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"Geng" movie wants RM100mil

Writer: Ezekiel Lee Zhiang Yang


The team behind "Geng"

26 Aug – The film industry in Malaysia, long infamous for commercial movies that do not travel well outside the South East Asian region, may finally find an exception in the unlikely form of 3-D animation movies, as the team behind "Geng" announced possibilities of grossing RM 100 million in international revenue with the first full-length feature off the franchise.

Speaking at an industrial preview of the film held in an auditorium at the Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) headquarters, film producer Burhanuddin Md Radzi said that the maiden project of Les' Copaque has already taken up some RM 4.7 in cost but prides itself in being a completely local production that started off with only a handful of university graduates three years ago.


MDeC CEO Dato' Badlisham Ghazali
Featuring very colourful, typical Malaysian characters, the ambitious film is touted as a world class production that is equal to Hollywood movies such as "Shrek" and "Toy Story". Industry observers, among them National Film Development Corporation (FINAS) Chief Director Mahyidin Mustakim and MDeC CEO Dato' Badlisham Ghazali, sung praises for the movie after viewing it. It was felt that the movie was slightly too long and needed tighter editing but the general opinion was that it was a great wholesome movie that had mass appeal and great entertainment value.


A scene from "Geng: Pengembaraan Bermula" featuring a mysterious creature
When interviewed by Cinema Online, Burhanuddin Md Radzi (also Les' Copaque's Managing Director) said: "The creation of iconic characters will go some way towards making this a franchise. We already had the "Upin & Ipin" spin-off on TV. The point is making something which doesn't just stop at one movie or one episode. After this, we will take this movie to Hollywood with the help of MDeC and look into the possibility of A-list American actors providing the voiceovers, just like your Shreks. Everything depends on the deals we are looking at. Of course we are looking at the distribution of this movie to as many countries as possible in dubbed languages – but we want to see whether it will work at home first."

Indeed the press felt it was brave of the team to hold the screening in order to gauge response and provide a medium for feedback.

"Geng: Pengembaraan Bermula" is expected to see wide release next year.


Cinema Online, 26 August 2008

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