Wednesday, October 15, 2008

What the Singaporeans will see.


Muallaf Singapore poster

A friend told me recently that one local paper attacked me for always showing my films in Singapore before Malaysia. I didn't read the article, but apparently they accused me of being disloyal, or words to that effect.

Truth beknown, the reason for this is that the Singaporeans are just quicker on the uptake than we are.

For example, while Malaysia was only interested in "Rabun" for a slot on TV, the Singaporeans lapped it up for the Singapore International Film Festival. From there, it travelled to international film festivals in Italy, France, Greece, Taiwan and Japan.

While the Malaysian censorship board was busy threatening to ban "Sepet", the Singaporeans picked it up for theatrical release, without cuts, and played it for six weeks! From there, "Sepet" went on to win the Grand Prix du Jury in Paris, and the Best Asian Film Award at the Tokyo International Film Festival.

Worse still, "Sepet" finally did play in Malaysia, but my poor beloved compatriots had to put up with EIGHT cuts, imposed upon it by the wise old men of our censorship board.

But you know what? Allah knows best. One huge advantage of showing your films in Singapore first is that you lower the risk of piracy. The Singaporeans just don't pirate. It's as simple as that. If you release your films in Malaysia first, it will quickly be copied and the pirated dvd's will be smuggled into Singapore. By then, it would be pointless to put it out into Singaporean cinema theatres.

So here it is. A poster the Singaporeans will see, for a film the Singaporeans will watch, with no cuts. Alhamdulillah.

I'm not disloyal, my dear fellow Malaysians. I'm just a victim of circumstance.