In writing my feature article about the Freedom Film Fest 2008, which made a stop in Kuching last month, I had the novelty of being censored. I wasn’t aware that there was an official directive regarding this issue because I’m at the feature desk, where we write about unimportant things like movies and food. If the sub-editor didn’t catch it, my ass will probably be sitting unemployed somewhere.
I’m not gonna bother reposting my article here, but I would like to highlight two things I learned about freedom:
A couple of my fellow journalists, when alerted that the FFF is in town and presented with the programme, remarked that they did a crap job publicising it here. Some were interested in attending, but were otherwise wrapped up by other things already.
I didn’t hear about it myself until I received an invitation via Facebook two days before it started. I brought this up with FFF coordinator Elaine Foster, and she told press releases were sent out to the Kuching media a month before they came. I believe her.
The wonderful thing about the web is that everything’s readily available there, if you’d only look.
The only film featured at FFF that was shot in Sarawak is something called “What Rainforest?“, which highlighted an issue that is better known outside Sarawak than it is within, thanks to the reason why I got censored. The Kuching audience in the theatre that afternoon were very interested. Most readily admitted that they had no idea this is happening and they asked a lot of questions.
The people behind the film have uploaded the whole thing online, which you can view here. I also have the DVD, which you are welcome to borrow if you prefer it in that format.
We’ll file this whole affair under “things I probably won’t have noticed to begin with”. Thanks, cogwheels of fate!
Proof that I was there.
— Both photos courtesy of FFF.