Finas urged to continue helping Sabah’s film industry

Masidi, Phoong, Chua, Susan, Lim, Xin, Melissa and other sponsors in a group photo with the cast members.

KOTA KINABALU (May 22): Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun has urged the National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (Finas) to continue helping to develop the film industry in Sabah.

He said Sabah has many talented filmmakers but it is not easy to produce a film in the state.

“We have many talented Sabahans who want to produce films, but it takes more than passion to do so because they need facilities and equipment.”

Therefore, Masidi hopes that Finas will continue to help local filmmakers in Sabah.

“Even odds, we can do as well, if not better, than West Malaysian filmmakers,” he said during the premiere of a local production, “The Rise of Lion,” at the City Mall here on Saturday. .

He said Sabahans should be proud of the film’s producer and director, Michelle Xin, who overcame the challenges.

He said the state government will continue to support the development of the local film industry.

Meanwhile, Xin said the film was inspired by the beautiful natural landscapes, diverse cultures and hospitality of the people of Sabah.

“I had wanted to produce a film showcasing racial harmony between ethnic groups in Sabah,” she said, adding that “The Rise of Lion” was her first film.

She admitted producing a film was no small feat, especially during the pandemic.

“The Rise of Lion” chronicles the inspiring journey of a young Sino Kadazan boy, JJ, pursuing his lion dance dream in the big city of Kota Kinabalu. JJ’s passion and persistence ultimately allow a restless lion dance troupe to regain their former glory and take it to the next level.

The film was shot in six districts including Kota Kinabalu, Kota Belud, Papar, Putatan and Penampang and showcases the unique features, food, natural landscapes, cultures and hospitality of Sabah.

Male and female leads Ng Jinn Jou and See Hui are both Sabahans, as are cast members Ricky Ricardo Lee, Lucas Wong and Melissa Wong. The film’s theme song was also composed by a Sabahan.

Also present at the film’s premiere were Sabah Air Chairman Kenny Chua, Luyang MP Phoong Jin Zhe, WSG Group Managing Director Datuk Susan Wong, Melissa Wong, Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Kota Kinabalu Chinese Industry (KKCCCI), Datuk Michael Lui, represented by its Vice President. president Andy Lim and Kapitan Li Su Fook.

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