KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 25 — National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (Finas) chairman Datuk Kamil Othman today said that the nation’s first crowdfunded movie, Pendatang, should be screened in schools.

Kamil said he believes that showcasing the dystopian thriller, which broaches sensitive racial topics, could spark meaningful discussions and contribute to breaking down ingrained perceptions and biases.

“Should be screened at schools to invite discussions and dismantle deep-seated perceptions and prejudices.

“Small steps towards a desired destination,” he tweeted on X, formerly known as Twitter along with the Pendatang movie poster.

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However, an X user, @tontonfilem, responded to Kamil’s post with a query about whether the Film Censorship Board of Malaysia (LPF) would approve the screening of the movie.

“Are you confident LPF would approve?” he tweeted.

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Kamil, while clarifying that he cannot speak on behalf of LPF, expressed optimism, saying, “Can’t speak on behalf of LPF but looking at the film objectively, some leeway might be possible.”

Another X user with the handle @saat87937 said that the movie is unsuitable to be screened in schools.

“School? Unsuitable. Too young,” the user tweeted.

Pendatang, a Cantonese-language film produced by Kuman Pictures, premiered on YouTube on December 21, garnering over 100,000 views during the weekend and received positive reviews from viewers.

The movie is set in a dystopian Malaysia where different races are forbidden to mix. It follows an ethnic Chinese family who discovers a frightened Malay girl hiding in their new house after being relocated to a Chinese-only settlement.

According to news portal The Star, director Ng Ken Kin explained that the decision to premiere Pendatang on YouTube was to avoid potential censorship from LPF, highlighting the film’s sensitive subject matter and the importance of open dialogue on racial issues.