Borneo Eco Film Festival represents Malaysia in Portugal film festival

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KOTA KINABALU: Borneo Eco Film Festival (BEFF) is one of the 36 environmental film festivals from around the world that will participate in the 1st International Forum of Environmental Film Festivals, to be held in Seia, Portugal, from October 13 to 15.

During these three days, the festivals will debate common issues, strengthen ties and promote reflection on the importance of audiovisual platforms that stimulate social and sustainability changes.

BEFF Programme Director Melissa Leong will be speaking at the forum to share the festival’s goals and achievements over the last eight years and is among the 36 festival directors representing 30 countries in attendance.

“As the sole Southeast Asian member for the Green Film Network (GFN) and official representative for Malaysia, we are grateful for the opportunity to bring the stories of Borneo and highlight the work we do at BEFF at this level,” she said.

Additionally to these distinguished guests, the forum will count on the participation of 36 directors of environmental festivals from across the world, members of the Green Film Network (GFN).

“In total, more than 40 personalities will be representing 30 countries: Malaysia, Serbia, Turkey, Mexico, Italy, Germany (3), India, USA (3), France (3), Kosovo, Dominican Republic, Russia, Spain (2), Albania, Brazil (3), Switzerland, Colombia, Argentina, Montenegro, Japan, Iran, Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Romania, Canada, Croatia, South Korea and Portugal”, said the Director of CineEco Portugal, Mário Branquinho.

“During these days, the festival directors and speakers will be focusing the debate on what can cinema contribute to environmental matters, at a time of great concern for global warming and climate change. Simultaneously, we will be raising common questions among such festivals, strengthening ties and fostering reflection about the preponderance and sustainability of the audiovisual platforms that stimulate social change”, he added. The presence of international speakers from “these and other countries” will be important to discuss environmental and sustainability issues focused on cinema, communication and art.

The opening ceremony of the 1st International Forum of Environmental Film Festivals will be held on October 13 at 09.30 am, overseen by the President of the Republic of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, the President of Seia City Hall, Carlos Filipe Camelo, the President of the Central Portugal Tourism Board, Pedro Machado, the President of GFN, Gaetano Capizzi, and the Director of CineEco, Mário Branquinho.

The GFN General Assembly will take place on October 14. The forum will close on October 15, with most of the participants taking a tour around the Serra da Estrela region.

The 1st International Forum of Environmental Film Festivals also features a world class and eclectic panel of speakers for the defense and promotion of the environment. Among these speakers are Catherine Beltrandi from the United Nations Environment Program; Ailton Krenak, Brazilian Indigenous Leader, Environmentalist and Author; Giulia Camilla Braga, Communications Officer and Program Manager of the World Bank; Helena Freitas, UNESCO Chair Holder in Biodiversity Safeguard for Sustainable Development; and Ashley Hoppin, National Geographic Executive Producer.

The 1st World Forum of Environmental Film Festivals will take place in Seia, Serra da Estrela, a mountainous tourist region associated with nature tourism, local products and cultural events highlighting local cultures.

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