Shashidharan N Subramaniam


on 29 Sep, 14:36
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Shashidharan N Subramaniam

Eco film fest to walk the talk

THE 2016 Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Fest (KLEFF) is going to tell stories that will push its viewers’ emotional buttons, said KLEFF director Fadly Bakhtiar.

A total of 85 films will be screened with an expected turnout of 6,000 for the three days.

More than just an arty event, the festival has an agenda to mobilise public participation to champion the green movement.

Fadly and Yasmin revealed they had turned away some 150 applicants for Green Market because their products were deemed incompatible to the environmental cause.

The organisers are also insisting visitors make this festival a family affair.

“We are hoping children will come as well because they ask the most questions,” said Yasmin.

Last year, after a film screening, a nine-year-old stood up and asked his father what it would take for him to stop hunting.

Yasmin also recounts an episode after the screening of David Fedele’s Bikpela Bagarap (Big Damage), which won the KLEFF Audience Choice Award in 2012. Chagrined by the atrocities committed by a logging company in Papua New Guinea, the audience collected RM800 within 10 minutes and passed their donations to the film-maker who in turn used the money to buy medication for the affected community.

KLEFF is taking place at Publika, Solaris Dutamas from Oct 14 to 16.


on 29 Sep, 14:33
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Shashidharan N Subramaniam

Media launch of KL Eco Film Fest 2016

Last week on Thursday 22 September 2016 at White Box, Publika mall, EcoKnights had launched their upcoming KL Eco Film Festival 2016. Below are some of the photos taken during the launch, as well as the media kit provided to all the journalists.



August 24th 2016, Kuala Lumpur — Environmental activists are rethinking how we inhabit our planet — and you can too at the 9th Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival (KLEFF). This year’s films combine stellar filmmaking, beautiful cinematography and compelling storytelling. KLEFF is now the largest film festival of its kind in Malaysia and is often the only place you will be able to see these inspiring films.


KLEFF celebrates the power of film to inspire, educate, and motivate audiences. The festival presents thought-provoking films and dialogue that raises awareness of a wide-ranging collection of interconnected ecological, social and economic themes.

This year, a total of 334 films were submitted from local and international filmmakers. Out of this, the jury committee accepted 140 films that are now in the running for the film competition in eight categories: Best Public Service Announcement (PSA), Best Young FilmMaker, Best Animation, Best Short Film, Best Short Documentary, Best Feature Film and Special Jury Award. The eight award, presented by JKR-UNDP is a special award presented to any films with a strong message on energy efficiency in buildings.


Only 85 films will be screened over the three day Festival weekend and a total of nine official selections have been selected, offering the Malaysian audience various choices in terms of environmental stories. Among the films selected as official selections are “No Haze without Fire” – a film produced by Indonesian NGO, Sawit Watch which tells the story of the annual haze that occurs in Indonesia and how it impacts the ASEAN region and questions the future of sustainable palm oil farming, “The Disappearing Hills” – a film about the massive highland destruction in Cameron Highlands that has caused an unprecedented ecological collapse of the Central Forest Spine of Malaysia, “Ulin” – a film about the threat of logging and plantation companies on the ancient lowland forests of Borneo.


“The Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival aims to accelerate the uptake of sustainable living and seeks solutions to global warming that will return the planet to a safe climate as fast as humanly possible. The Festival raises awareness and provides tools for change by showcasing leading solutions to the ecological and social challenges we face in the Green Market, and also inform and empower the festival goers with powerful award-winning films from all around the world,” said KLEFF Festival Director, Fadly Bakhtiar.

Attracting over 6,000 visits annually the Festival engages with close to hundreds of organisations and individuals to stage Malaysia’s largest environmental film festival.


“Apart from the free film screenings, one of the highlight of the Festival is the Green Market”, added Fadly.

The Green Market is the consumer lifestyle section of KLEFF created to introduce the public to new environmentally-friendly products and services that mix style and quality with sustainability. It is a solutions-based, family-oriented event that educates and entertains visitors about the benefits of green living and debuts cutting edge products that leave a softer footprint.

The Green Market attracts a diverse range of companies who focus on social and ecological sustainability, and features the latest eco-trends in fashion, technology, transportation, food, home, health and beauty. The Green Market will also feature workshops and presentations by eco-experts in everything from urban farming solutions to simple food waste management systems, as well as celebrity environmentalists and a special pavilion on MyHijau certified green products by Green Tech Malaysia, a government-linked company promoting green products and services through its green certification scheme.

