THIS year at the Cannes Film Festival, Malaysia is set to have a much bigger presence than in recent years. Following in the footsteps of the Dubai, United Arab Emirates and Guadalajara, Mexico, our nation will for the first time be part of the Goes to Cannes program — an initiative under the festival’s film market which allows presenting partners a chance to showcase up to five films to sales agents, distributors and programmers.
As part of Malaysia Goes to Cannes, the National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (FINAS) has selected five Malaysian films to display at Marche du Film, one of the biggest film markets in the world. Extracts from all five films will be presented during the exclusive two-hour long screening, where directors and producers can also introduce their films.
These five films have been revealed to be Saw Teong Hin‘s You Mean The World To Me, Mohd Khairul Azri‘s Pekak, Cho We Jun‘s Taiping Adagio, Tunku Mona Riza‘s Redha, and Hoka Hey, A Good Day To Die by Harold Monfils.
Most notably, Teong Hin’s You Mean The World To Me is based on his acclaimed full-length stage play Hai Ki Xin Lor (You Mean The World To Me) which premiered in the historic Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi as part of George Town Festival 2014.
The film adaptation, produced by Leonard Tee and Alea Rahim for Astro Shaw, also boasts award-winning cinematographer Christopher Doyle (In The Mood for Love, 2046)
Hoka Hey, A Good Day To Die meanwhile is a feature-length documentary by Kuala Lumpur-based Harold Monfils, who debuts with the life story of British conflict photographer, Jason P. Howe.
Monfils is a Dutch independent filmmaker born in Portugal who has lived in Kuala Lumpur since 1995, and he has been following Jason for the past five years, naming the film after a tattoo on Jason’s arm.
Malaysia Goes to Cannes will take place at Palais 1 at 2:00pm on 17 May 2016. Other regions also part of the program this year include Lebanon and Panama.