Since 2011, a total of 63 local and international films have been shown to an audience of roughly 6,000 people, including six archival films of North Borneo from as early as 1907. The power of the moving image is undeniable, and underpins our conviction that stories and messages shared on the big screen can inspire and drive change towards a better future. Each year, films are hand-picked by our team in partnership with other film programmers from around the world. We make special effort to ensure that film transcripts are translated and films subtitled in Bahasa Malaysia. These films are meant to be thought-provoking to local audiences; they push the boundaries of filmmaking and storytelling, bridge distant histories with contemporary aspirations for the future, and celebrate diversity.
Another big part of our cinema experience is the invited speakers representing indigenous people, scientists, conservationists, government and civil society take to the stage to introduce a film by sharing their thoughts on how the story resonates with them, and for Sabah as a whole.
This year’s BEFF special appearance include Iara Lee & William Lee (Director & Pre-Production Researcher, K2 and The Invisible Footmen), William Chiang (Director, Heart of Gaya Street), Nadira Ilana (Resident Filmmaker/Co-Producer, Big Stories Small Towns – Bongkud Namaus, Ranau) and many others.