The Festival’s weekend program engages individuals and communities across the Klang Valley to host and promote sustainability. Celebrating the very best examples of ecological and social sustainability the Festival embraces interactive workshops, talks, demonstrations, artworks, exhibits, films and live performances.

Some of the highlights of this year’s Festival are as follows:

Awards Ceremony, 14th October (Black Box)

Be the first to learn which films won awards and join the opening night Celebration! A short awards ceremony takes place Friday, October 14, 2016 during Opening Night in the Black Box (Approximately 7:00pm). Awards will be presented to the filmmakers with stories that are inspiring and that move the audience. Apart from the awards ceremony, this event will be filled with performances and will also kick start the Friday night screenings of KLEFF.

Local Filmmaker’s Spotlight, 14th October (Black Box)

Opening Night is always all about our local filmmakers. Right after the opening night, the Festival kicks off with the top Malaysian filmmaker’s films and host curated discussions with the audience.

Green Market, 15th to 16th October (Boulevard, Publika)

This year’s Green Market will feature 50 green exhibitors or entrepreneurs and non-profit environmental organizations. Various booths of local entrepreneurs  from organic skincare, household products, interior garden decorations, handmade accessories and clothings, organic food as well as  various food and beverages  will be available such as True Loving Company (TLC), Claire Organics, Kinder Soaps, Husklife, Urban Ambrosia and many more. Well-established names such as UBER, Natural Health, Reneon Tech, WWF,IM4U,UNICEF,MENGO and many more. There are a lot of activities that will be conducted during Green Market not only to engage the consumers with the environment but also among themselves. The Green Market serves as a big initiative to promote sustainability through green purchases and support the local products and brands.

Jom Beli Produk Hijau, 14th to 16th October (Publika)

A collaboration with Green Tech Malaysia, the Jom Beli Produk Hijau pavilion will feature certified green products and services under the MyHijau green product certification scheme. The pavilion will showcase latest green technology-based products and services and showcases the government’s efforts in promoting the adoption of green technology among the general population. The launching ceremony will be officiated by YB Datuk Seri Panglima Dr. Maximus Johnity Ongkili, Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water, Malaysia. There will be various activities conducted under the event such as ‘Green Vibes’ talk by Syed Azmi, colouring competition with giveaway prizes as well as a chance for a free ride in a Tesla and other green prizes. Log on to the Facebook and search for MyHIJAU Movement for more details and updates.

Nature Art Exhibition, 14th-16th October (White Box)

The Colours of Life art exhibition will feature French photographer, Christian Senat’s macro nature photography and Florent Mamelle’s volcanoes in conjunction with the Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival throughout the weekend. Senat’s works presents the natural surroundings in a palette of hues that highlight the beauty and details we rarely take time to see while Mamelle presents the wild beauty and vibrant colours of the volcanoes in his photography.

Join us for the opening reception on 14th October and rub elbows with the festival’s special guests and meet other film enthusiasts at the while enjoying your evening drinks. A keynote address will be delivered by Senat at the launch of the Nature Art exhibition.

Workshops and Performances, 14th to 16th October

We have a list of exciting workshops and performances awaiting for you at KLEFF. Performers ranging from local musicians, dance crews, traditional instrumentalists to magicians will be entertaining you with their talents at The Square.

Over ten workshops will be happening over the Festival weekend covering a wide variety of themes from energy conservation by CETDEM to making seed bombs, a form of guerrilla farming to documentary filmmaking by Lara Ariffin and Harun Rahman of Novista. In addition the photographers featured in the Colours of Life exhibition will be conducting short workshops. There are workshops catered to all age groups and for different interests.  The full list of workshops can be found at our website:

School and University Program, 15th to 16th October

Local students are invited to attend the KLEFF where our volunteers will specially curate the entire festival for them and bring them around the Festival ground to enjoy some of the activities lined up.



Now in its 9th year, the Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival, is a not-for-profit and all volunteer-run festival supported by environmental NGO, EcoKnights features environment-themed documentary, feature, animated, archival, experimental and children’s films from around the world. KLEFF showcases ground breaking films, traversing the relationship between humans and their environments, challenging the way people think about the natural world and inspiring them to discuss, explore and act on important environmental issues. The films will be shown at various venues around Kuala Lumpur, including art spaces, cafes, universities, high schools, corporate officers and community theatres. Filmmakers and special guests will discuss their work at the festival. Most screenings are free to the public and include discussion with filmmakers or scientists on emerging environmental concerns and issues.

