Cinema, earlier hadn't been a popular entertainment source in Malaysia, but is now fast catching-up audience. Check out Malaysian/ Malay Cinema.

Malaysian Cinema

Malaysian cinema can be said pretty young, even after a span of over 75 years. Or in exact terms, entertainment in the form of cinema has never attained real heights in Malaysia. Dating back to the 1930's, it's just about a small film industry that turns out around 15 feature films and 300-400 television dramas every year. Across the country, there are approximately 250 movie theatres and multiplexes that show local films and foreign films as well. Over and above, National Film Festival observed by the country marks a highlight.

The screening of Laila Majnun, a conventional Persian love story, initiated the Malay cinema in 1933. Produced by Singapore-based Motilal Chemical Company and directed by B.S. Rajhans, the film was appreciated by the Malaysians and enthused by its success, Run Run and Run Me Shaw - two brothers, established a film company at Ampas Road in Singapore. Together, they brought into being 5-6 Malay films prior to the Japanese invasion in 1941. Subsequent to the Second World War, film-making started once again in Malaysia with Singapura Di Waktu Malam, produced by Shaw Brothers.

After its instant success, Shaw Brothers were stirred to make many new films. Following their success, Malay Film Productions encouraged other people to come up and enter the industry. In 1951, Hsu Chiu started Nusantara Film Company while Rimau Film Productions was established by Ho Ah Loke in the next year. Later in the year 1956, Rimau Film Productions combined with Cathay Organization and was called Keris Film Productions. Soon after, Keris Film Productions turned out numerous films and emerged as a tough competitor to Shaw Brothers.

Technical Features
In the early years, films were generally black and white, and were processed in studios outfitted with recording and editing facilities in Malaysia. Usually, the films' scripts were based on stage plays, folk tales, historical events and stories of fictional or real heroes. Afterwards, Malaysia cinema welcomed the color films when Hang Tuah appeared in Eastman Color, directed by Indian director Phani Majumder. Then, Shaw Brothers and Keris Film Productions also produced color films such as, Ribut, Berisong, Buluh Perindu and several others.

Notwithstanding advancement, Malay Film Industry experienced a fall with film companies wrapping up owing to the huge production costs and steep decline in audience. In 1981, the National Film Development Corporation of Malaysia was established which improved the Malaysian cinema. The main intention of the corporation was to enhance the quality of films by supporting them, both technically and financially. Its aim was also to encourage young capable directors for film-making.

Present Scenario
Since the corporation's establishment, Malay cinema has got improved to an extent and over 300 film companies are now working for the industry. Initiation of television shows marked another noteworthy expansion that further enhanced the morale and self-confidence of the local film makers in Malaysia.

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