Saturday, October 2, 2010

HerStory has a website!

Dear friends and readers, for latest info and updates on HerStory events, do go to our spanking new website at!

for now check out the films trailer here and do share them on your blogs, facebook and email your friends about the upcoming screenings that happening in Oct in KL, Penang and KK!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Watch HerStory on Rentakini!

Check out some of the people behind this project on video here:

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Some interested parties called us up asking if it is possible for us to postpone our deadline as they are still in the midst of their writing so we happily agree because we love nothing better than sincere enthusiasm! so the new deadline is (drumrolls)...

10 February 5pm!!! at the address given or the email!

Rocking New Year Folks!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

HerStory Advisors/ Selection Commitee:

here it is! the line up of amazing women, experts of women stories in their own ways to guide HerStory with the selection of stories and also hopefully, sharing their skills in the workshops with us. So don't be shy now, tell us your story, you know we'll treat it with love and care.

Bernice Chauly is a writer, poet and photographer and graduated with a B.Ed in English Literature and TESL from the University of Winnipeg, Canada. Her work with refugees, sex workers, AIDS, indigenous peoples and masters of folk traditions has been documented in award-winning works that span photography, plays, monologues, documentaries and short films. A seasoned performer for the stage and screen, she is also a key organiser of literary/storytelling events in KL. She has worked as a journalist, editor, travel/food writer and has authored two coffee-table books and an international travel guide to KL. She has also published two collections of poetry and a collection of short stories. She is currently writing a memoir on her Chinese-Punjabi family, part of her PhD in Creative Writing and English Literature at University Malaya. She is passionate about telling stories and is concerned with issues of marginalization, human rights and identity. She currently lectures in literature at a leading private university's School of Business. Her work can be seen on

Mislina Mustaffa has been shedding tears, sweat and blood re-presenting all sorts of women characters with different history and socio-economic background in her 16 years of performing on stages and screens, which among them includes (films) Karaoke, Talentime, Mukhsin, Anak Halal, Bernafas Dalam Lumpur, Kurus, Bukak Api, (theatres) looking back in Anger, Till Death Do us Part, Off Centre and Waiting For Godot. Therefore, she found out that the body alone is not enough to define her as a woman. a woman is not a completed reality, but rather a becoming, and it is in her becoming that her possibilities should be defined, not to reduce her to what she has been or to what she is today, in raising the question of her capabilities. This nature of transcendent action means, no one is able to close the book till the time comes for it to close by itself.

Angela M. Kuga Thas holds a Bachelor in Economics. She first got involved in the development sector in late 1990. An advocate for women’s empowerment and non-discrimination, Angela draws her knowledge and experience from her wider networking and previous work with women’s rights advocates on the CEDAW Convention (with IWRAW Asia Pacific) and in the area of women’s sexual and reproductive health (with ARROW), as well as in the provision of microcredit to poor women (with APDC). Angela’s current interests lie in the areas of gender and information and communication technology (ICT), gender and sexuality, social entrepreneurship, and young people’s, particularly young women’s, empowerment. With a group of like-minded women and men, she founded Knowledge and Rights with Young people through Safer Spaces (KRYSS) in December 2002.

Lina Tan founded Red Communications Sdn Bhd, in August 1999. Lina has created a variety of television programs, winning a few awards along the way. Some of the awards include winning the “Best Infotainment program” at the Asian TV Awards 2002 for 3R (Respect, Relax, Respond) – a tv program targeted at empowering young women, which garnered huge popularity spanning over 14 seasons. In 2004 Lina formed a subsidiary company called Red Films which produces and distributes independent movies. In 2005 Lina produced a mainstream film Gol & Gincu which was rumored to be the cause of a dramatic increase of girls taking up indoor football or futsal. It was screened in Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei and International Film Festivals in Bangkok, Tokyo, Amsterdam and Busan, Korea. It won most popular film voted by the audience in the 19th Malaysian Film Festival. The movie has spinned off a successful TV series of the same title and a Philippines version. Other films include “KAMI” which has won 2 local awards in 2009 and recent release “Pisau Cukur” (Gold diggers) which is a box-office hit.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Pernyataan Media: Projek Filem “Ceritaku, Seorang Perempuan.”

