20 September 2021
  • Malaysian and UK writers, filmmakers to raise awareness on social issues and problematic cultural norms, explore ways of bridging gaps through film
  • The Uncertain Kingdom, an exclusive collection of short films, captures a snapshot of the UK by visionary filmmakers
  • British Council aims to engage film sector in Malaysia to carve pathways for future collaborations

The British Council in Malaysia will host a panel discussion between eminent Malaysian and UK writers and filmmakers to encourage discourse on race and national identity through film.

The panel will draw parallels between the UK and Malaysia on the issues of othering (viewing or treating people as different from oneself), how they were shaped and the forms they take on now. The event on 1 October 2021 aims to raise awareness of the social issues and problematic cultural norms in these two societies and to explore ways of bridging the gap towards a more inclusive and cohesive society.

The panel discussion will feature Badrul Hisham Ismail, a Malaysian writer and filmmaker who has been featured in several international film festivals, Nadia Denton, who has worked in the UK film industry for 15 years as an impact producer, curator and author, and Deborah Germaine Augustin, a Malaysian writer who manages New Naratif, an online journalism platform for Southeast Asian current affairs.

The themes explored will be based on The Uncertain Kingdom, an extraordinary collection of short films commissioned to capture a snapshot of the United Kingdom in 2020, as seen by visionary filmmakers. As part of the British Council in Malaysia’s Artists & Audiences programme, The Uncertain Kingdom will be made available free exclusively for a limited time from 24 September until 10 October 2021.

Featuring a range of genres and styles which mirror the diverse creatives behind the films and touching on critical subjects including migration, climate change, disability and homelessness, The Uncertain Kingdom reflects the filmmakers' unique perspectives on our unprecedented times.

Florence Lambert, Head of Arts and Creative Industries, British Council says: ‘Our new Artists & Audiences programme aims to encourage and provide an avenue for discourse on critical global topics incited and facilitated by art. The programme also aims to stimulate connections between the British Council and the art sectors in Malaysia to carve pathways for future collaborations by raising awareness of UK art offerings while engaging with local grassroots creatives.’

Register to watch a selection of short films from The Uncertain Kingdom online and attend the accompanying panel discussion at https://www.britishcouncil.my/programmes/arts/work/aaa/uncertain-kingdom.

Notes to Editor

All film stills Sucka Punch, The Conversation, Pavement and What’s in a name? © The Uncertain Kingdom

For media information please contact:

Ikram Khasim
Head of Communications
E: Ikram.Khasim@britishcouncil.org

Florence Lambert
Head of Arts and Creative Industries
E: Florence.Lambert@britishcouncil.org

About Artists & Audiences

The British Council was founded to foster friendly knowledge, understanding and trust between people of the UK and the wider world. Our work in the arts has been central to this mission – we seek new ways of connecting with and understanding each other through the arts to develop stronger creative sectors around the world that are better connected and engaged with the UK. 

In Malaysia, through our new Artists & Audiences programme, we work across a range of art forms and disciplines — including film, music and visual art — to share art from the UK with audiences locally and create opportunities for cross-cultural collaboration, in the hopes of encouraging plurality of expression and debate, and increasing access to safe spaces for dialogue among artists, creative professionals and audiences in both countries.

The themes explored in the programme span critical ongoing issues that affect people on a global scale. National identity, racial and cultural histories, internationalism, marginality, gender, community, reframing histories are some of the topics put forward for exploration. By bringing together creatives and audiences across Malaysia and the UK to delve into these subjects, we hope to encourage democratic dialogue through creative means for building and strengthening cross-cultural connections in a world that is increasingly divided, and to enable arts practitioners to create, explore, learn and share in a time of constraints.

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We build connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the English language. Last year we reached over 80 million people directly and 791 million people overall including online, and through broadcasts and publications. Founded in 1934 we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. We receive a 15 per cent core funding grant from the UK government. www.britishcouncil.org

The British Council has been working in Malaysia since 1948.