Joniston (right) listening to a briefing from the group led by Pang.
Kota Kinabalu: The Sabah Tourism Board (STB) has applauded the local filmmakers for their efforts to promote the state and its rural destinations in their works. On Wednesday, a group led by film producer Chester Pang met with STB chairman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai to discuss the state’s film tourism potential. They also discussed their plans to showcase the charms of Sabah through films and the making of a promotional video that would spark public interest in the state.
Among the works are a music video “Discover Kiulu” and a Mandarin comedy feature film “Craze Below The Wind”. “It’s a good effort to publicize Sabah’s many attractions and stimulate people’s curiosity about them,” said Bangkuai, who is also deputy minister of tourism, culture and environment. “Kiulu, for example, has been chosen by the state government as a role model for rural tourism, alongside Kadamaian. Kiulu will soon have a tourist information center, where a video clip like this can be displayed to show what Kiulu has to offer. “We also hope to see other locations featured in film productions. While most rural products are the same, local film producers also need to find new attractions to focus on,” he added. As part of Borneo, Bangkuai said Sabah should be distinguished from Sarawak and Kalimantan, where construction of the country’s future capital, Nusantara, is underway. He added that STB is delighted to work with film producers to promote Sabah’s distinctive features and aspects.
Attending the meeting were Froggy Planet Producer and Director Katak Chua, Kiulu Tourism Association Vice President Lasmen Lopog, Pro-Merge Vision representative and local director Ramli Carlo. Filming for “Discover Kiulu” is expected to be completed by the end of the month, said Pang, who is a producer with Can Bah Production. He said the 90-second promotional video would also be displayed at the Sabah International Convention Center (SICC). As for the 90-minute “Craze Below The Wind”, it will be released in May. Produced by Can Bah Production, “Craze Below The Wind” tells the story of two siblings who do mischief and are forced to cross Sabah with a mysterious suitcase. Pang said the film, whose release had been postponed since 2020 due to the pandemic, will be shown in 53 cinemas, including in Brunei. Meanwhile, Chua said the film garnered a positive response during its test screening, with seven out of 10 respondents expressing an interest in visiting Sabah.
“We have hired 52 crew members, and 80% of them are Sabahans. We want to promote tourism through the film industry, as it can provide employment opportunities for locals. “We hope STB can work with filmmakers to make the film tourism industry in the state a success,” Chua said. * Follow us on Instagram and join our Telegram and/or WhatsApp channels for the latest news you don’t want to miss.
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