Here are the Human Rights Documentaries You Need to Catch at Freedom Film Festival 2017

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Freedom Film Fest, Malaysia’s leading human rights documentary film festival, will be bringing together acclaimed directors from Malaysia, Southeast Asia, and the international festival circuit to showcase their award-winning work at PJ Live Arts, Jaya One. With subjects ranging from human trafficking to environmental issues, FFF2017 will see a lineup of 40 documentaries being shown across the period of 2 to 9 September. The festival will also see the debut of the Freedom Film Network, a homegrown collective of filmmakers set up as an assertion of free speech and expression in an increasingly repressive media environment in Malaysia.

For a sneak peek at just a few of the talents that will be screened at the festival, check out the trailers below:

Nor Arlene Tan & Grace Cho Hee Won’s Selfie with the Prime Minister is a film detailing the journey of Ziaur Rahman, a Rohingya refugee who grew up in a refugee camp and was trafficked seven times by human traffickers. In the quest for freedom of his people, he turns to activism. Despite having no rights as a refugee living in Malaysia, he finds an unlikely ally for his cause: the Prime Minister of Malaysia.

Norhayati Kaprawi’s Diary for Prasana offers a glimpse into the life of Indira Gandhi, a Hindu mother. Her husband who just converted into Islam took away her daughter, Prasana, when she was 11 months old. She has not managed to see her child for the last 7 years. The film asks some thought-provoking questions surrounding religion and custodial rights: Does Islam deny her right to embrace her own child? What have Prasana’s brother and sister gone through after being left and converted into Islam without their knowledge by their father? Would Prasana one day be interested to watch the movie diary of her family whom she has not met?

Following the environmental impact of urban developmental projects in Penang, Andrew Ng’s The Hills and the Sea highlights the struggle of Mohd. Ishak, a coastal fisherman and Joleen Yap, a wildlife researcher examining the Dusky Leaf Monkey, and their efforts to find a place within the island’s burgeoning modernity.

Also of interest is Baby Ruth Villarama’s Sunday Beauty Queen, which depicts the lives of Filipina domestic workers living abroad in Hong Kong. In a beauty pageant like no other in the world, five helpers give themselves makeovers for a day and gleefully reclaim their dignity.

Alongside documentary screenings, the festival will also host the Songs of Freedom Concert featuring acts like Azmyl Yunor & Orkes Padu, Skits, Alena Murang and Monsoon Market, Shh…Diam!, and Sons of the Soil. There will also be interactive workshops, talks, and food-tasting events throughout the duration of the festival, promising a week filled with informative films and activities covering the most prominent issues of our time.

For the full schedule and list of film screenings, visit Freedom Film Festival’s website, and get your passes here.

Follow Freedom Film Festival on Facebook for updates.