29 SEP 2018 8.30AM–5PM

Children of Malaysia–engage in Literature! (CoMeL): Unleashing Your Personal Story

Malaysia, United States



RM40–Students & Teachers Concessions



Successful writers, illustrators and creators of children’s books share their candid experience and provide tips to aspiring amateurs and professionals alike.

CoMel literary events set itself apart from other literary programmes by focusing not just on books as a source of children’s stories, but also extending the spotlight on the multi-dimensional aspects of story-telling, including films and comedy. CoMel is a TED-styled event showcasing creators of children’s content across platforms to speak about what truly moves them to produce the content that they do. It is hoped that the themes will breathe life into content creators’ next monumental children’s books.

This year, CoMel will feature a panel of speakers and presenters including renowned local and award-winning international authors, illustrators and storytellers who will share the inspiration for their stories and the motivation behind their works under this year’s theme of “Unleashing Your Personal Story”.

Read more about CoMEL in our Festival blog.



Speakers Profile

Yoko Narahashi is a prominent casting director and film producer and generally known as  “Japan’s ambassador to Hollywood“.  She gained prominence due to her involvement with The Last Samurai, Babel, and Memoirs of  a Geisha. The Japan Times referred to her as an “all-round interpreter of Japan for U.S. movies”. She was pivotal in the discovery of Ken Watanabe for The Last Samurai and the casting of RinkoKikuchi for Babel who both went on to be nominated for Academy Awards underlining her perceptive judgement for authentic star quality.

Yoko worked alongside Steven Spielberg on Empire of the Sun and she continues to be active as a Casting Director, working with directors like Rob Marshall, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, James Mangold, WashWestmorelandand Angelina Jolie.

Yoko believes that “the moment you discover your role”, is the moment you begin to shine.“

Read this Japan Times interview to find out more about Yoko.

Anse Tamara Gray is the founder of Rabata, an organization dedicated to promoting positive cultural change through creative educational experiences. She is an Islamic scholar and  is a doctoral student in the Leadership, Policy and Administration program at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. She holds a master’s degree in Curriculum Theory and Instruction, and worked for twenty-five years in the field of education, before moving into the non-profit world.

Shaykha Tamara works as Executive Director for Rabata, building and sustaining its many and varied educational projects including Daybreak Press publishing, the publisher of the award winning book, “The Drummer Girl”.Sheis also a public speaker often engaged to speak about issues of gender, leadership, Islam, and spirituality; locally, nationally and globally. Her book, Joy Jots: Exercises for a Happy Heart, is in its third print.

Tamara is on the advisory board of Muslim Women’s Association of Chicago and the Muslim Anti-Racism Committee and on the board of the Collegeville Institute ’s Interreligious Fellows Program, working to develop educational programming for faith leaders around social justice issues.

Read more about Tamara in this Kitab World interview.

Sabrinah Morad grew up under the shadow of mental illness and knows first hand how the topic is not one usually raised openly in Malaysian society.

“Culturally, we live in a fairly superstitious society, where mental illness can be misdiagnosed as [someone] being charmed by black magic or possessed by evil spirits.

Morad’s new children’s book tries to destigmatize this illness  and looks at depression from a child’s perspective. Grey Bear Days centers around an eight-year-old boy, Little Bee, who must deal with a grey bear who “steals” his mother.

Read this Asia Times interview to find out more about Sabrinah.

Christopher Brembel is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Base FX. He began his film career with multiple writing and producing credits, two director credits, and one film in competition at the Cannes Film Festival. In 2009, he designed the Base FX’s training program, Base Camp, providing a foundation for Base FX’s continued growth and success. Chris is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and USC’s School of Cinema-Television.

Base is Asia’s leading visual effects and animation company with production studios in Beijing, Wuxi and Xiamen, China, and an office in Los Angeles. Base FX opened its first overseas production facility in Malaysia in June 2018 .

The vote to establish in Malaysia according to Chris was facilitated by the securing of a location “that offers an aspiring creative community, a young and eager talent pool and strong government support for a new initiatives” It retains a strategic alliance with Industrial Light & Magic and has won Emmy Awards for work on “Black Sails,” “Boardwalk Empire,” and “The Pacific,” and earned Oscar and BAFTA nominations for its work on “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

Dzameer Dzulkifli is Managing Director and a Co-Founder of Teach For Malaysia. Armed with his M. Eng. (Hons) in Mechanical Engineering from Imperial College London, Dzameeris a passionate educational devotee. He truly believes that Teach For Malaysia will be the nurturing ground for future visionary leaders who will enhance Malaysia’s educational and national landscapes.

Prior to founding Teach For Malaysia, Dzameer channeled his enthusiasm and determination as a management consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers in 2007, where he played a key role in the implementation of a human capital blueprint for a prominent economic region in Malaysia. As a weekly volunteer teaching Mathematics at the UNHCR Burmese Refugee Education Centre in Kuala Lumpur, his dedication significantly impacted the learning capabilities of the schoolchildren, accelerating their Math progress from a Primary 4-level to a Secondary 2-level within the short period of 9 months.

