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Tales of adult desire and redemption from the city of Kuala Lumpur.
Hidden truths. Haunted pasts. Looming futures. Mysterious guides. Experience the grittier side of Malaysia’s capital as told through storytelling video adaptations based on the latest edition of the bestselling KL Noir series.
Storytellers, actors and spoken word artists will bring to life seven short stories steeped in darkness and desperation from the new anthology, KL Noir: Magic. This collaboration between StoryFest Singapore and Malaysian publisher Buku FIXI also marks the Festival’s first cross-border digital creative exchange.
Draw your curtains, turn down the lights and uncover these stories as they are told by KL-based talents. If you’re afraid but curious, we recommend small doses by catching each story one day at a time.
Partner: Buku FIXI
Advisor: Amir Muhammad
Producer: Deric Ee
Director of Photography: Adibah Khalil
Written by: Bissme S.
Performed by: Rajveer Singh
Made to paint a suicide victim, a young woman faces a sea of speculation surrounding her art teacher, but what really happened?
“…my teacher had disappeared completely. No one could find her. But she was not forgotten. Everyone couldn’t stop talking about her. Some blamed her single status for the insanity that took place in her class…”
Written by: Masami Mustaza
Performed by: Mia Sabrina Mahadir
A grifter’s victims coordinate themselves into taking revenge with free assistance from an old Chinese shaman.
“…but Brian, playing his role as the ever gracious and successful corporate high-flyer, insisted that the pleasure should be his. Every fraudster worth his salt knows the value of first impressions…”
Written by: Lee Chow Ping
Performed by: Nisha Nair
Two friends lose track of time while hiking, but one of them is about to get in extremely serious trouble with her father.
“…the wrinkles on his forehead deepened. Jarv watched him closely, unblinking. “Jarv, she is very late.” Jarv nodded mechanically. “When she comes home…” Dr. Lee’s voice trailed off…”
Written by: Sukhbir Cheema
Performed by: Ahmed Lafeer
A bus driver reflects on his past and his damaged relationship with his devout parents in this moving, coming-of-age tale for adults.
“…he found it curious that the star of ‘Sholay’, Dharmendra, was a Sikh too, but never sported a turban. Instead, Gobind's favourite actor had mid-length wavy hair…”
Driving Miss Devi
Written by: Rizal Ramli
Performed by Maya Zaharudin
A mysterious passenger sparks a taxi driver's personal war against corrupt, supernatural beings.
“…Pak Kassim rushed in and splashed his bottle of air yassin onto the man’s face. It behaved like acid. The creature screeched in pain and tumbled back. Its face sizzled with white smoke…”
Written by: Derek Kho
Performed by: May Chong
A post-pandemic mask-wearing cult welcomes a mute soldier into its upper echelons but something’s not right.
“…she’d also taken the mask off, and tied it around the crook of her elbow so she could smoke, both things that I know Great Leader doesn’t allow…”
Written by: P. Maheswary
Performed by: Deric Ee
A stylish widow’s trips to the bank have turned harrowing since her nephew began accompanying her.
“…Facing three years of public haranguing from Wei Keong had made her conscious that people may look at the perpetrator and then shift their attention to the victim…”
Rajveer Singh (Malaysia)
Rajveer is a theatre actor, writer and director who has been active since 2009. Having worked with key theatre and drama organisations such as KLPAC and Theatrethreesixty, he is known for being a participant and coach in KLPAC’s Theatre for Young People (T4YP) program. His stage credits include performing in Puteri Gunung Ledang (2009), Ugly People (2013), and Mahsuri (2017).
Bissme S. (Malaysia)
Kuala Lumpur-born Bissme S. is a journalist. He loves reading and writing fiction. When he is not writing, he loves to daydream.
Mia Sabrina Mahadir (Malaysia)
Mia Sabrina Mahadir acts, directs and rescues cats. She has appeared on television and in films, and starred in the Malaysia International Film Festival’s (MIFFest) award-winning Samudera (2018) and the Sundance-selected Benevolent Ba (2019), as well as Cho We Jun’s Taiping Adagio (2016). She trained with Christopher Ling, Qahar Aqilah and Nicole Ann Thomas. Mia also runs Muafacats, a self-founded cat-rescue initiative.
