LAUNCHING ....Deputy Chief Minister Dr. Yee Moh Chai (left), together with his wife Vicky Yee (middle) and the Ambassador of Austria to Malaysia, Her Excellency Andrea Wicke (right) at the launching of the European Union Film Festival.
By : ELAINE MAH
FOR THE first time since its launch in Malaysia, the European Union Film Festival (EUFF) heads to East Malaysia to share the very best of European cinema and cultural diversity with Sabahan audiences.
For eight days, Sabahans will have the opportunity to experience European films and documentaries at the Golden Screen Cinemas in Suria Sabah, Kota Kinabalu.
The EUFF is an event organised by the Delegation of the European Union to Malaysia, in collaboration with the embassies of 17 European Union Member States, including Croatia, Norway and Switzerland. The event was first held in 2000 in Kuala Lumpur and later in Penang last year.
Speaking at the launching of the film festival at Suria Sabah yesterday, Ambassador Andrea Wicke of Austria to Malaysia told the gathering that as a front-runner in sustainable development, environmental protection and forestry biodiversity, Sabah has been a priority state for the European Union (EU) and its member states.
"Our close bilateral cooperation can be seen through various projects with the State government, Sabah Wildlife Department, University Malaysia Sabah and other organisations," she said.
According to Wicke, the film festival is the largest cultural event for Europe in Malaysia, and the opening of the festival in Sabah is one way to extend the close cooperation between EU and Sabah.
In his speech delivered by Deputy Chief Minister cum Minister of Resource Development and Information Technology, Datuk Dr. Yee Moh Chai, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Haji Aman welcomed the EUFF to the shores of Sabah.
He noted that the EU and Sabah are closely linked through cooperation in various areas such as trade, higher education, forestry and environmental development.
In addition, Musa said Sabah has been privileged to have several notable projects in Sabah being funded through EU sources . These include the MYEULINK project with University Malaysia Sabah to promote greater awareness of the EU and the its key policies, the strengthening of indigenous people's leadership capabilities with Partners of Community Organisations (PACOS Trust), Humana Schools which provide education for the Bajau Laut and other migrant or stateless children in the East Coast of Sabah, and the Young Voice Malaysia project, which is run by the Leonard Cheshire Disability Foundation, aimed at empowering young people with disabilities.
FESTIVAL......The gathering at the launching of the European Union Film Festival.
"I have no doubt that the featuring of the EU Film Festival in Kota Kinabalu will deepen this already impressive cooperation,"
"Films are not just for entertainment. In just under two hours, a film can unite people from all walks of life on a journey through different realities. Film Festivals such as this provide Malaysian audiences with a unique window to experience different countries and cultures from the comfort of their local cinema," he said.
The Festival in Kota Kinabalu will showcase 25 award-winning movies and documentaries from 19 European countries from the 6th to the 13th December. Tickets will be priced at RM5 each. (Insight Sabah)