KUALA LUMPUR, July 25 — Kuman Pictures founder Amir Muhammad said that Pendatang will be the first fully crowdfunded movie in Malaysia if it manages to gather a fixed target of RM300,000.

Amir, who is also the co-producer of the action thriller movie set in a dystopian racially segregated country, said that the movie will be uploaded on YouTube so it can be accessed by everyone, especially Malaysians.

He mentioned that there are six tiers or types of donations ranging from US$10 to US$10,000 (RM44 to RM44,520) that come with different levels of perks or benefits depending on which tier the funder decides to contribute to the making of the film.

“We choose ‘fixed funding’: if we don’t raise at least RM300,000, any money pledged would not be charged to the backer — and the movie won’t get made.

“We feel this is the fairest solution. Trying to shoot Pendatang for less than that amount would require reducing the scope of the script and production which is already tight and minimal.

“And we won’t want to take your money for such a compromised product,” he said during the film’s crowdfunding event at GMBB Mall here last night. The crowdfunding event will start from August 8 until September 30, 2022, on indiegogo.com where the contributors will be able to keep up with the updates on how much has been collected along with full transparency on transactions made.

Amir said that he opted to crowdfund the film as the film depicts a grim dystopian racial struggle that would be a hard sell for any conventional investors, broadcaster, or production company.

He said that using traditional channels in broadcasting the movie would have the risk of the movie being delayed reaching its audience and the movie is expected to be streamed online on August 31 next year for Malaysia’s Independence Day.

Pendatang is not made for commercial gain — it is a Malaysian story by Malaysians for Malaysians and audiences worldwide, and its measure of success will be its reach and the conversations it encourages, not monetary profit,” he added.

'Pendatang' co-producer Amir Muhammad speaks during the crowdfunding media briefing at the Grey Box in Kuala Lumpur July 24, 2022. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
'Pendatang' co-producer Amir Muhammad speaks during the crowdfunding media briefing at the Grey Box in Kuala Lumpur July 24, 2022. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

What is Pendatang?

When asked by Malay Mail why he opted for the title Pendatang, Amir said that the word itself is a double entendre where communities in Malaysia are still being called “outsider” even though they have been in the country for so long.

He said in the context of the film, the word represents a Malay girl who is stranded in a Chinese household during a dystopian racially segregated era.

“In the context of the story, it’s the little Malay girl who is hiding in the Chinese family’s house so from the perspective of this Chinese family, the girl is the 'pendatang'.

“So how they treat her will be reflected and what values they have within themselves,” he said.

The movie’s director Ng Ken Kin said that the movie will not be “preachy” and will solely focus on action and thriller.

He said the audience will go through a cinematic experience from the point of view of a Chinese family trying to get the Malay girl home safely.

Ng said he is ready for any sort of reaction towards Pendatang and the reaction will depend on the audience’s perspective of what they perceive from the movie.

“Whatever you do, good or bad, people will always have something to say but on our side, we just need to focus on the right thing like making sure we respect the sensitivity of it regarding the nation and the whole process of making it,” he said.