Home Entertainment Malaysia’s ‘The Passport’ Gets Stamp of Approval From the Philippines’ Epicmedia (EXCLUSIVE)

Malaysia’s ‘The Passport’ Gets Stamp of Approval From the Philippines’ Epicmedia (EXCLUSIVE)

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Prolific Philippines-based Epicmedia Productions has come on board “The Passport,” a Malaysian coming of age story about a Tamil family and their punk rock daughter. Production is by Malaysia’s Sixtymac Pictures.

Currently at financing stage, the project will mark the directing debut of Ananth Subramaniam, whose short films have played at BiFan and Fantasia, and whose works explore his Tamil-ancestral identity and family within the context of a multi-layered genre.

The 1980-set narrative in “The Passport” is told from the perspective of Kalki, whose punk band is invited to perform in Europe. When her whole family decides to tag along it ignites a clash of cultural expectations, in and out of the home.

The project was previously pitched at Talent’s Tokyo, the BiFan IT Project Market, Full Circle Lab and Focus Asia All Genre Project Market and won the Bucheon Award at BiFan and the grand prize at the Bangkok ASEAN Film Festival SEAPITCH 2023. It is expected to go before the cameras in the third quarter of next year.

“I want to present this film as a poignant experience that delves into the exploration of themes related to identity, art, and human connection, all within the captivating framework of a Malaysian Punk Rock musical, sung in both Tamil and Malay,” said Subramaniam.

“The themes explored in this film — self-identity, Tamil culture, and punk rock music — are not only fascinating but also globally relevant. Through international co-production and the exchange of ideas, we can deepen the layers of our story,” said lead producer Choo Mun Bel.

“I believe that ‘The Passport’ will be an incredible film blending elements of punk music, tackling issues of family, cultural and gender discrimination; all through the journey of a female punk rocker. The duo of [director] Ananth Subramaniam and [producer] Choo Mun Bel have an incredibly ambitious and timely vision for this film and we’re all in to help make that vision come true,” said Bradley Liew of Epicmedia Productions.

Epicmedia is having a busy time. It saw its “Viet and Nam” selected for Cannes’ Un Certain Regard section and is organizer of the Directors’ Factory short film production project that is part of Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight sidebar. “The Passport” is also being pitched at the Focus Asia project market at the Far East Film Festival in Udine, Italy.

Sixtymac produced Subramaniam’s short films “Liar Land” and “The House of Brick and Stone” and now aims to become a major Malaysian film production company focusing on feature films and international co-productions.