Projek Filem “Ceritaku, Seorang Perempuan.” baru-baru ini telah dilancarkan oleh sekumpulan penulis feminis, pendidik, dan pembikin filem yang tertarik untuk memberi ruang kepada perempuan Malaysia untuk berkumpul dan belajar bagaimana untuk berkongsi cerita mereka dengan orang lain menggunakan media penyiaran. Kumpulan ini berusaha untuk mengumpul cerita-cerita tentang cinta, seks, dan keinginan perempuan Malaysia, dengan memberi penekanan pada kepelbagaian dan pengalaman peribadi cinta mereka dalam konteks Malaysia yang lebih jelas.

Kumpulan ini yang memulakan projek ini berdasarkan beberapa pemerhatian: pertama, kecenderungan global terkini di mana mengumpulkan sejarah lisan tentang pelbagai subjek; kedua, penjajaran antara statistik dan laporan berita di Malaysia tentang kehidupan seks dan kecenderungan seksual dan rasa kurangnya naratif peribadi pada subjek dalam penguasaan awam dan ketiga, kurangnya perempuan menceritakan kisah mereka sendiri. Menurut jurucakap kumpulan dan pembikin filem Mien Lor, "Apabila anda memerhatikan media, anda melihat sangat sering lelaki membicarakan dan memberi nasihat tentang masalah seksualiti perempuan. Mengapa tidak suara kami-sebagai perempuan Malaysia-diperdengarkan? Menceritakan sebuah cerita adalah cara yang bagus untuk mengambil kembali suara-suara tersebut, ruangan-ruangan ini. Di samping itu, ini merupakan subjek yang menarik, bukan? "

Dua puluh daripada keseluruhan filem yang diterima akan dipilih untuk dijadikan filem-filem pendek yang kemudian akan ditayangkan di festival filem mini di seluruh negeri.

Maklumat lanjut boleh diperolehi di laman web Projek Filem “Ceritaku, Seorang Perempuan.” di Perempuan Malaysia yang ingin mengajukan soalan lanjut atau kirimkan kisah-kisah mereka boleh melakukannya dengan menghantar email ke atau telefon 012-6969455. Tarikh tutup penghantaran cerita adalah 31 Januari 2010.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

'Women In Love' reviewed

The screening was reviewed candidly by Smita Sharma, we almost lost this brain to America. We welcome you home! Thanks for the review! Photos, albeit a bit blurry and artistic, :) courtesy of Abby Latif, terima kasih!

‘It’s Not About Anything, It’s About Everything’ by Crystal Woo and Sidney Tan

Funky graphics and a pretty original, if bizarre, storyline. The protagonist agonises about choosing between two lovers. She shares a history with one, full of good memories, but perhaps he is a thing of the past? Lover No. 2 is younger, fitter, good looking; perhaps a better choice for now and with an eye to future pleasure? The climax of this film was at the point where our protagonist has to choose between a lolly that will take her to the past and a pill that will take her to the future. She chooses the lolly. It's hard understand why someone would choose an already-experienced past over a wholly new future. She might have done so in a fit of nostalgia, granted. But perhaps our protagonist has a deeper appreciation for the fact that it is only with reference to our past that we make decisions presently. Or perhaps she is incapable of the heartlessness required to dump her old lover for the younger one. (Interesting how so many men—especially middle-aged ones—are perfectly capable of such heartlessness. Perhaps our protagonist needs a greater sense of entitlement to her own pleasure?) Whatever the reason, her choice of the past is the more human decision. I am no fan of stories where women mull over lovers like it's the biggest problem one could possibly have (why not spend the time trying to solve our climate crisis instead?), but I'm glad her decision was not based purely on cost-benefit analysis either.

‘I'll Trust this January’ by Virginia Kennedy

Focusing entirely on shot, setting, and star-power (the beautiful cast included Craig Fong of Spinning Gasing fame), this film falls short in terms of storyline. A married woman decides to take revenge on her adulterous husband by going on a trip with him to find a man to fuck. Such a plot deserves more in-depth treatment. The audience cannot be expected to empathise with a character that we cannot understand, and by goodness, this woman makes little sense. Why would she go on a trip with the husband, allow him to help direct her selection of random-male-to-fuck, and expect that the planned sexual encounter would do anything to make her feel better? The notion that she is out for revenge is too simplistic. The film left me with many questions; I only wish the multiple dimensions of its characters were better teased-out so that I could see those questions as worth answering.

