KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 6 — Add M to Life by a 24-year-old student and aspiring filmmaker, Rubathinesh Nair, was named as the Malaysian winner of Lazada’s regional film competition, Proj. Add to Life.

Lazada in a statement said the competition was also held in other South-east Asian countries where Lazada is based including the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Singapore.

It said Add M to Life, initially submitted as a story concept, won the hearts of judges with a charming story about new neighbours whose relationship is fraught with misunderstandings, as they learn to embrace life’s intricacies and discover the true essence of living.

“As they go through many magical moments together, they discover that every morning, mistake, and moment they have encountered — every M — was meaningful to them,” it added.

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The film won production funding of up to US$50,000 (about RM230,000) and was developed under the guidance and mentorship of acclaimed and local film industry leaders under the Directors Think Tank.

Lazada Malaysia Chief Marketing Officer Irene Cheah said the Proj. Add to Life initiative is an effort by Lazada to empower the creative talents of Malaysia’s aspiring filmmakers, help enable Malaysian youth to pursue their passion in arts and film, as well as craft deeper, richer and more meaningful stories about Malaysia.

“Lazada has always endeavoured to be more than just an e-commerce platform. We intend to be a bridge that connects consumers with their passions, desires and aspirations. When shoppers add to cart, they are also effectively adding to life the things that are meaningful to them.

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“Proj. Add to Life is our way of allowing young consumers, budding filmmakers and creative visionaries to share their unique interpretations of what ‘Add to Life’ means to them, while giving them the opportunity to add creativity to their lives by expressing themselves through film,” she said.

Co-founder and film director at Directors Think Tank, Maurice Noone, who was also a mentor and judge for the competition said fostering young talent has always been a priority for the company adding that they applauded Lazada’s efforts in creating this platform for young, aspiring filmmakers.

“What we liked most about Rubathinesh’s winning script was the approach he proposed, which was a little bit more theatrical than a conventional film. We are really proud to do our part for the next generation of filmmakers and were excited to help realise his vision,” he said.

Lazada said, with the support and feedback of Directors Think Tank, Rubathinesh further developed his ideas about this heart-warming tale of boy meets girl with a theatrical twist on the conventional love story and was then filmed under the guidance of producer at Directors Think Tank, Benedict Lazaroo.

The journey to bring the script to life was a three-week endeavour — from pre-production to assembling the team comprising the director of photography, art director, wardrobe stylist and actors.

“Filming was an intense, three-day affair, with locations set in an apartment, a cafe in Bukit Bintang and a street in the Pudu area. Shot using anamorphic lenses, the film is set to music in a cinematic style. A drone was even used to capture a particular sequence on the balcony,” it added.

Rubathinesh said through the competition he was able to explore the limits of his storytelling and experiment conveying a simple story to the audience in a unique way, adding that it was a learning experience.

Watch Add M to Life here and more information on Proj. Add to Life at https://shorturl.at/evCMV. — Bernama