Malay Films Case Study

1034 Words5 Pages
Nur Saleha Saini
Term Paper
Life & Death: Malay Film Productions

In 1925, the Shaw brothers by the names Runje, Runme and Runde founded Tianyi Film Company, also known as Unique, in Shanghai. (SCHOOL LIBRARY) Finding too much competition, more than ten years later in 1937, the Shaw brothers revealed plans to expand the company to Southeast Asia. The brothers did this by setting up a production house in Malaya to make Malay films that will cater the local audience. The studio was initially reported to be opened in Gopeng, Perak, however, in 1940, the brothers built a $20,000 studio located at Moulmein Road, recruiting Chinese directors named Wan Hoi-Ling and Hou Yao.

Equipment and crew were brought over from Hong Kong to be used on these Malay films that starred Malaya’s own actors and
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8 Jalan Ampas. After the Japanese surrendered and the war ended, Singapore Film Studios reopened and premiered the first post-war film Singapura Di Waktu Malam (Singapore by Night) in 1947. Singapura Di Waktu Malam was directed by a veteran Indian director, Balden Singh Rajhans. The studio also produced films by other Indian directors named Balakrishna Narayan Rao as well as Datuk Lakshmana Krishnan. Shaw Brothers then hired Filipino as well as Malay directors to produce quality Malay films as the studio rebranded into Malay Film Productions on 23rd August 1939. Singapura. During a performance in Penang, B. S. Rajhans discovered P. Ramlee, who would go on to be a director as well, employed by Shaw. His talents slowly developed to include not only singing, acting and directing, but also as a songwriter. P. Ramlee’s brilliance enabled Shaw to hold their own against other countries during film festivals at that point in time. He went on to direct 16 films and acted in 42 before leaving Malay Film Productions for Merdeka Film Productions, which happened to be the beginning of his

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