Read this interview by The Edge to find out more about Dzameer.

Saw Teong Hin is an award-winning Malaysian film director, writer and producer with a career of more than 30 years. “PuteriGunungLedang”(2004), TeongHin’sdirectorial debut, was the first Malaysian submission for The Academy Awards (2004). It was also the first Malaysian film invited to the Venice International Film Festival (2004).

His production company, Real Films, produced the musical tribute to Malaysian superstar Sudirman, “Hoore! Hoore!” (2012) as well as the Penang Hokkienfilm, “You Mean The World To Me” (2017), one of the most critically acclaimed and successful films of 2017. Real Films also provides production support for international movies filmed in Malaysia, including AngLee’s “Lust: Caution”.

Aside from winning the Boh Cameronian award for co-writing the book for “Puteri Gunung Ledang – The Musical”, Teong Hin has directed for the stage, with great success. His theatre directorial credits include the iconic “Emily of Emerald Hill” for The Georgetown Festival (2010), a dance drama “Silat”(2012), an original Istana Budaya musical “Chow Kit Road! Chow Kit Road!” (2013) as well as the stage version of “You Mean The World To Me” (2014) on which the movie is based.

His career reached a new high when he directed the 2017 South East Asian GamesOpening and Closing Ceremonies, held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Read this Esquire interview to learn more about Teong Hin.

Harith Iskander is a Malaysian actor and comedian. He is considered to be “the Godfather of Stand-Up Comedy” in Malaysia, having also won the Asia’s Best Stand-Up Comedian Award 2014 by Top 10 of Asia Magazine.

He won the Funniest Person in the World competition in December 2016.

Read this Discover KL interview to find out more about Harith.

Chuck Williams has over 18 years of feature film development experience.  A 21-year Disney Feature Animation veteran, Chuck served as a development exec, writer and producer on several films.  He conceived, wrote the first approach and produced Brother Bear (2004), and likewise worked as a writer and producer on several other Disney development project.  Under John Lasseter and Ed Catmull, Chuck was asked to head the Disney Shorts program which was the vanguard for the Pixar development process into Disney.

From 2013, Chuck has lead the development of both animated and hybrid films at Marzaand heads their US office.  He works closely with Original Film and Tim Miller & Jeff Fowler of Blur Studios to develop Sonic the Hedgehog for Sony Columbia.  As well, he is producing the upcoming animated feature Mean Margaret to be release in 2019 by Open Road and DadiInternational, as well as having several other features, TV shows, and even a VR feature-length project in active development.

Chuck is a passionate filmmaker, a veteran in emotional, big scale stories, and a relentless pursuer of quality, family entertainment.

Tommy Le Baker is an artisanal ‘bread engineer’, on a constant mission to explore different ingredients to make the best bread. Equipped with expertise in patisserie and boulangeriefrom his years away in France, in a defining moment  he decided he would make his way back home to Malaysia.

On a random bus trip, he discovers an atta flour mill and took home some supplies which he started experimenting on. This led him to make the perfect Malaysian sourdough. He was finally *Home*. Tommy can be found constantly experimenting out of his “Tommy Le Baker” bakery at Kampung Atap.

Read this interview by The Edge to find out more about Tommy.

” I never would have imagined that an event such as this would exist, well anywhere in the world; […] as I think stories are an important part of our lives, and especially for children.To open the world of story telling in what ever medium be it writing, recitals, film making, theatre or literature. And of course literature as everything starts from the writing.
Standing there in front of everyone, and especially the children really reminded me of what it was like for me when I was a child, and this then forced me to find a language and a way of of speaking and thinking with children, so it is important in the best way possible, it teaches both the teller and the listener about stories, as much as about the art of telling, of engaging with one another, and about the values of stories and literature in our community and culture…”


“The spirit of inquiry, the speakers, the enthusiasm towards the importance of children’s literature creates an experience that was highly engaging, entertaining, and informative!”


“What a wealth of knowledge and creativity being used in such positive ways..”


“How lucky you young people are! COMEL brings together very good writers, illustrators, story tellers and great achievers right down to your door step!”


“Last month I had the privilege to attend the 2nd edition of CoMeL in Kuala Lumpur. A truly inspirational 1 day event featuring speakers from Malaysia, Europe and the U.S. Their very diverse backgrounds contributed into giving a multifaceted approach to the topic of Peace and the importance of Literature as an influence into mankind’s upbringing to seed and root ideals of tolerance, love and respect…therefore: Peace. Laughter, insight, emotions, science, were all part of an experience which I hope to repeat in the years to come.”

CoMeL aspires to be the stage to lead to..
Children of Malaysia -Engage in Literature.

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