Malaysian film ‘Fly by Night’ makes waves abroad ahead of local premiere

‘Fly by Night’ – The Zahir Omar-directed film made its US premiere at the Santa Barbara Film Festival 2019. — Picture courtesy of Planet Films
‘Fly by Night’ – The Zahir Omar-directed film made its US premiere at the Santa Barbara Film Festival 2019. — Picture courtesy of Planet Films

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PETALING JAYA, March 11 — Even before Zahir Omar’s film Fly by Night hits cinemas in Malaysia, the action flick has received accolades in the international film festival circuit.

The film made its first US premiere at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival 2019 and was recently screened at the New York Asian Film Festival 2019.

Slated to premiere in Malaysia next month, Fly by Night made its debut at the 23rd Busan International Film Festival last year after it was selected as one of six film projects that received the Post Production Fund from the Asian Cinema Fund (ACF).

The film was selected to be featured at last year’s International Film Festival & Awards Macao (IFFAM) in its new Chinese language films category and was also screened at the Jogja-NETPAC Asian Film Festival.

Set in Kuala Lumpur, the film follows two brothers posing as taxi drivers (played by Fabian Loo and Sunny Pang) who extort wealthy passengers to pay off their debts while Bront Palarae takes on the role of Inspector Kamal, a policeman hot on their heels.

Fly by Night also stars Jack Tan and Eric Chen, and is produced by Perin Petrus and Leonard Tee of Planet Films.

“The movie draws inspiration on the notion of ‘nothing is what it seems’,” said Zahir.

“It gives a fresh outlook on the possible double lives of the people we meet, specifically cab drives whom we entrust in taking us from one point to another without really knowing who they truly are.”

Zahir, a former assistant director who worked with the late Yasmin Ahmad, has been directing commercials and short films for over a decade.

Fly by Night marks his first feature film and a Mandarin one at that, a rarity in Malaysian cinema.

“As ambitious local filmmakers and producers, we are thrilled at the kind of recognition this Malaysian film is receiving, these recognitions are a stepping stone for us to keep improving and bring local films to an international arena,” said executive producer Petrus.

“We are honoured to be representing the Malaysian film industry globally and be able to carry the Malaysian flag strong and proud.”

Fly by Night opens in cinemas nationwide on April 11.

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