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Project of the Day: ‘Di Ambang: Stateless in Sabah’

Project of the Day: 'Di Ambang: Stateless in Sabah'

Here’s your daily dose of an indie film in progress; at the end of the week, you’ll have the chance to vote for your favorite.

In the meantime: Is this a movie you’d want to see? Tell us in the comments.

Di Ambang: Stateless in Sabah

Tweetable Logline: The daily struggles of two families facing the uncertainty of
living poor and without citizenship set against a backdrop of war and

Elevator Pitch: This film follows the lives of undocumented and stateless Filipino
migrant families living in the Malaysian state of Sabah. Fleeing
conflict in the southern Philippines, thousands have migrated across
Malaysia’s porous sea borders. Following two families through their
day-to-day lives, this documentary explores statelessness and the
consequences it has on the generations of people living unrecognized by
any country. After years of searching for peace and economic stability,
they are vulnerable once again when insurgency hits Sabah.

Production Team:

Producer: Azliana Abdul Aziz

Director: Vila Somiah & Matt Fillmore 

Cinematographer: Matt Fillmore

Editor: Matt Fillmore

Audio: Matt Fillmore & Haresh P. Somiah

Line Producer: Terri Goh

Legal Adviser: Haresh P. Somiah

About the Production:  As a child, I watched undocumented and stateless children of
Philippines descent through the window of my father’s car flooding the
streets of Kota Kinabalu. I’d see them sleeping in bus stops or begging
for food. It was a strange but common sight and as an adult, I grew very
interested in their community, especially since it became an
increasingly sensitive subject. The Malaysian government has under
reported this issue for years and their inaction has led to racial and
political tensions in Sabah. Although risky, I knew this story had to be
documented. I so happy we did.

Current Status:  In post-production and currently trying to raise the last $10,000 for distribution and editing costs

For more information and to support this project: Kickstarter Page

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This Article is related to: Filmmaker Toolkit and tagged


Carolyn Jass

Heartbreaking story. I want to adopt those kids. Thanks for making the film.

Louise Fleming

To say: a greater awareness of this suffering [for those of us who don't not know and/or have never even heard of this area of the world] is an understatement. Thank-you for informing us…

Julie Wiles

Well done Matt, Azliana, and Vila and thank you for making this film and bringing awareness to a much needed cause.

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