‘Local films deserve more airtime’

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KOTA KINABALU: More airtime on local television stations should be provided to locally-produced films or telefilms.

Making the call, Political Secretary to the Chief Minister, Jo-Anna Sue Henley Rampas (pic) said such initiative can further showcase native language films.

“The support from local communities also play an important role to ensure the progress of local telefilms or films,” she said when launching ‘Sa’apon’, the first Lotud telefilm, near here, Sunday.

Films, she said, are also a good medium to preserve and promote local native languages which some are facing loss due to lack of usage among the young generation.

She also urged local filmmakers to continue to explore various local culture-inspired stories but at the same time can be accepted universally.

This, she said can even turn local films into tourism products.

“I believe we can create a sub-tourism product by giving priority on local language and culture in films.

“And the State Government is committed to diversify tourism products in Sabah, in line with the sector being the main contributor to the State’s economy.

“Sabah’s tourism sector continues to show a good performance and has grown healthily.

“From January until August this year, the tourist arrival in the State had even reached 2.87 million.”

On ‘Sa’apon’, Jo-anna commended the brave step taken by Bayo Pictures and the Sabah Sakag Burunai Association (PSBS) for producing the film.

The film, she said, opened a new chapter in the history of local filmmaking in Sabah.

“Your involvement in the production of this telefilm – assisting and forking out a huge sum of money, should be commended as this is the first telefilm in Lotud.

“I hope such effort will not stop here and more good quality films can be produced in future…films which can be marketed nationally and internationally,” she said.

To this end, she urged all filmmakers in the State to ensure the quality of their works, not only the shooting locations portray the State’s natural beauty, “but also the storylines should reflect our people.”

“We have to showcase Sabahan identity in our films.”

Aimed to promote and introduce the Lotud language to the public, ‘Sa’apon’ (Fight until the End) cost about RM100,000 to be produced.

More than 40 actors and crew were involved in the production of the telefilm.

‘Sa’apon’ tells a story of the kind-hearted Sulod, Sunsuyon village head, who is envied by Gaing who wanted to snatch the village’s leadership from Sulod.

Sulod was then poisoned and burnt together with a few other villagers during a celebration of a traditional festival.

Howeve, Sulod’s son, Bansah was saved by a martial art teacher who then taught the boy traditional martial art.

When he had grown up, his teacher told Bansah about the story of his family and he, then, went on a mission to find the killers of his family.

Sa’apon was produced by Sarah Augustin and co-directed by Sarah and P Dik Ganai. The executive producers for the telefilm were Francis Fahir and Joseph Malik.

By: Ricardo Unto

Read more @ http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news/144292/local-films-deserve-more-airtime-/

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