Seven years on and the KL Experimental Film, Video & Music Festival, better known as KLEX, is showing no signs of slowing down. The multi-disciplinary arts festival returns with a broader programme from Nov 24 to 27 and it will take place at artist-run independent art spaces such as Lostgens’ Contemporary Artspace, Findars Art Space and Da Huang Pictures.

This year’s KLEX will showcase three open programmes from the festival’s open call and five international guest programmes from Germany, South Korea, Taiwan and the United States. A definite highlight will be two short film programmes from the 66th Berlin International Film Festival 2016.

The music programming at KLEX, which was introduced last year, is also an eye-catching one. There will be three nights of experimental and improvisational music and audio-visual performances, featuring local and international musicians and artists. The line-up includes Nous percons les oreilles (Canada), Yngel and Asger Thomsen (Den-mark), C-drIk (Belgium/Germany), Dharma Shan (Singapore), homegrown improv musicians Yong Yandsen, Kok Siew Wai, Sudarshan Chandra Kumar and Goh Yen Lin.

“When we first established KLEX in 2010, it was quite minimal in terms of scale and activities. We only had screening events, without any performances,” says KLEX co-curator Kok Siew Wai. “We have expanded our work from film screenings to (live) performances, educational presentations and we also guest produce certain projects, such as experimental film screening and music events (like the recent Iskarnival IP Kreatif 2016).”

American conceptual artist Jeffu Warmouths work Fluid Bodies. His works often ask the viewers to unravel their relationships to language, identity, and culture. Photo: KLEX

American conceptual artist Jeffu Warmouths work Fluid Bodies. His works often ask the viewers to unravel their relationships to language, identity, and culture.

However, the KLEX fest is still the core annual attraction. But is four days really enough to put everything together?

“Four days is not really enough for the content and resources that we have. But, that’s what we can afford to do realistically. That’s why we had to turn away some proposals and works. Due to the restriction of resources, KLEX is a festival run entirely by working artists who are volunteers. All of us can only work on the festival part-time,” she explains.

The upcoming festival will also feature two new collaborators as festival partners, the Next New Wave, and Korean Association of Film Education (KAFE).

“It’s a new experience and it opens up new possibilities. Next New Wave handles our film workshop, while KAFE contributes a guest screening programme. In terms of the festival, we are excited to have 15 international guests from Asia, Europe, Canada and the United States attending. We have the biggest number of international guests and performers this year.”

Dancing Eye from Eric Lee Ka Yin (Hong Kong) is a tale of an imagined Hong Kong filled with fantasy and happiness.

For the film programmes, Kok says a highlight will be the competition short film programmes from the 66th Berlin International Film Festival 2016, Berlinale Spotlight.

Among the highlights are Mahdi Fleifel’s A Man Returned, Pham Ngoc Lan’s Another City, Joanna Rytel’s Moms On Fire, Christine Rebet’s In The Soldier’s Head, Reka Bucsi’s Love and Chiang Wei Liang’s Anchorage Prohibited.

“It’s not very common that we get to see short films from such an important film festival, but thanks to Goethe Institute Malaysia we have the opportunity to screen these shows at KLEX. So I’d highly recommend it. There’ll be another German programme from Lowave Paris/Singapore, an experimental film distributor, where the curator Silke Schmickl will present the programme in person.”

Elsewhere, Taiwanese experimental filmmaker Wu Tzu-an will be giving a non-camera film workshop, where participants will learn to work directly on 16mm films, which is a technique that experimental filmmakers often use. Wu will be showing his own 16mm films in digital format, and the screening will be collaborating with Taiwanese experimental sound artist and vocalist Liu Fangyi.

Danish experimental guitar duo Yngel, featuring Emil Palme (left) and Taus Bregnhoj, will be part of the music programme at KLEX 2016.

Danish experimental guitar duo Yngel, featuring Emil Palme (left) and Taus Bregnhoj, will be part of the music programme at KLEX 2016.

As for the music programme, Nous perçons les oreilles (from Canada) is an interesting duo with vocals and saxophones.

“The duo’s name literally means ‘we pierce ears’, let’s see how they do it. We’re also looking forward to see Congo-born C-drik aka Kirdec (now based in Germany), a musician and composer in the field of noise, electronic and experimental music. He will be giving a short artist lecture on Sunday afternoon to share his thoughts on his new book Not Your World Music.”

A total of 19 musicians, sound and visual artists will be a part of KLEX’s music line-up called Spark, starting Nov 25, at Findars in Kuala Lumpur.

For more info and the KLEX 2016 festival schedule, visit: www.klexfilmfest.com. Facebook: KLEX Fest. Entry is by donation for selected events.