Silat movie can go global
Putera Empayar Nusantara Producer Asmadie Mokhadar © Pic: Nic Falconer
Asmadie Mokhadar, producer of the soon to be filmed movie ‘Putera Empayar Nusantara’ (PEN), believes it has the potential to be a major box office success, and now has world-wide exposure in mind.
Originally, Putera Empayar Nusantara was aimed at the local Malaysian, Indonesian and Asian markets but spurred on by the stunning Oscar Best film award awarded to ‘Parasite’-a movie originating from South Korea which made Oscars history as the first film not spoken in English to win best picture - Asmadie believes his movie could become an international epic in the genre.
“We must aim for this type of quality and storytelling and I believe we will attain it in our movie,’ he said.
Parasite also won best director, best original screenplay and best international film and set the standard that Asmadie believes will be the new benchmark for non-US film makers.
PEN has warships, silat fight scenes and treacherous characters.
Basically, PEN is a movie based on the real story about the struggle for power in the Nusantara region, which is the Maritime Southeast Asian area in Indonesia and Malaysia, around the beginning of the 18th century.
This conflict for power helped spread and educate people about the knowledge of Silat which at the time had many variations around the region as well as other forms of martial arts.
In the early 1700’s the throne for the Nusantara region becomes empty after the death of one ruler and a candidate, who claims the throne, is considered a usurper by another group who begin a war against him.
So it’ll be a movie about royalty, palaces, jungles, sea battles, warships, probably love affairs, treachery, colourfully costumed men and women and lots and lots of silat that aims to enthral potential viewers worldwide.
It has some real stars too-Indonesian actor and Silat expert Cecep Arif Rahman was in John Wick3 and Star Wars:The Force Awakens.
Indonesian Cecep Arif Rahman is one of many talented actors and fighters in the movie.
© Pic Nic Falconer
Additionally, having actors of the calibre of Azhan Rani, Beto Qusyairy, Pangeran Aduka, Ahmad Sharil Zailudin, Jalaluddin Hassan, Wan Raja, Vanida Imran, Isme Melinda and Ruzaidi Abdul Rahman, means a lot of interest is being shown.
The film will also be directed by the acclaimed Indonesian maestro Ario Sagantoro who directed The Raid:Redemption as well as Merantau Warrior.
Silat has recently been recognised as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage and the timing could not have been better for the producers, those backing the movie and any future investors.
Some of the filming will take place in selected Negeri Sembilan jungles with temporary palace sets being built and at present a large Indonesian contingent of expert silat actors are in Negeri Sembilan practising relentlessly to perfect the incredible fight scenes.
The production team camera operators will be using the best quality RED-rated cameras which enables post production work that can treat the movie in the dramatic style and vibrant colours to depict the era realistically.
There will also be some filming taking place in Pahang and Johor in Malaysia plus Makassar and Sulawesi in Indonesia.
“Many people may not aware that such a genre is in high demand but not many productions have taken the risk in producing films with this genre,' said Asmadie Mokhadar.
Filming of the movie Putera Empayar Nusantara will begin in 2020 and Putera Empayar Nusantara is set to be screened in all Malaysian cinemas and if collaborations with overseas investors prove successful, hopefully penetrate the international market in 2021.
"Our team feels that with the collaboration between the filmmaking with our neighbouring country will boost our local film industry. The characters that the cast bring are also heavy characters and we believe they will do well,” said Asmadie.
Having the movie being filmed in Negeri is a great boost for Negeri Sembilan’s Tourism ambitions as featuring in such a film which highlights some of the wonderful jungle areas around Negeri Sembilan attracts tourists and interested movie buffs.
Perhaps in the future some park area can be devoted to the cultural legacy of the spread of silat, particularly in NS with its Minangkabau connections, offering lessons and courses into the cultural aspects of the State.
Silat is recognised as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage and there is opportunity to establish a martial arts centre in Negeri Sembilan promoting this iconic cultural art.
© Pic Nic Falconer
A selection of martial arts training can be based at a centre, something like Sungai Menyala Edu Ecotourism, which can offer accommodation and perhaps events- this may be able to be established on the back of such international exposure.
So as the management team continue to drum up interest in International investment, the work continues; set-making, training, attending to obtaining the required regulations are just some of the obligations Production companies face.
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