Saturday, August 24

‘Use Sarawak’s natural attractions as movie backdrops’

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Donnie giving his acceptance speech at the event. — Photos by Jeffery Mostapa

KUCHING: Sarawak is open to filmmakers from all over the world to come and use the natural attractions here as their next backdrop in the movies they are making, said Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He said the state has abundance of charm and renowned sights which are perfect natural film studios.

“Come over to Mulu Cave, a world heritage site; visit our rainforest, the oldest in the world; experience our city and huge lakes which make spectacular backdrops for your next movie,” he said in a recorded speech during the Asean International Film Festival and Award (Aiffa) 2017 gala night on Saturday.

“Aside from that, everyone has their own scripts in life including in the government called the national or state vision, which wants to make the lives of citizens better,” he added.

As the chief minister, he had to encourage growth in as many strategic areas as possible.

“We have recently set up the Sarawak Multimedia and Commission Authority or SMCA, to move towards the Internet. We understand that the future of Sarawak and that of Malaysia and Asia is dependent upon digital.

“The path of SMCA is formation of the e-commerce transformation plan or EcomY30 plan up to year 2030. This plan targets  empowering youths of Sarawak to catapult them into thinking, learning, working and doing business digitally thus making the world the playing field,” he elaborated.

(From left) Abang Johari, Masing, Raghad and Juma’ani arriving at the event.

At the event, Abang Johari presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to Tan Sri Lakshamanan Krishnan and Asean Inspiration Award to Donnie Yen.

Meanwhile, martial arts superstar in Hong Kong and now Hollywood movie star Donnie Yen hoped fellow young filmmakers continue the hard work to convey positive message, love, emotion and unity, especially to the world.

“There are many problems in the world, segregation, misunderstandings, issues. I love to see more younger filmmakers continue to carry on and make magic,” he said during a press conference after the event.

Commenting on his visit to Kuching, the first he made to the city, he said he and his wife had a wonderful, great and lovely time here and would love to come back here later for durians, as he loves durians, and maybe make a movie here.

The three-day event ending Saturday, saw over 100 entries for 16 awards at the festival, and over 300 stars from 10 Asean countries attending the gala night.

Head of State’s wife Toh Puan Datuk Patinggi Raghad Kurdi Taib; Abang Johari’s wife Datin Amar Dato Juma’ani Tun Tuanku Bujang; Deputy Chief Ministers Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas and Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing; Local Government Minister Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian; Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah; Assistant Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin; Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry permanent secretary Datu Ik Pahon Joyik, Aiffa festival director Livan Tajang and Donnie’s wife Cecilia Wang were present at the event.