A note from the curator, U-Wei Bin HajiSaari

The good thing about being asked to curate a program of Malaysian cinema is that I’m able to choose the films. For BAPFF, I’ve been asked to choose two as an introduction to Malaysian contemporary cinema.

The best way for me to select a film is by the very simple reason that I like the film. Even if it’s my prerogative, the first criterion is always to like it.

In the last five years, Malaysia has released an average of 60 films annually. I’ve seen most of them. They range from romantic comedy, drama and action to horror movies.

I liked Songlap when I first saw it at an early public screening. The husband and wife directing team (Fizi and Fendi) have crafted a compelling and plausible dysfunctional family drama, with edge-of-your-seat action scenes.

Nova (Terbaik Dari Langit), I find refreshing. It’s a film of young filmmakers, by young filmmakers, but not just for young filmmakers.

I do like both of them.


U-Wei Bin HajiSaari 

A leading figure of Malaysian New Wave cinema, U-Wei Bin HajiSaari is a published art writer, essayist and newspaper columnist and was the first Malaysian director to have a film selected for the Cannes Film Festival.

A native of Pahang, he studied filmmaking at the New York School for Social Research. His film Woman, Wife and Whore (1993) received five major awards at the 11th Malaysian Film Festival. In 1995 The Arsonist was invited to Un Certain Regard in Cannes Film Festival, as well as numerous international festivals, and was awarded Grand Prix at the Brussels Film Festival.

HajiSaari became a member of the APSA Academy in 2013 when Hanyut (Almayer’s Folly), based on the novel by Joseph Conrad, was nominated for Best Screenplay. In 2015 his short film One Note One Fragment premiered as part of ‘Fragment’, a collection of 10 films commissioned by the Asian Film Archive to commemorate their 10th anniversary.

U-wei will be in Brisbane as a member of 2015 APSA International Jury and will be in attendance for screenings of “Voices from Malaysia.”


Terbaik Dari Langit
110 mins | Unclassified 15+
Australian Premiere

A young avant-garde filmmaker gathers his childhood classmates and hits the road in search of a UFO that has eluded him for 15 years.

Berg is an ambitious artist of a different stripe – highly experimental and completely misunderstood, but a man of vision. Assembling a team of old mates and a spacey freelance actress, he embarks on a desperate journey to shoot an indie film, criss-crossing Malaysia in a wild, colourful, chaotic road trip where he will learn lessons about friendship, support and commitment. Scattered with knowing nods and references to the Malaysian film industry and itself a microcosm of the creative process, this refreshing romp is the second film from Nik Amir Mustapha.


Fri 27th Nov 8:45pm          BARRACKS 6



100 mins | Unclassified 15+

Backed into a corner by cruel fate, two down-and-out brothers – the streetwise Am (Shaheizy Sam) and the withdrawn Ad (Syafie Naswip) – make a living the only way they know how.

They sell babies on the black market in the seedy alleys of Kuala Lumpur, and they hate themselves for it. Ad squirrels money away in the hope they can break free, and Am longs to be a dance champ – but before that, they must fight their way out of a tangled web involving the mother they never knew, a friend’s drug overdose and a young runaway – and defy the ruthless head of their syndicate.

A compelling tale of family and redemption, with blistering action set-pieces, this gritty crime drama is the second feature from the husband-and-wife team Fariza Isahak and Effendee Mazlan.


Sat 28th Nov 6:30pm        GOMA B



8 mins | Unclassified 15+

At 2:30 in the afternoon, a guy wakes up and finds himself all alone in his office. He steps out and realises the entire street is deserted. He returns back to his office and discovers a note left behind for him. The note seems to explain the reason.

One Note One Fragment was commissioned by the Asian Film Archive (AFA) for its tenth anniversary celebrations as part of an omnibus film celebrating the strength and diversity of South-East Asian independent cinema.

Screens before Songlap and Nova


Fri 27th Nov 8:45pm          BARRACKS 6

Sat 28th Nov 6:30pm        GOMA B