The fourth edition of the Malaysia International Film Festival (MIFFest) is now set to be held later this month as an online-only event.
The festival was originally scheduled to take place as an in-person event in December and got as far as announcing its selection. However, Malaysia’s coronavirus control measures were increased at the beginning of November, causing cinemas across much of the country to close.
Miffest organizers said in November that they hoped to be still able to put on a real-world festival in January when cinemas reopened. But with the virus still hitting cinema operations that is no longer a viable option.
Instead, the festival will now be held Jan. 15-21, playing out on streaming platform Mubi. Audiences in Malaysia can stream the selection free of charge through an extended 30-day trial subscription to Mubi.
The announcement was made by Joanne Goh, the festival chairperson, together with actor Bront Palarae at the 4th Miffest Gala Night.
“Due to the extension of the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) in Malaysia which affected the operation of local theatres, the 4th Miffest will be going virtual instead of on-site. It will take place on the festival’s official OTT platform – Mubi. The most important factor that caused this action is to avoid audiences and the festival team from being exposed to the risk of the pandemic,” said Goh.
The online edition will open with the previously announced “Victim(s)” by Layla Zhuqing and include a four-title spotlight section on Malaysian filmmakers.
The world cinema section includes: Korean director Shin Su-won’s “Light for The Youth”; Mattie Do’s “The Long Walk”; “Many Chickens, Lots of Luck,” from Indonesia’s Onar Onarsson and Riboet Akbar; “Cleaners” by The Philippines’ Glenn Barit; “John Denver Trending” by The Philippines’ Arden Rod Condez; and “Summer Knight,” by China’s Xing You. The section also finds room for four films from Iran: “The Slaughterhouse,” by Abbas Amini; “Just 6.5,” by Saeed Roustaie; “A Man Without Shadow,” by Alireza Raissian; and “The Oath,” by Mohsen Tanabandeh.
MIFFest is organized by Jazzy Universe and presented by Sunstrong Entertainment. Festival partners include: FINAS Malaysia, the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia, Expresso Infusion FX, and JPIN and Presto Pictures.