INTI International College Subang (IICS) recently hosted the team behind Malaysia’s first entirely crowdfunded movie, ‘Pendatang’, a significant milestone in the country’s film industry. This event celebrated creative excellence and cultural diversity, bringing together students, faculty, and prominent figures from the movie industry.
The creators of the movie ‘Pendatang’ provided interesting and thought-provoking conversations about the film industry.
On 24 January, a lively discussion with the creators of ‘Pendatang’ was held at the Tan Yew Sing Auditorium. The panel consisted of Amir Muhammad, the founder of Kuman Pictures; Director Ng Ken Kin; Gabrielle Lee, the founder of Tapir Films; Assistant Producer Ang Wei Xin, and Scriptwriter Lim Boon Siang. They shared valuable insights into the creative process that led to the making of this film.
‘Pendatang’ is an inspiring Malaysian story in a dystopian future filled with racial extremism. It showcases the resilience of humanity in overcoming racial divides, inspired by the Rohingya crisis of 2015. Director Ng Ken Kin emphasised the need for an honest and independent conversation on racial politics.
Ken Kin pointed out the online tensions reflecting inter-racial conflicts in Malaysia and stressed the importance of understanding diverse perspectives to bridge the gap between communities.
The film symbolises hope, illustrating how courage can transcend racial boundaries and urging us to approach issues with a humanitarian perspective. Kuman Pictures founder Amir Muhammad thanked Datuk Tan Yew Sing, founder of INTI Education Group, for supporting the project and acknowledging the INTI community’s significant contributions.
Amir explained the choice of crowdfunding due to the script’s misalignment with traditional Malaysian funding models. Crowdfunding was a novel strategy that proved successful in the Malaysian film industry for the first time. “Our goal was simple – to create the film without sacrificing its essence and to share it freely,” he said.
He highlighted the scarcity of co-produced films in Malaysia, suggesting that embracing collaborative projects could boost the nation’s global reputation in the film industry. He also encouraged filmmakers to persist in their creative endeavours.
Lim Boon Siang, the scriptwriter, stressed the irreplaceable influence of personal values in storytelling, even in the era of Artificial Intelligence in scriptwriting. “A story’s core lies in its values, which are intimately connected to the writer,” he remarked, highlighting the importance of the screenwriter in engaging the audience.
Gabrielle Lee, the founder of Tapir Films advised aspiring actors to start with short films, which are crucial for developing their portfolio. “Don’t wait for opportunities; create them by engaging in short films,” she recommended.
The triumph of the movie ‘Pendatang’ highlights the importance of resilience, creativity, and collaboration in overcoming challenges and driving the film industry forward. With the pioneering attitude and cooperative mindset shown by this groundbreaking production, the cinematic landscape is ready for growth.
(From left to right) Gabrielle Lee, the founder of Tapir Films, director Ng Ken Kin, Kuman Pictures founder Amir Muhammad, Ang Tong Yin, Dean of the INTI Center for Art and Design (ICAD), along with scriptwriter Lim Boon Siang and assistant producer Ang Wei Xin, pose for a group photo.