19 Jul – When one has status like that of Datin Paduka Shuhaimi Baba, word-of-mouth is all you need to market your film, and that is what she and Perbadanan Kemajuan Filem Nasional Malaysia's (FINAS) Chief Director, Mohd Naguib Razak, are aiming for with the former's upcoming historical film, "Tanda Putera".
With a story that is based on the lives of historical icons Tun Razak and Tun Dr Ismail, their friendship, and ultimately, the events leading up to and after the 13 May 1969 Tragedy, "Tanda Putera" was bound to be swamped by controversy. Among them was its delayed release date from 13 September, which was speculated to be due to the upcoming elections in Malaysia.
"Although this film is related to our country's history, it does not aim to influence our upcoming elections. In fact, I don't even know when the elections will be held," said Naguib Razak during the film's press conference at Cathay Cineplex at e@Curve.
Shuhami, also known fondly to her fans as Shumi, added, "The aim of my film is to educate our citizens about the tragedy that happened on 13 May 1969 as there are many who do not know about it or shied away from it."
The two also went on to reveal that there will be many more screenings of "Tanda Putera" for various groups in order to fulfil this aim and to generate word-of-mouth for the film's cinema premiere. In addition, short documentaries will also be made to accompany "Tanda Putera" as there film's runtime of almost two hours was not enough to fit in all the important historical events.
"The first week of the film's debut in cinemas is the most important week for box office earnings, ratings, and so on, as the number of audiences for a film usually decreases after each week," remarked Naguib Razak.
"Tanda Putera" stars Rusdi Ramli, Zizan Nin, Faezah Elai, Linda Hashim, Norman Hakim, Kavita Sidhu and Riezman Khuzaimi. It is directed by Datin Paduka Shuhaimi Baba and produced by Pesona Pictures Sdn Bhd and FINAS.
The film is tentatively scheduled to be released in local cinemas on 13 September.