Backlane Cinema takes film screenings out of the cinema and into the forgotten streets of KL

  • Arts
  • Friday, 24 May 2019

A screen shot of 'RM10', a short film directed by Emir Ezwan. It will be shown at Backlane Cinema in downtown KL on May 25, accompanied with a Q&A session with Emir.

Contemporary artist Gan Siong King's essay film The Boy, His Bike & The Map, about urban cycling advocate Jeffrey Lim and the KL Bicycle Map Project, and filmmaker Emir Ezwan's RM10, a one-take film following the journey of a RM10 note as it changes hands through the night in downtown KL, are part of the five short films about the capital city that will be shown at the new public screening series Backlane Cinema this weekend.

The first edition of Backlane Cinema, themed "The Cities We Live In", will be presented at Lorong Bandar 13 in KL (the alley next to the Ruang by Think City building) on May 25, starting 7pm.

"This pop-up community cinema project is starting off on a small scale. It's all about gathering people and creative communities together. In this first edition, we will be showcasing a series of short films that, in their own individual ways, offer a diverse representation of contemporary Kuala Lumpur," says Beatrice Leong, arts programmer from REXKL, a community-based culture space in KL.

Backlane Cinema, a collaboration between REXKL and Filemmakers Anonymous, is supported by Think City and Citi Foundation.

Films to be screened in this Saturday's first edition: The Apprentice (2011) by We Jun Cho and Mahen Bala, The Boy, His Bike & The Map (2015) by Gan Siong King, RM10 (2016) by Emir Ezwan, Selam 2.0 (2017) by Lor Yew Mien and Wash Room (2016) by MJ Samaroon.

Filmmaker Emir will be discussing his RM10 film in a Q&A session.

"There will be a Backlane Cinema screening every two weeks. The screenings will take place at different locations in the heart of Kuala Lumpur," says Leong.

"This is not a strictly 'filmmakers-only' event.

We want to go beyond that idea. The aim is to take film screenings out of the cinema and niche film club events ... we want to reintroduce films to the masses in a fun manner, with offbeat themes. We have an upcoming P. Ramlee series planned, where we will invite hip hop artistes to ad-lib over movie scenes," she adds.

Admission is free for Backlane Cinema events. Don't forget to bring your own mosquito repellent.


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