George Town Festival 2021 Carries on, with Changes
The Festival’s online programmes continue as scheduled in July 2021, while physical events are postponed indefinitely
George Town, Penang, Malaysia, 02 June 2021: George Town Festival announces that the Festival is set to continue as scheduled with its online programmes from 10 to 18 July 2021. However, following the government’s announcement about a total nationwide lockdown for all social and economic sectors, the Festival’s physical events are tentatively postponed until further notice.
The postponement of the physical events is necessary to support the government’s efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 and to protect the health and welfare of the artists and participants, staff and audiences.
As of now, festival-goers can look forward to a slew of online programmes presented as scheduled in a brand new way. Below are the Festival’s highlighted programmes.
G-Short (Short Film Festival)
G-Short is a short film festival held as part of the George Town Festival 2021 to celebrate the endless imagination and possibilities a 90-second short film can bring about. It is set to be held in George Town, Penang in July 2021. Themed “Reimagine: A New Way of Seeing”, with the tagline “Short Yet Powerful”, G-Short was conceived to encourage the local and international film communities to create short-form and original films, unleashing their creativity and innovation to tell stories in new ways – all while strengthening the branding of the George Town Festival. A series of sharing sessions, together with the public screenings which feature the works of 30 finalists selected from 697 submissions, will be held alongside the film festival. Stay tuned!
Lights On (Virtual Projection Mapping)
“Lights On” is a virtual projection mapping installation programme which showcases George Town’s diverse cultural and historical landscapes through pulsating lights and swimming patterns projected onto a small mockup of the heritage city. “Lights On” is accompanied by two main components: a one-month-long virtual residency programme and a virtual exhibition. The virtual residency programme aims to select seven residency artists to create their micro projection mapping designs under the guidance of professional advisors and curators. Meanwhile, the virtual exhibition showcases the residency artists’ designs, which will be projected onto a micro mockup of the heritage city of George Town. “Lights On” is scheduled to be streamed live via the George Town Festival social media platforms, alongside a sharing session participated by the residency artists of the virtual residency programme. “Lights On” is presented by the George Town Festival in collaboration with Filamen, EPSON Malaysia and FabU.
Perspectives (Docudrama Screening)
See the world through the eyes of a blind woman, take a walk in the shoes of a wheelchair user, and learn how disability brings new perspectives to artmaking in “Perspectives”, a disability-led film directed by Peggy Ferroa and Michael Chua. Part documentary, part theatrical monologue, “Perspectives” is an independent project which explores the lives of Singaporeans with disabilities, told through music, monologues and works of art. It also features soundscapes by the Harmony Community Choir, a choir that primarily consists of young adult choral singers with autism and other learning disabilities. The stories by Lim Lee Lee, Victor Tan, and Stephanie Esther Fam are bound to cast a stark light on the community’s unseen challenges, unheard voices, and unspoken desires. The docudrama screening will be followed by a discussion featuring the performers and the director Peggy Ferroa.
Immerse (Online Concert)
Currently residing in three separate countries, three local musicians will be brought together virtually to take audiences on a deeper dive into the different styles and periods of the Chinese orchestra music in “Immerse”. In this online concert, musicians Chow Jun Yi (New York, United States), Tan Yong Yaw (Malacca, Malaysia), and Raymond Choo Boon Yew (Macau, China) – who studied traditional Chinese instruments and music in mainland China – will take audiences on an unforgettable musical journey which is segmented into three parts: the traditional music repertoires that reflect the heritage and history of the Chinese; contemporary works which seek the power of immersion in the future time and space; and works which trigger deep thinking on multiculturalism and Chinese music culture in Malaysia while they are away from home. After all, it is through the accumulation of knowledge and real-life insights that enables people to re-recognise the past, the present, and the future.
BODY X The Culprit (Digital Theatre)
“BODY X The Culprit” is a unique digital theatre production that allows you to be involved in the solving of a murder-mystery and experience it as if you are living in the physical space! Shot entirely on a mobile phone, the show requires you to observe evidence, watch the crime scene as it happens, discuss with other fellow investigators online and vote for the murderer – it’s the first interactive-immersive digital theatre ever presented on Zoom. Reviewers called this show “the gold standard of digital theatre” and that it has “set a standard for digital murder-mysteries both now and in the future”.
Other online programmes include audio-immersive theatre, video art screening, sharing sessions, workshops, and more. Head over to George Town Festival’s website for more scheduling and ticketing details.