Saturday, April 06, 2013

Star Wars director to direct ‘Sandakan Death Marches’

KOTA KINABALU: A film on the Sandakan Death Marches will be produced by award-winning film director Roger Christian.

This film, to be carried out in collaboration with National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (FINAS), is expected to cost USD5 million, said its chairman Datuk Mohd Efendi Datuk Hamdan.

“Meanwhile, we will create an academy here for the supporting crews, local actors and actresses who we hope will enable us to realise this project,” he said.

According to him, the academy will be opened to all interested members of the public, both locally and internationally.

Christian, of the original Star Wars fame, hoped to put together the film on the World War Two atrocities by September with assistance from his crew of experts in film making.

He added that those who attended the academy and are found to be able to fill the criteria and requirement such as tenacity and discipline, will have a chance to work with the film.

He believed that this film can be of great interest not only to Australians and the British who were directly involved in the event during the Second World War but also to international audience as he will be exploring the humane part of the story.

Christian, who has been here for the last three months, said he had learned of the dark episode in Sabah history through reading and speaking to people who had knowledge of the event as a whole.

“We would like to highlight the local participation in the Death March,” he said.

Meanwhile, Datuk Masidi Manjun the Minister of Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment said Christian’s venture into making the film could be a great source of encouragement for aspiring local filmmakers to embark on similar ventures.

“Presently, we have very few filmmakers that actually film fully in Sabah and this could be because we don’t have the proper facilities for such ventures. The cost of making films may also be discouraging,” he said.