Tuesday, April 03, 2007

'S'KALI' Screened in US Varsity

April 3 2007 - Local indie movie "S'kali" was recently screened for students and faculty members at Towson University in Maryland, USA, as part of the university's course syllabus and to familiarise the Americans with movie-making in Malaysia.

The screening, on March 28, was attended by the movie's director, Arivind Abraham, and cameraman Benji Lim, who both fielded questions from the audience after the screening. Arivind told this blogger via e-mail that the event was actually a ‘guerilla tactic’ of sorts to break his movie into America, especially since Lim is doing a film course at the university. The screening was arranged by the Media Production Association of Towson University although some students, including many Malaysians, had already seen the movie as part of their World Cinema course module.

Arivind and Benji at the screening Arivind (left) answering questions
Arivind and Benji at the screening at Towson University, Maryland, USA

"The association had decided to arrange a screening for a wider audience within the university," Arivind said, adding that Americans seemed to appreciate the nostalgic feel of the movie, more than audiences in Europe had."They seemed to identify strongly with a lot of the themes and characters. The Americans are familiar with the social-political context in Malaysia. There also was a genuine appreciation for the professionalism displayed in such a low-budget indie flick," he said.

Why Towson University?

"In some way, this is a grassroots tactic in which we are trying to get the film shown in the US. There are no plans as yet to release it in the US commercially. The plan for the US is more by word of mouth and submission to various festivals in the country," he said."Our cameraman Benji Lim is finishing his final semester on movie-making here. They have a very strong film department and heritage, especially with people such as (director) Barrry Levinson coming out from this area."

"S'kali", which was released locally in June last year, is about a group of school friends on the verge of going their separate ways to pursue further studies and to start their career. It starred Davina Goh, Jayaram Nagaraj, Derek Ong, Angeline Rose and Zimy Rozan.

As for Arivind’s other plans, he confided: "I’m seriously planning to move to Los Angeles at some point next year to break into writing for American television."


At 1:06 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

pity those students had a below mediocre introduction to Malaysian cinema.


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