Presenting our latest LomoAmigo from Malaysia. Zan Azlee is a journalist, documentary filmmaker and writer. Read more about our LomoAmigo, his new project and the documentary he captures after the jump!
Hello! Please tell us a little about yourself…
I’m a journalist, documentary filmmaker and writer. Sometimes I also teach at university. I’ve been doing all this for more than 10 years now and I absolute love everything single thing that I do! I have made many short and feature length films… all of it of the documentary genre. I mainly make films and write about culture, religion, racial relationships and conflict. Recently, I joined Astro Awani, Malaysia’s first 24 hour news channel, to help develop the magazine programming there.
Heard that you a writer as well, what do you wrote normally?
I write about the same topics that I film! I have a weekly column at The Malaysian Insider and I have written two books. The latest is called ‘Operation Nasi Kerabu: Finding Patani in an Islamic Insurgency’. It is about the war in Southern Thailand. The book comes with a free DVD of my documentary film ‘The Life & Times of an Islamic Insurgency’. You can get it at any major bookstore in Malaysia… or order online at Fatbidin.com or Amazon.com!
How did you get into videography and photography? When?
I started out as a newspaper journalist, but I was always interested in film and video. So I decided to get a Masters in Broadcast Journalism in the UK. That’s when I really started making documentaries. I joined a TV station when I came back to Malaysia and soon after, I started making short documentaries and that lead to making feature length ones. Photography came as a side interest when I started going on assignments and just wanted to take photos to be more multimedia.
What is the definition of analogue lifestyle to you?
Analogue? It’s just a term. Analogue… digital… it’s all just a medium. How and what you use it for is what matters.
So what’s the project you been working on with the LomoKino? Tell us more.
This is the project I’ve been working on, and this documentary is about The Fugee School, a school for refugees that is located in the Klang Valley. It aims to provide basic education to refugee children from impoverished countries such as Somalia, Afghanistan, etc. These refugees enter Malaysia to seek refuge from their hostile home country. However, Malaysia is not a signee of the Geneva Convention, thus, the government does not recognize refugees and they are not able to go to normal schools. The Fugee School provides the children with education, happiness, and most importantly, hope.
An exotic and attention-grabbing medium.
What’s your favorite feature of the LomoKino and why?
It’s simplicity. You just point the camera and start cranking. That’s the best part.
What LomoKino movie would you most like to shoot?
I would have liked to shoot the recent BERSIH 3.0 rally with my LomoKino! But unfortunately, I was shooting with my broadcast camera and it would have been cumbersome to carry two cameras in a situation like that.
If you could shoot any person, dead or alive, who would it be?
I would like to shoot the idiot bugger on a motorcycle who snatched my wife’s handbag in Subang Jaya a few months ago! But if you’re talking about shooting with a camera, then maybe myself! Haha! If you’ve seen my films, you would know I love talking about myself! Aside from myself, maybe Che Guevara or Nurrul Izzah.
Tell us something about you’ve been doing lately, like your latest project.
My most recent project is a documentary film which I shot in Afghanistan. I went there at the end of last year. I filed news reports and live commentaries for Astro Awani, produced a multimedia series for The Malaysian Insider (text, photos and videos) and a feature article and photo essay for Esquire magazine. Right now, I’m editing the feature length film version of it. And, as I’ve mentioned earlier, I recently joined Astro Awani and I’m hoping to work with them to push their magazine and documentary programming to the next level!!! Hahaha!
Where did your inspiration come from?
My inspiration comes from looking at people living normal lives. Somehow, I think normal, everyday stories are way more interesting than celebrity or paparazzi stories.
If you could give the LomoKino to one other Director, who would it be?
Do you have any advice for LomoKino newcomers?
Don’t just shoot for the sake of shooting. Make sure there is a story to tell. And don’t worry, there always is.
Enter a new analogue dimension with the LomoKino. Lomography’s own 35mm analogue movie camera allows you to capture action and immortalize your story on film! Shoot 144 frames on any 35mm film and create your own cinematic masterpieces. Want to watch your movie the old-school way? We also offer the LomoKino and LomoKinoscope package!