18 May – Horror comedy "Syif Malam Raya" has become the third local movie this year to forgo a theatrical release and instead make its premiere on the on-demand channel Astro First.
Dato' Norman Abdul Halim, one of the producers, stated that their plan to screen the movie in cinemas earlier this month had to be cancelled due to the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO).
"Even though the movie was initially set for release in cinemas, the local film industry has to face the current reality and the uncertain re-opening of local cinemas.
"We are fortunate that "Syif Malam Raya" has been selected for screening on Astro First a few days before Hari Raya. I also want to congratulate Astro who acted fast in providing an alternative for us filmmakers, thus playing an important part in saving the local film industry," he said.
Meanwhile, Raja Jastina Raja Arshad, Vice President, Head of Astro Shaw and Nusantara, said that following the extension of CMCO, Astro Shaw continues doing its part in prioritising Astro viewers by providing fresh contents suitable for the whole family, since most are unable to go back to their hometowns to celebrate Hari Raya this year.
Previously, Astro Shaw utilised the Astro First platform to air the Indonesian movie "Nanti Kita Cerita Tentang Hari Ini", which received positive feedbacks.
In fact, earlier this month, the first local 2020 movie to be screened on the pay-per-view platform is the Mamat Khalid-directed "Manap Karaoke", which managed to land in the Astro First chart's top spot.
Directed by Profesor Madya Dato' Dr A. Razak Mohaideen, the movie follows Zaid and Hisyam, two friends who have to work on Raya night, delivering a body to Ipoh and on the way, they give a lift to Mera and Yoh who are heading back to their hometown. However, strange things begin to happen when they reach a village that is haunted by pocong.
The Astro Shaw, Ray Theme-produced movie, distributed by United Studios stars popular actors such as Atu, Sharif and Syaiful from the band Zero, Ropie, Saiful Apek, Azlee Senario, Reen Rahim, Lia Natalia, Nadia Brian, Sheila Mambo and many more.
"Syif Malam Raya" will start airing this 21 May.