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Social Films for Social Change  Tsuji Lam © Goethe-Institut

Social Films for Social Change

Creative Media, Films and Videos to Strengthen Democracy and Human Rights in Malaysia

In 2019 the Freedom Film Network and the Goethe-Institut jointly applied and successfully have been awarded a five-year project grant under the European Union which aimes at strengthening the civil society movements in Malaysia. The project is entitled Social Films for Social Change and is running from January 2020 until 2024/2025.

Project objectives

To strengthen democracy, gender equality, human rights and civil society structures in Malaysia through the use of creative media, videos and films with a special focus on women and the Indigenous Peoples.

Specific objectives:
►SO1: To strengthen the capacity of film makers, activists and CSOs as key actors to increase understanding, awareness and citizen participation of Malaysians towards human rights with particular focus on women rights and Indigenous Peoples in Malaysia.
►SO 2: To strengthen the capacity of female filmmakers to fight against gender based discrimination, advocate for gender sensitive policy making and increase their participation in public opinion formation.
►SO 3: To empower Indigenous Peoples by strengthening their capacities to use films as a strategy to maximize social impact and influence desired positive change.

Target Groups

  • Filmmakers, film students, film and media institutions
  • Film and Media Industry
  • Civil Society and human rights activists and CSOs
  • Young Women
  • Indigenous people (filmmakers and young women)
  • New audiences to be exposed to human rights and social issuess
  • Malaysian citizens whose awareness of human rights issues has been deepened
  • Policy makers

​Main Activities

  • Producing an annual human rights documentary film festival
  • Creating a pool of film producers and impact producers
  • Implementation of capacity building workshops on documentary and investigative filmmaking and talks – also outside the capital and in IP areas - mentoring of filmmakers and production of social films
  • Nationwide screenings of human rights films with post-screening discussions and debates on related issues
  • Archiving footages and videos, building up an online video resource centre
  • Organising forums and engaging with stakeholders on media laws, censorship and film classification/rating
  • Creating a pool of Malaysian women filmmakers
  • Realisation of the first participatory feature film on education of Indigenous young women in Malaysia
  • Developing indigenous filmmaking in Malaysia so that indigenous groups start to find their voice through film
  • Collaborations with CSOs

Estimated Results

  • Annual Human rights film festival as a powerful platform for social films is established and nationwide screenings and post-screening discussions are realized.
  • Documentary and social filmmakers are trained.
  • Social and human rights films are produced.
  • Social and human rights films are broadcasted on national Television.
  • Film censorship is abolished and new film rating/classification system is introduced (substitute current practices on film censorship).
  • A Malaysian Social Film Archive and Resource Library for digital documentation, films and footage is established.
  • Feminist issues to pledge for equal rights and to end
  • Discrimination are depicted in films.
  • Issue of Indigenous young women’s education is produced into a participatory feature film.
  • An Indigenous travelling festival to reach villages on the Peninsula and in West Malaysia (Borneo) is realized.
  • Citizens are more involved in the discussion of human rights issues and in the process of social change .
  • Outreach activities with film screenings to give access to human rights films are organised in remote Indigenous areas and communities such as the states Sabah and Sarawak.
  • Sustainable network of social filmmakers and producers in Malaysia and the SEA region is established. 
  • The capacities of CSOs and marginalized groups like the Indigenous Communities are strengthened in regard to use films as a strategy to maximize social impact and influence.
  • Malaysian filmmakers are connected with film professionals and activities in ASEAN and Europe, and Malaysian human rights films are screened in film festivals in Europe.

Coming Soon

More to explore


Project Director

Dr. Markus Litz

Project Manager

Project Coordinators

Project Assistants

Albert Bansa
Nelly Tamin-Quitsch



In collaboration with  Supported by