KUALA LUMPUR, 23 March — After a slew of commercially-successful releases marking a robust first quarter, attention has been gathering for Redha.
Filmed early last year, Tunku Mona Riza‘s latest directorial effort presents a cast comprising real-life couple Nam Ron and June Lojong, Nadiya Nisaa, Susan Lankester, Remy Ishak and Ruminah Sidek.
Boasting renowned Indonesian cinematographer Yudi Datau — known for his work on Arisan, Tenggelamnya Kapal Van Der Wijck and acclaimed kids film Denias, Senandung Di Atas Awan — Redha promises impressive visuals from the eastern coast of the peninsula.
The trailer, released earlier this month, provides a glimpse of Yudi’s output.
Redha was produced by Tunku Mona Riza’s own Current Pictures, a production house she founded in 1999. Prior to Redha, the New York Film Academy alumnus had mostly been involved in television commercials, though her venture into telemovies garnered her an Anugerah Skrin nomination in 2012 for Parit Jawa.
The makers of Redha however claim that their main objective is to raise awareness for autism.
Based on real life accounts of parents who raise autistic children, the film was initiated by Tunku Mona Riza’s desire to rectify low awareness for autism in Malaysian society. Upon spending time together with a close friend who raises an autistic child, she undertook research to understand the mental condition and how it affects Malaysian families.
As a result, the story of Redha is very much a study of how a Malaysian family copes with having to raise an autistic child.
In the film, Razlan is in denial about his son’s condition, causing friction in the family. His wife Alina perseveres, and eventually finds help from her sister and close friend in raising the young boy, until a tragic incident forces the family to rebuild their relationships.
The film’s soundtrack too contributes to Redha‘s cause — the Monoloque-penned “Abah” for instance is a track performed by autistic young adult Umar Hasfizal.
Choosing April — which is Autism Awareness Month — for wide release, the film has also scored collaborations with two local cinema chains in bringing autism to the forefront.
Golden Screen Cinemas (GSC) and Current Pictures has pledged to donate RM1.00 from each ticket to the National Autism Society of Malaysia (NASOM), while cinema staff will wear a badge promoting awareness throughout the month.
MBO Cinemas on the other hand will have a donation box at ticket counters from which proceeds which will be channeled to an autism group of their choice. Its staff will also be wearing a special T-shirt to raise awareness.
Redha will run in Malaysian cinemas from 14 April 2016 onwards. A press premiere however has been scheduled for next week, suggesting that creators are banking on the film’s quality and positive word of mouth to take the film far.
For more information on Redha, make sure to check out the Facebook page!