The Festival’s signature programs include the Green Market, Film Making Workshops, the KLEFF Awards Night, Green Vibes and more. The Festival hosts a number of juried cash awards, as well as audience awards.

The KLEFF’s official host venue is Publika Solaris. More information can be found at



EcoKnights® is a non-profit environmental organization that champions sustainable living and supports a community of film makers, and environmentalist who embody diversity, innovation and uniqueness of vision. EcoKnights’ Board of Committee Members, staff and constituents is comprised of an inclusive community of individuals across ability, age, ethnicity, gender, race and sexual orientation. EcoKnights serves the community through development-led interventions from education and awareness programs to research; and public participation programs to consultation. EK’s partners range from government agencies and communities to corporate agencies and NGOs. For more information about EcoKnights, log on to

For further information, kindly contact:

Fadly Bakhtiar, Festival Director,, 017 227 9270.

on 13 Sep, 01:26
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Shashidharan N Subramaniam

Air Pollution may cause Alzheimer’s

To the harmful effects of air pollution we can now add the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Air pollution can kill and debilitate us. And it may, it turns out, also cause Alzheimer’s disease in us.

A key feature of the incapacitating disease, which causes irreversible dementia, is a build-up of biometals in people’s brains. Until now it has been assumed that those toxic nanoparticles were produced by our own bodies. Now, however, British scientists have linked them directly to air pollution, which they say significantly increases the onset of Alzheimer’s in people, especially the elderly.

And this, needless to say, is a particular concern in many cities around Malaysia where air pollution remains a persistent blight on residents’ quality of life and a danger to their health.


on 13 Sep, 01:23
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Shashidharan N Subramaniam

A Culture of Impunity is a Threat to Malaysia’s Natural Environment

Pervasive corruption and a culture of impunity in Malaysia are a threat not only to the country’s social environment but to its natural environment as well.

Despoiled soil. Poisoned water. Polluted air. The bauxite mining fiasco in Pahang triggered a massive environmental disaster in Kuantan last year. Yet if you were to have asked local officials about who had been responsible, you would have received the usual response: “Not us!”

Needless to say, in a country where human rights abuses and shady government machinations persist, we can hardly expect stellar performance from government officials when it comes to environmental protection. Pervasive corruption and  a culture of impunity in Malaysia are a threat not only to the country’s social environment but to its natural environment as well. Both Malaysian people and the country’s wild inhabitants deserve much better.


on 13 Sep, 01:18
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Shashidharan N Subramaniam

We’ve been Warming the Climate longer than We’ve Thought

The Earth is on fire owing to our harmful activities.

As mass industrialization got underway in England, and much of the rest of Europe, we began to change the planet’s climate by emitting vast amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. From the mid-19th century onward we set global warming unwittingly in motion. Or so the story goes.

Turns out we might well have been changing the Earth’s climate much earlier than that. A whole century earlier, to be precise. Already in the 1830s global temperatures were noticeably rising owing to human activities, according to an international team of scientists.

Albeit people were emitting fewer greenhouse gases into the atmosphere during the 1830s than in the 1930s, temperatures around the planet were already on the upswing. What that shows is that the atmosphere responds fast to even relatively low levels of extra carbon dioxide in it. “The changes in greenhouse gases in the 19th century were small compared with the fairly rapid changes we see now, so seeing the climate respond this way was a surprise,” she said.

A nasty surprise, we might add. If even relatively low levels of carbon dioxide can change climates globally in measurable ways, how much more can the large amounts we continue to pump into the atmosphere change those climates?


on 13 Sep, 01:13
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Shashidharan N Subramaniam

Welcome to the Anthropocene

The new geological epoch has been marked by profound changes we have wrought on the planet.

We have, ladies and gentlemen, entered the Anthropocene. Whether we should be happy about that is another matter altogether.

The “Anthropocene” is a new epoch in the life of the planet that has been so named because of human beings’ outsize, and invariably harmful, effects on Planet Earth. Endemic pollution, human-induced climate change, rampant deforestation, overfishing, overpopulation – we have left indelible marks on the environment worldwide. As a result, a group of scientists has decided that the current epoch of the Holocene – which began 11,700 years ago with the end of the last Ice Age and saw the rise of agriculture and human civilizations worldwide – ought to give way to a whole new period in order to reflect that inescapable human influence on the planet.

So welcome to the Anthropocene. This is the world we have wrought and now we must buckle up for the stormy ride ahead for decades and centuries to come.

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