Dr Mahathir and Pakatan Harapan leaders on the campaign trail (NSTP/File pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: M For Malaysia, a documentary on Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, has had its world premiere at the Centre for Asian American Media Festival 2019 (CAAMFest37).

The documentary premiered at the festival held in San Francisco, the United States last Wednesday.

CAAMFest37 is the largest showcase for new Asian-American and Asian films and presents approximately 130 works annually.

After this, the documentary will be screened at DocEdge New Zealand on May 30 and June 2 in Auckland, and June 14 and 16 in Wellington.

DocEdge New Zealand is an Academy Award-qualifying festival for documentaries.

M For Malaysia follows Dr Mahathir on the election campaign trail for 16 days leading up to Malaysia’s 14th General Election on May 9, 2018 as the leader of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition.

In the historic election, Malaysians voted out the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition which had ruled since 1973, and voted in PH with Dr Mahathir as its candidate for Prime Minister.

At the age of 93, Dr Mahathir, became the world’s oldest Prime Minister and the country’s seventh a day after the election.

He returned to power 15 years after he stepped down as the country’s fourth Prime Minister. His first term of office was from 1981 to 2003.

The documentary includes scenes of rallies around Malaysia, interviews with politicians and civil society leaders as well as exclusive footage of Dr Mahathir and his wife, Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali on the campaign trail.

M For Malaysia is directed by Ineza Roussille, the Prime Minister’s grand daughter, and Dian Lee.

“Witnessing the election campaign was an unforgettable experience, not just because we were alongside Dr Mahathir during the campaign but also because we were extremely moved by the people of Malaysia — how they showed up in huge numbers at the election rallies, how they organised themselves to help one another to vote and how determined they were to change the government. Malaysians went from having little hope to making history,” said Ineza in a news report today.

M For Malaysia is Ineza’s first feature-length film and Lee’s directorial debut. Ineza is a documentary filmmaker for non-governmental organisations.

Oscar-winning filmmaker Ruby Yang served as the film’s creative consultant and the original soundtrack was scored by Los Angeles-based musician Rendra Zawawi.

Ineza’s mother Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir and Lee are the film’s executive producers.

The film is awaiting a release date for screening in Malaysian cinemas.

Trailer of M For Malaysia