Kerana tanpa cerita, siapalah kita…
Inspired by the Malay saying, ‘rambut sama hitam, hati lain-lain’, Ikal Mayang refers to the long black wavy hair which is also the jewel crown for every female. On a bigger perspective, it is a storytelling movement that wants to highlight the importance of storytelling and to be heard while improving women’s share of voice, particularly in the mainstream media. By using simple and popular culture such as short films – the Ikal Mayang programmes uses short films as a tool to create conversations and discussions about issue faced by society and highlight the unique stories which can also related to every human being.
In 2013, under the theme “Telling Women Stories”, Ikal Mayang introduces female directors like Susan Lankester, Dira Abu Zahar, Nanu Baharudin, Elaine Daly, Carmen Soo, Sofia Jane, Vanidah Imran, Fauziah Nawi, Shamaine Othman, Aida Fitri Buyong, Sharifah Amani, Mislina Mustaffa, Junad M Nor, Melissa Saila and Ida Nerina who have directed 15 short films (duration of 12 minutes each).
Premiered in Kuala Lumpur on the 8th of March 2013 in conjunction with International Women’s Day 2013, the Ikal Mayang screening gathered 800 people ranging from enablers in the industry, film critics and film enthusiast. It was dubbed as one of the best things that happened in 2013 by Malaysian news channel, Astro Awani.
In October 2013, 6 out of the 15 short films were selected for an International Premiere at the 18th Busan International Film Festival 2013, one of the biggest film festivals in the world.
In 2014 with ‘Unspoken Truths’, Ikal Mayang introduces the 2 minutes format and features 2 new director from a public submission and they are Nora Nabila and Elza Irdalynna together with 8 invited directors such as Ineza Roussille, Eja, Deborah Henry, Sharyn Shufiyan, Melissa Indot, Leia Surin Aljoffery, Soefira Jaafar and Junad M Nor. An anthology of 6 countries have gathered the South East Asia’s best female directors such as Datin Paduka Shuhaimi Baba (Malaysia), Nia Dinata (Indonesia), Shireen Seno (Filipina), A. D. Chan (Singapura), Niramon Ross (Thailand) dan Siti Kamaluddin (Brunei).
In 2015, the theme ‘Similarities’ or ‘Serupa’ was introduced and participation for Ikal Mayang was opened to men for the first time. With 5 stories from public submission were selected (‘Rambut’ by Lee Yve Vonn, ‘Sacrifices’ by Carmen Soo, ‘Aurat’ by Elza Irdalynna, ‘U and I’ by Soosan Hoh, ‘3 Girls and A Babe’ by Kang Zetty Anis); 5 male directors introduced (‘Teguh’ by YB Khairy Jamaluddin, ‘Ben & Luna’ by Vince Chong, ‘Kayuh’ by Wak Doyok, ‘Sama Sama’ by Afdlin Shauki, ‘♂ + Food = J’ by Pete Abdullah); invited female directors (‘Kari’ by Kavita Sidhu, ‘Suara’ by Adibah Noor, ‘#’ by Lisa Surihani, ‘Classmates’ by Davina Goh, ‘We Are Fine’ by Tan Chui Mui) and 3 short films from the region (‘Symposium’ by Siri Thana from Thailand, ‘The Way It Was’ an excerpt from Across The Tracks by Michael Cooke from United States and ‘Kelapa’ by Rachael Malai Ali from Brunei Darussalam) – Ikal Mayang 2015 was celebrated with Ikal Mayang Festival Conference 2015, a conference of 500 youths or dream captains with 53 role models over the International Women’s Day weekend (6th, 7th and 8th of March) alongside a mini Film Festival with the screening of all of Ikal Mayang films throughout the 3 years.
In 2016, the theme discussed on various ‘Adat’ or ‘Customs/Traditions’ with 4 public submissions selected and 2 invited storytellers such as Syed Azmi and Fynn Jamal to add on to the Ikal Mayang collection. Ikal Mayang went on ground for the first time with Ikal Mayang Nationwide Tour to 9 locations (Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, Johor, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Kedah, Penang and Perak) to teach higher learning students with no filmmaking background to tell their stories using short films.