, very close to where we are now. We'll let you know soon... once all the paperwork has been finalized.

But our next film, "Goodbye Boys", will still be screened at 60 Weld Quay. It will most likely be our last film to be shown at this place, however.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

6 April: "Ten Canoes"

This Sunday, we will be screening an Australian-Aborigine movie. Filmed in Northern Australia, "Ten Canoes" is set in a time long before the arrival of Europeans on the continent.

A story within a story, the elder aboriginal Minygululu tells a fable to Dayindi, one of the members of Minygululu's hunting expedition. Dayindi is young, but inexperienced, and he desires one of Minygululu's wives for his own. The whole movie is both in English narration and Aboriginal language.


Location: 4th floor, 60 Weld Quay

Time: 7PM, Sunday, 6 April

Admission: Free

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Kite Runner an attraction with film club members

We screened Kite Runner on Mar 9th. The screening attracted 15 audience -after screening was suspended due to the Malaysian General Elections during the last screening date. My report after the screening :

The Kite Runner screening tonite (Mar 9th) attracted 15 audience -which is 1
month after the last screening. The last screening-supposedly 2 week ago,
was skipped due to commitment in the Malaysian General Elections by most
members of the Film Club.

Kite Runner is a recent make -telling the story of a political emigrant
from Afghanistan now settled in California. The main character left
Afghanistan with his father after the Russian invasion. He was persuaded to
return to Afghanistan by a discovery that he has a young close family member
left behind in Afghanistan-and he wanted to bring the relative to
California. The film exposed the atrocities of Taliban who were in power
then eg stoning to death of adulterous citizens. After some encounter with
the Talibans he managed to bring the young relative back.

The story explore the psychology of the millions of political emigrants all
over the world eg are they putting saving themselves above saving their
previous country? An encounter with an orphanage manager brought home the

The film managed to catch public imagination because it is set in the
background of policy debates on US/Western policy around Afghanistan. While
promoting human rights seems defensible if not laudable the sacrificing of
thousands of human life by a policy based on human rights and
anti-terrorism, seems to be self-contradictory. A more discerning,
sensitive policy seems overdue-even as of now.

The making of film apparently had to skirt around numerous sensitivities eg
the film was shot in Sinkiang of China, and numerous participants of the
film have to live out of the country. It is a film of our time -if we
consider that anti-terrorism policy of the US had `terrorised' numerous
humanistic concerns both in and out of US. The `export' of the violence to
Pakistan seems to indicate that the `war on terror' had help spread more
violence and counter violence, up to this day!

GIven the theme that this film delve in it is surprising that the film uses
a treatment which is more literary, symbolic and poetic than the usual
action pack Hollywood treatment. At times the film even seems to be drifting
aimlessly-but the ending definitely managed to bring the poignanacy of the
film's subject into focus. The kite competition (where kite players compete
to cut other kites in the sky so as to remain the only one left)was used in
the film to symbolise the rule of the strong played out in the Afghanistan
society. The kite runner refer to the one who run after a kite which has
been cut off by a rival).

It was a highly watchable and engaging film.

Review by Ong BK
(The review attracted some responses from various members at the e-group-join in the e-group to read more).

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Tragedi Jakarta 1998

Title : Tragedi Jakarta 1998 (Gerakan Mahasiswa di Indonesia) (Tragedy in Jakarta 1998-Indonesian Students Movement)
Language: English -with interviews in Indonesian-English subtitles provided
Director: Tino Saroengallo
Year of production : 2002
Award: Asia-Pacific Film Award, Seoul, 2002

Intro: It is a moving documentation of the epoch making change following the fall of Indonesia's longest serving dictator Suharto-who died 3 week ago. This is the 10th year anniversary of that earth shaking Reformasi in Indonesia -which succeeded. But the Reformasi in Malaysia -which had not succeeded -had attracted little interests for remembrance despite the 10th year anniversary. Yet the lessons need to be learned or the same mistakes could recur. To get some inspirations may be we can start by looking back at the successful Indonesian Reformasi?

Screening : Feb 10th (Sunday)
Time : 7.00pm
Venue: D' Space (60 weld Quay, 4th floor of Wisma Oh, above Silverstone Tyre shop)
Enq. 013-5900339(Ong)

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Main Film

Only for Canadians, but check it out anyway: Main Film
"Thus the goal of MAIN FILM'S new programme is to nurture and to stimulate the artistic growth of independent filmmakers wishing to explore, deepen and develop their own unique creative language through the tactile medium of film."

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Screening of The Big Durian (Jan 13)

Time: 7pm
Venue: D'Space, 4th Floor, Wisma Oh, 60 Weld Quay, 10300 Penang
Directions: As you come out of the jetty or pass the jetty on your left along Weld Quay, drive on past the petrol station on your left. Wisma Oh is a four-storey building on the right with a tyre shop at the bottom with a huge red "Silverstone" sign. It's on the left if you come from the Jelutong Expressway.
Tel: 013 5900 339 (Ong) or 016 333 7678 (Kris)
Email: or

1. What Barry Says | IMDB

by Simon Robson
2004, 3 min

Through animation and narration, Simon Robson explains why in his view the war on terror is actually a campaign against opposition of US domination, led by weapon manufacturers.

2. The Big Durian | IMDB
by Amir Muhammad
2003, 75 min

On the night of 18 October 1987, a soldier ran amok with an M16 in the area of Chow Kit, Kuala Lumpur. Due to the thorny circumstances of the time and place, his amok triggered a citywide panic and rumours of racial riots. Why did he do it? Why were Malaysians so jittery at the time? And what happened next? "The Big Durian" speaks to 23 Malaysians (some real, some fictional) to find out.

3. Discussion

Analyse, criticise!