They Keep Quiet So We Make Noise

Nominated for

Best Short Documentary

Director: Marlena Skrobe

12' • United States • 2020

Chinese, English

In Jenjarom, a small palm plantation town approximately 50 kilometers outside of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the smell of burnt plastic crept across the town every night entering the homes of residents, stirring them awake. After months of sleepless nights, a few local residents decided to investigate the source of the smell, forming The Environmental Protection Agency of Kuala Langat. In the documentary short They Keep Quiet So We Make Noise, follow two activists in The Environmental Protection Agency of Kuala Langat, Pua Lay Peng and CK Lee, during a night drive searching for illegal recycling facilities while learning about their fight against the tide of plastic waste being sent to Malaysia from overseas.

Producer: Marlena Skrobe & Yoshitaka Ota

Cast: Pua Lay Peng , C.K Lee

Marlena is a filmmaker and plastic pollution researcher based in Seattle, Washington. They Keep Quiet So We Make Noise is Marlena’s directorial debut, but she has spent years working in the film industry in New York City on numerous award-winning films as a camera assistant and casting director. Marlena’s work focuses on the social life of plastic, human-plastic entanglements, and the disproportionate burden the full life cycle of plastic has on communities around the world.