October 17, 2015

Malaysian Eco Film Festival nurtures a Blooming Sustainability Culture

Malaysian Eco Film Festival nurtures a Blooming Sustainability Culture

One-hundred and sixteen environmental films, a green market, forums, workshops and live performance art will make this year’s event the biggest celebration of environmental awareness and sustainable living yet. Photo Credit Karolina Grabowska via Pexels

Seven years ago, a little film festival focused on environmental movies kicked off in Kuala Lumpur.  Now in its eighth successful year, the International Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival (KLEFF) is the biggest and longest-running event of its kind in Malaysia.  Conceived and organized by environmental NGO EcoKnights, the festival is more than a collection of movies – it’s a movement aimed at building a nation of ecologically conscious businesses, individuals and communities.

KLEFF has three main objectives:  promoting sustainable production and consumption, inspiring local activism and participation in environmental projects, and promoting sustainability among businesses.  It achieves these goals through networking, strategic business forums and discussions, and of course, the events and attractions at the festival itself. This year’s event is going on now, and will be filling MAP (an arts and cultural center in the heart of Kuala Lumpur) with stirring events through October 18.

KLEFF provides not only a collection of award-winning environmental films, a platform for environmental awareness and a place for motivated environmental thinkers to meet, but an example of the growing green movement in Malaysia.  Over the last seven years, the project has reached over 71,000 Malaysians through film screenings and programs all over the country.  It has attracted more groups and individuals every year, and is so popular that it has spawned a spinoff film festival – the Lankawi Eco Film Festival.

Despite the perception of Malaysian culture as unconcerned with the environment, KLEFF’s growth and attendees evidence a concentrated and blooming core of demand for sustainability.  The number of member-led NGOs and community movements in Malaysia is inspiring, and the fact that they are built on hard work, donations and local support is encouraging in Malaysia’s struggle to achieve sustainability.

KLEFF itself was founded by such an organization in EcoKnights.  Just like Malaysia’s green movement, EcoKnights has grown from next to nothing to an organized and multi-faceted driver of sustainability.  Events like KLEFF and organizations like EcoKnights are here to enable the sustainable development that Malaysia’s environment, economy and society need.  Their initiative will likely be pivotal in Malaysia’s goal to become an eco-friendly and fully-developed hub of green business.  Their growth is to be celebrated, and their efforts deserve all the support they can get.

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