Tag Archives: Malaysia

European Film Market Comes to a Successful Conclusion

Posted by Larry Gleeson

The EFM  conducted buzzing business not only at its main location, the impressive Gropius Bau, but online as the industry returned to Berlin (Photo courtesy of© EFM / Juliane Eirich)


An exceptional edition of the European Film Market (EFM) at the 72nd Berlinale ended successfully yesterday, Thursday, February 17. The international trading platform for audiovisual content had to be moved online for the second time due to the pandemic. But even in virtual space, countless business meetings were organized and a record number of deals concluded during the EFM, which ran from February 10 to 17. Around 600 exhibitors (2021: 504) from 62 countries (60) presented themselves on the EFM platform, and around 1,300 market screenings (1,452) and 827 films (821) were shown, including over 600 market premieres (578). For the first time, companies from Costa Rica, Malaysia, Mongolia, and Uruguay were amongst the exhibitors.


Dennis Ruh

“The EFM has again created clear, vital momentum for the film and content trade at its traditional date at the beginning of the film year,” says EFM director Dennis Ruh, summing up. “In the wake of the already noticeable easing and lifting of restrictive measures in Europe and other parts of the world, the incentive to acquire new films and content is being felt more strongly once again, even if rights trading still had to take place largely in virtual space this year. We look forward to meeting our market participants in person in Berlin next year.”


The EFM was complemented by a six-day conference program, the “EFM Industry Sessions”, which were held under the heading SHAPING CHANGE. In the three core areas of Future, Diversity & Inclusion, and Sustainable Development, participants discussed the challenges of the film and media industry in times of digital transformation in a results-oriented three-part think tank series, among other events, and thus lent impulses to help shape the business’ shared future.


“We have the tools to drive the necessary changes in the industry. This has been shown by the results of the numerous talks and discussions at the ‘EFM Industry Sessions’. Not least the pandemic has acted as a catalyst, especially in the areas of technology and sustainability,” EFM director Dennis Ruh continued. “Now we need to use these tools purposefully and turn our motto into MAKING CHANGE. We need to take action and align our mindset with imminent change.”


The final event presented the results from three think-tanks headlined “Future”, “Production” and “Distribution”. Among other things, the theses were put forward that integrating technology and sustainable strategies as well as representation and inclusion play a decisive role in the sector’s positive future development. The pandemic has proven to be a driver and motor for both. Transparency, consolidating mental fitness, participation, and the creation of structural and institutional conditions for the inclusion of people with disabilities in front of and behind the camera are also of key importance.


In the field of production, the issue of intellectual property (IP) protection and the still existing grey area when working with streaming providers play a central role, especially for independent producers. A protective regulation might be a kind of “code of fair practice” that offers a solution for all producers. In the field of distribution, the panelists noted resistance and resilience to change processes, contrary to the current trends. Curation of content is the distinguishing feature between distributors and festivals in relation to streaming services.

The full report summarising the key findings of the think tanks can be read here.

(Press release provided by Berlinale Press Office)


Posted by Larry Gleeson


TBA Studios adds another gem to its impressive catalog of diverse genre films from all over the globe with the recent distribution acquisition of the Malaysian thriller Lights Out (original title Siapa Tutup Lampu).

Lights Out is helmed by young and up-and-coming director Aliff Ihsan Rahman with a screenplay by Azhar Jalil and produced by Horizon Film Entertainment & Articulate Fusion Productions.


It follows the story of five friends (Akmal, Arif, Aryana, Azie, and Amir) who go on holiday to Genting Highlands.  On the way home, they get involved in an accident that kills Amir.  The other four are called to the morgue to identify Amir’s body.


While waiting for the doctor to arrive, they discover they are locked in the morgue, which is frequently disturbed by mysterious sights and sounds.  It is most unsettling especially when the lights suddenly go out.


The four friends suspect that the entity bothering them is Amir’s restless spirit. While confined in the morgue, they each retell how they betrayed their friend, and their wrongdoings on Amir were revealed one by one. Will they all make it out of the morgue alive?


Recently completed, Lights Out has already generated buzz in its home country.  This highly anticipated thriller stars Azizul Ammar, Uyaina Arshad, Naim Daniel, Azhar Jalil, Ismi Melinda, Afieq Shazwan, Geoff Andre Feyaerts, Melissa Campbell, and Mark O’Dea.

  “We are planning a theatrical release of the film in Malaysia and Indonesia,” says Mohd Shahir Sulaiman, Managing Director of Horizon Film Entertainment.   “With Cindy Sison of TBA Studios as our international sales agent, we are optimistic about reaching new audiences globally.”

Lights Out is one of the films TBA Studios is premiering at the American Film Market alongside other acquisitions such as the music documentary FANNY: The Right To Rock, urban crime thriller Boundary, and award-winning documentary A Is For Agustin.

TBA Studios is one of the leading film production and distribution companies in the Philippines known for its groundbreaking films such as historical epics General Luna, Goyo: The Boy General, and hit romcom I’m Drunk, I Love You.

To know more about TBA Studios or see updates on Lights Out, visit www.tba.ph

(Press release provided by Cindy Sison)

Malaysia-Philippines film to represent Asia at Venice Film Festival

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 2 — A co-production between Malaysia and Philippines called Singing in Graveyards is set to represent Asia at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival.

The movie, which will be making its world premiere at said festival, is the only Asian movie that will be competing at the festival’s 31st edition of Critics’ Week, In Competition.

It is also up for the Lion of the Future Award from the Main Section of the festival.

Singing in Graveyards marks the directorial debut by Malaysian producer Bradley Liew, who received the Visions Sud Est Production Support Fund to make his first feature.

This isn’t the first time for the 26-year-old filmmaker to collaborate with Filipino talents, as he also previously produced Lav Diaz’s When The Waves Are Gone, which won the Paris Coproduction Village Award at the 20th Hong Kong Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF).

Starring Filipino-British singer-songwriter Pepe Smith, Singing in Graveyards tells the story of 68-year-old Pepe, an impersonator of a Filipino rock legend who lives alone on the borders of reality, imagination and mysticism.

Also part of the cast are Filipino actors Mercedes Cabral, Susan Africa, Sunshine Teodoro, Bernardo Bernando, Matt Daclan and Joel Saracho, as well as producer Bianca Balbuena, filmmaker Lav Diaz, and singer Ely Buendia.

The 2016 Venice International Film Festival will run at Venice Lido from August 31 to September 10.

Screen Shot 2016-08-10 at 7.09.48 PM

(Source: http://www.themalaymailonline.com)