In pursuit of fascinating ideas

Joe is a picture of happiness as he poses with GTF banners at the launch of the seventh edition of the festival at the GTWHI office in Lebuh Acheh, Penang.

THE call for proposals for next year’s George Town Festival (GTF) is open until Dec 31.

Festival director Joe Sidek said they are in the midst of accepting proposals for GTF 2016 programme lineup and hoped to confirm the programmes by January before announcing the festival calendar in March.

“We have received proposals from all over the world so far, including from Brazil, Argentina, Iran, Canada, Australia and Korea,” he said.

Joe also appealed to Penangites to come forward and submit their plans for the festival.

“For this year’s festival, there were 67.5% Malaysian events,” he said.

Joe added that the festival’s official website received 7.28mil hits while the estimated audience was 250,448.

“For next year, the state government has allocated RM4mil (for the festival),” he said during the announcement of the seventh edition of GTF at the George Town World Heritage Incorporated (GTWHI) office in Lebuh Acheh, Penang, on Tuesday.

Earlier, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng announced the renewal of Joe’s appointment as the festival director for the next three years.

“We are very pleased to have a lot of things installed for us and the state will continue to support the festival.

“We are also now working closely with Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, who has been very supportive of the festival,” he added.

Joe said the festival would maintain its focus on enriching the community’s involvement in arts and to continue to present international shows at affordable prices.

“I am also working on a suggestion to come up with a temporary home for the festival,” he said.

Joe also talked about his present project called Kulit, which is scheduled to debut in the festival in 2018.

Kulit is a contemporary dance based on the traditional wayang kulit. We hope it will be a production that we can present overseas.

“As part of GTF 2016, the 34th Annual Convention of the Federation for Asian Cultural Promotions will also be held. It has been held in Seoul, Tokyo, Bangkok, and Shanghai, and they have selected Penang as the venue next year,” he said.

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