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Featured Filmmaker: Shafie Dris

EngageMedia interviews Shafie Dris, an activist and filmmaker who is at the forefront of the indigenous (Orang Asli) rights movement in Malaysia.

Name: Shafie Dris

Age: 45

Location: Kampung Penderas, Kuala Krau, Temrloh Pahang, Malaysia

Occupation: Shafie Dris is a coordinator with Jaringan Kampung Orang Asli Semenanjung Malaysia (JKOASM), an NGO that exists for the sole purpose of pushing for the rights of the Orang Asli (indigenous people).

Video History

In your own words

EngageMedia (EM): Tell us who you are as a filmmaker.

Shafie Dris (SD): I work as a videographer, director, and publisher. And my son Shahris Shafie, 19, helps me with video editing.

EM: Why did you decide to work with the moving image?

SD: As compared to speech, I saw video and photography as much more effective ways to share and promote issues to raise awareness among people. It is currently the most effective way to attract the public.

EM: What are the main issues you address in your video work?

SD: I mostly cover issues on human rights, land rights, right to life, cultural rights and indigenous rights.

EM: How many videos have you produced?

SD: Currently there are about 80 short videos, and 57 of them are on YouTube.

EM: How do you use online tools in your work?

SD: Most of the time I can only share the links, as I have a slow internet connection. I’m regularly posting links from YouTube, as well as emailing and Facebook messaging them to some of my colleagues. I also send them to the mainstream media so that they can rebroadcast them or include them on their websites. I’m currently doing this for free.


If you know of any interesting filmmakers around the Asia Pacific that you’d like to see featured on, write to us today!