Masami Mustaza (Malaysia)
Masami Mustaza tries to strike the perfect balance between writing and procrastinating. Balance is clearly not her strongest suit. She misses the rich, briny flavor of freshly harvested oysters from Miyajima and hopes that international travel will become a reality soon. She has never been to Shucked.
Nisha Nair (Malaysia)
Fascinated by the link between human behaviour and storytelling, actor, writer and director Nisha is often found brainstorming mischievous ways to elicit reactions from her unsuspecting subjects, her audience. She has worked on short films and stage plays, and is passionate about visual storytelling. Through writing and directing, she is able to indulge her natural curiosity and explore the meaning behind things.
Lee Chow Ping (Malaysia)
Lee Chow Ping is fascinated by all things organic and inorganic. She lives in an apartment overflowing with books and food.
Ahmed Lafeer (Malaysia)
Ahmed left his birthplace of Sri Lanka to find home in Malaysia, where his expertise in the digital realm has been invaluable for local and international tech organisations. But his bosses don't know about his love for the craft of storytelling. With his background in theatre, Ahmed continues to find ways to reconcile his interests so that he can enrich the lives of people.
Sukhbir Cheema (Malaysia)
Sukhbir Cheema is the co-founder of arts and culture community platform Eksentrika which he manages with his wife, Ista Kyra. He also heads Mashable Southeast Asia. When he’s not writing, he’s often found playing pretend with his four-year old.
Maya Zaharudin (Malaysia)
Maya Zaharudin regards herself as a jack of ‘some’ trades, two of them being writing and storytelling. She wrote Shadows, a children’s book about Wayang Kulit published by Kakiseni in 2017. She likes all things magical and fantastical. Maya now works with Teach For Malaysia. Find her on Instagram at @myzhrdn.
Rizal Ramli (Malaysia)
Rizal Ramli is a shepherd by day, aspiring writer and painter by night. He used to work in KL. He retired early and is now back in his hometown in the East Coast. All thanks to COVID.
May Chong (Malaysia)
May Chong is a Malaysian poet and speculative writer, with previous works featured in Eye to the Telescope, Anathema Magazine, Apparition Literary, and LONTAR: The Journal of Southeast Asian Speculative Fiction. In 2018, she made the Top 6 in the inaugural Malaysia National Poetry Slam. In 2019, her poem ‘Esprit d’escalier’ was nominated for the Rhysling Award. Her work has also been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. May tweets about birds, bugs, social justice and other curiosities at @maysays.
Derek Kho (Malaysia)
Derek Kho is a writer, dancer and all-round performer. He is a long-time member of Soul Higher Crew and of Wordsmiths of Kuching. He has performed in festivals and the spoken word poetry circuit in Malaysia.
Deric Ee (Malaysia)
Deric is a writer and arts manager from Seremban, Negeri Sembilan. He has curated and managed cultural events in Johor, Kuala Lumpur and Penang. To date, he has edited several publications, including KL Noir: Magic. He enjoys spending his spare time stanning Taylor Swift on Twitter at @babybinbaik.
P. Maheswary (Malaysia)
P. Maheswary taught English in schools before she took early retirement to pursue other interests. She has written stories for children, reference books, and published her stories in Silverfish books and Anak Sastera. She holds a BA from University Putra Malaysia and an MA from the University of Southern Queensland.
Adibah Khalil (Malaysia)
Adibah’s passion in filmmaking begun with a red Sony camcorder gifted by her father in 2009. Since then, she graduated in Animal Behaviour and Welfare Science from the University of Bristol. Adibah believes that video is the closest thing to time travel, and aspires to integrate her interest in animals with her knowledge of film to tell compelling and impactful stories.
Amir Muhammad (Malaysia)
Amir is a writer and filmmaker. Upon noticing the lack of diversity in Malay writing, he started the publishing company Buku FIXI to catalyse local writings in other genres. Since 2011, Buku FIXI has published over 250 titles and also boasts the most Instagram and Twitter followers among Malaysian publishers. Amir also has a film company, Kuman Pictures, which focuses on horror films in Malay, Chinese and Tamil.
Buku FIXI (Malaysia)
Buku FIXI is a Malaysian independent publisher founded in 2011 by writer and filmmaker Amir Muhammad. The company is dedicated to contemporary urban fiction in Malay and English, but also produces graphic novels and Malay translations of foreign books. In 2015, Buku FIXI opened its flagship bookstore known as Kedai FIXI. It is one of the most popular Malaysian publishers on social media.