KUALA LUMPUR: Forty-eight films from 39 countries have been submitted for the inaugural Kuala Lumpur World Film Festival, which kicks off on Sunday at Dataran Merdeka.
Critics who said “the festival might only have two films if they are lucky” were proven wrong.
“We are happy the response is beyond expectations and hope to share our good tidings with fellow Malaysians,” said Information Minister Tan Sri Khalil Yaakob at a briefing on the final touches for the event.
Khalil urged Malaysians to attend the opening ceremony at the Dataran Merdeka, which will be officially launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad and also the other events in the festival – in full force.
To attract the younger crowd, artistes like Ajai and Nurul, Siti Sarah, A. Rahman Hassan and groups Rabbani and Exist will be performing at a pre-opening show, which begins at 7.45pm.
Close to 2,000 VIPs have been invited to the opening, which will focus on Malaysian greats in the film industry like Tan Sri P. Ramlee and famous Malaysian legends like Hang Tuah.
Themed The Legend and Malaysian Achievers of the Golden Screens, the opening will also feature highly-acclaimed Malaysian actors especially in the Asian region, like Khalid Salleh, Rosyam Nor, Khatijah Tan and Sidi Oraza.
The festival will also slot in on Feb 18 a short symposium on the use of films and multimedia products as tools for propagating peace globally.
The grand finale is the Awards Night on Feb 18, where there will be seven awards based on the theme of Peace, Harmony, Non-violence and Non-discrimination.
“Unlike other film awards, this festival will look at the content of the film that is based on a localised theme with a global message that can be identified by every one of us,” said Khalil.
He also said that the event would coincide with the Non-Aligned Movement summit which convenes shortly after on Feb 24.
A total of 96 screenings of the films entered for the festival will be featured in four cinemas in the Tanjong Golden Village in the KL City Centre and in another four cinemas at the Golden Screen Cinemas at the MidValley Megamall. There will be six screenings at each cinema per day.
The screenings will be free and patrons can obtain tickets at a special booth at the cinemas.