KUALA LUMPUR: In the footsteps of Syamsul Yusof's Mat Kilau, filmmakers should tell more stories about the country's unsung heroes, be they pioneers, warriors or statesmen.
Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin said that while Merdeka-themed films like 1957 Hati Malaya and Ola Bola were a good start, stories of important events should be told to inspire future leaders and promote unity.
"Perhaps we should have films about the pioneers who built up Kuala Lumpur and cities of Malaysia. We can have stories of how Malaysians worked hard together to make the nation what it is today," said Zahidi at the launch of the Astro First telemovie Bangkitkan Aku Kembali in Laman NMR, Taman Setiawangsa yesterday.
Zahidi added that films based on real events, but which included fictitious characters who lived during such times, could enlighten young viewers about the sacrifices of their forefathers and promote greater understanding amongst Malaysians from different races.
"Such stories can be told creatively, through the eyes of characters who experienced great events or met great historical figures. Young viewers love stories that speak to them, if they are told creatively, they will entertain as well as educate."
On another note, Zahidi suggested that the government and private sector work together to create special housing estates that targeted needy artistes, producers and others who served the entertainment industry.
Such townships in major cities of the country could give them a comfortable life when they retired or became infirm.
"In developed countries, artistes are well looked after with neighbourhoods built for them. They keep in touch, maintain friendships and stay positive."
Bangkitkan Aku Kembali will be screened at year's end, and filming will take place in Jitra, Kedah over two weeks beginning June 13.
Produced by Simfoni Nusa Sdn Bhd and scripted by Mazni Othman or Sophilea, it is based on her novel of the same name.
Mat Kilau will be screened in cinemas on June 23, and tells the story of Pahang's most famous anti-colonial warrior.
The hero is played by Datuk Adi Putra, and his co-stars include Wan Hanafi Su, Beto Kusyairy, Fattah Amin and Khir Rahman.