Malaysia International Film Festival shifts online

THE STAR – 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 organisers said in November that they hoped to be still able to put on a real-world festival in January when cinemas re-opened.

But with the virus still hitting the country, that is no longer a viable option.

Instead, the festival will now be held January 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 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.