KOTA KINABALU: Many may have forgotten or do not know about the riot that took place in Sabah in 1986. But 25-year-old Sabahan filmmaker Nadira Ilana had documented the event in her film entitled, ‘The Silent Riot’, for the Freedom Film Fest (FFF) 2012, and will be available for all to watch at FFF Sabah screening on October 27, at Grand Borneo Hotel, 1Borneo Hypermall.
Aiming to make known a chapter of Sabah’s history that was never documented or spoken much about, Nadira hoped that the screening will be attended by as many people as possible.
“A lot of the things that are happening around us are related and we will only know this if we trace them back in history.
“However, most Sabahans are oblivious to this, mostly because we do not have access to the information and we are so fixated on having to learn about the history of West Malaysia and not ours,” said Nadira.
“Hopefully, through this documentary, more young people will start asking questions about our history and develop a love for our history and culture. That would be exciting.”
Having been a history enthusiast, the idea of the documentary started when she was having a random conversation with her father, which was followed by months of research, archive visits and interviews with some of Sabah’s prominent political figures.
The documentary took her five months to complete, starting from when she was announced as one of the winners of the Freedom Film Fest (FFF) 2012 film proposals.
FFF is an annual human rights film proposal competition and screenings organised by a Malaysian human rights NGO, Pusat KOMAS, and the theme for this year is ‘Democracy: Who’s the Boss?”
The two other winning film proposals selected were ‘Rights of the Dead’ by Tricia Yeoh, and ‘M-C-M: Utopia Milik Siapa’ by Boon Kia Meng.
The decision was made by a panel of judges consisting of prominent filmmakers and activists namely director of the film Gadoh, Brenda Danker, an award-winning Indonesian documentary filmmaker Ucu Augustin, law lecturer and columnist Dr Azmi Sharom, and executive director of Dignity International, Jerald Joseph.
The three winning proposals were chosen based on how their film proposals reflected the theme, who each won a prize money of RM6,000 to help transform their winning proposals into films, with technical advice and guidance from KOMAS.
Apart from being the first Sabahan to ever win the grant, Nadira’s ‘The Silent Riot’ was also picked by the judges for the Most Outstanding Human Rights Documentary Film.
The three films had their premier screening on September 22 and 23 in Selangor, and had travelled nationwide, and will also be screened in Singapore on October 28.
The Sabah screening on Saturday, at the Grand Borneo Hotel, 1Borneo Hypermall, here, is hosted by Youth-PREP Alamesra and will open with a performance by Green Leaf Theatrical House, who is also the co-host.
According to Youth-PREP Alamesra programme officer Anne Baltazar, this was the first time the film event came to Sabah.
Tickets are available at Youth-PREP Alamesra, at RM10 for adults and RM5 for students. For more information, contact the centre at 088-485371.