KUALA LUMPUR (April 19): Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo today urged local animation film producers to explore variations inspired by local culture that have universal values to penetrate the international market.
He said this would be good to sell Malaysia’s image on the world stage.
“With the animation and visual effects (VFX) industry a global commodity with a turnover of USD259 billion in 2018 and expected to exceed USD270 billion in 2020, we should continue to beef up the local animation industry to be a creative economy juggernaut,” he said when officiating an agreement signing ceremony between Les’ Copaque Production Sdn Bhd and Cultural Investment Holding Co Ltd.
At the same time, Gobind said the talent of young people in the local animation industry should continue to be nurtured by agencies like the National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (Finas) and Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation through incubation and skills development programmes.
He said this was because employment opportunities in the industry has expanded with export of local animation products totalling RM132 million last year.
In the meantime, Gobind said, Les’ Copaque’s efforts through its film, Upin & Ipin: Keris Siamang Tunggal had successfully penetrated the China market in a strategic move by taking into account the cinema market factor in the country that would overtake the United States by 2022.
“The Upin and Ipin brand, which has become a phenomenon should also be praised for its intellectual property rights and copyrights held by the producer so that the product can be licensed through various platforms worldwide,” he said.
Furthermore, he said as China is Malaysia’s largest trading partner and leading investor in the country, this initiative has yielded economic benefits, including via the creative industry particularly in the film industry.
“The mutual understanding between Les’ Copaque and Cultural Investment Holding reflects the commitment by both countries’ filmmakers to strengthen cooperation and deepen cultural exchanges,” he said.
Meanwhile, Les’ Copaque Production Sdn Bhd managing director Burhanuddin Md Radzi said the movie, Upin & Ipin: Keris Siamang Tunggal, costing almost RM20 million, is expected to be screened in cinemas in China this June or July, and dubbed in Mandarin.
He said via the agreement, the Cultural Investment Holding Co Ltd would bear the cost of promotion of the movie in China amounting to RM6 million.
In addition, Burhanuddin said the latest movie would also be aired in cinemas in Vietnam on April 26 and in Indonesia on May 9.
This latest film produced by Les’ Copaque has collected more than RM25 million at the local box-office with over two million viewers, recording the highest collection of all time for the animated film category in Malaysia.