'Sub Rosa' by Nadiah Hamzah

Well-executed although highly unoriginal treatment of the classic subject of cross-cultural relationships. The film could have been more interesting had it been longer, to allow for greater character development and material that would make the result less textbookish.

‘She’ By Idora Alhabshi

Bernice Chauly was wonderful here. What an emotive face! The focus on pure, raw emotionality was powerful and felt realistic. I liked that the audience seemed to observe rather than feel with the protagonist, although perhaps those who have gone through a harrowing divorce might identify with her.

‘Bare Hands’ by Nadira Ilana

Had the feel of a home-movie, the kind you make in a couple hours on a rainy day for the family to watch after dinner. The image of bare hands seemed confused: are we talking about love in spite of physical appearances or rather in spite of the capability, or lack thereof, of expressing love and giving pleasure? Unfortunately, the poetry was lost in the pretension. The clip felt repetitive and too long by half, although it was only two-odd minutes: a sure sign that substance was entirely lacking.

‘Kow Loon Story’ by Juliane Block

A solemn, sincere attempt at capturing a woman's sense of desolation and melancholia living in a city that seems to exclude her, to have no space or desire for her. The protagonist takes to planting origami shapes around the city in an attempt to express her individuality. Sadly, by the time someone picks the shapes and searches for the individual behind them, it is too late for her. The profound depression (which she cannot actually bring herself to voice) that led her to such creative expression also led to her suicide. Individuality is precarious and cannot sustain itself without support and recognition. And these she cannot find in the bland, impersonal city that held but could not house her. A poetic film that manages to articulate sentiments in silence.

‘2 Boys, 2 Girls and A Beat Up Car’ by

A refreshing departure from indie short films that focus on highly conceptual images at the expense of telling a good story. We go on an enjoyable ride with two young women on their way to meet their boyfriends. The women are a professional lawyer and fearless activist respectively—strong, independent women who do not suffer fools but who are not without a mischievous, good-humoured side. The boyfriends themselves are middle-of-the-road, 20-something yuppies. They are fairly one-dimensional, but that is probably a necessary editorial cut to keep the film more a comedy and less a tragic love complex.

It is not entirely by chance that we see the two women hit it off and the two men share so much affinity for one another. Gender has a role to play in this story after all. The particular upbringing of each character—affected in large part by whether the character is recognised as male or as female—sets her or him up to respond to the world in different ways. The women typify a certain generation of young Malaysian females: ambitious professionals, committed social activists, politically savvy, and determined to live lives increasingly on their own terms. It is unsurprising that they should connect as they do. It is lovely to see that such a connection can now more imaginably and more visibly take the form of a sexual relationship. We have come a long way.

But the comedy is not without cautionary notes. Homophobia is alive and well, even among young professionals who may travel in more progressive circles. Arbitrary detention is still used to silence whistleblowers and political opposition. All is not well in our beat-up country, and we must wish those who attempt to live here the best of luck.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Press Release

Press Release: Herstory Films Project

The Herstory Films Project was recently launched by a collective of feminist writers, educators, and filmmakers who are keen on creating spaces for Malaysian women to come together and learn how to share their stories with others using broadcast media. The group seeks to collect stories about love, sex, and desire from Malaysian women, with an emphasis on diversity and personal experiences of falling in—and out—of love in a distinctly Malaysian context.

The group initiated this project in response to several observations: first, the recent global trend of collecting oral histories on a variety of subjects; second, the juxtaposition between the preponderance of statistics and news reports on Malaysians' sex lives and sexual preferences and the sheer lack of personal narratives on the subject in the public domain; and third, the even greater lack of women telling their own stories of desire. According to group spokesperson and filmmaker Mien Lor, “When you pay attention to the media, you notice it is so often men talking about and giving purportedly expert advice on the subject of women's sexuality. Why aren't our voices—as women-identified Malaysians—being heard? Telling a story is a great way to reclaim these voices, these spaces, these larger narratives. Besides, it's an interesting subject, isn't it?”

Twenty of all received submissions will be selected to be made into short films that will then be screened in mini-film festivals around the country.

More details may be obtained at the Herstory Films Project website at Malaysian women who would like to ask further questions or submit their stories may do so by emailing or call 012-6969455. Deadline for submissions of stories is 31 January 2010.