"What if you're a doctor treating a Covid-19 patient and you also have a child at home who's seriously ill? Who do you save?" Datuk Rosyam Nor (pic) poses the rhetorical question during a press event announcing the launch of Juang on Sept 22.
Juang captures the difficult decisions and sacrifices frontliners – from doctors and nurses to food delivery men – have to make in order to protect Malaysia from the threat of Covid-19.
"This is an important film that will serve as a reference for future generations when they ask, 'What was life like during the pandemic?'" Rosyam, who owns production company Suhan Movies, says of the significance of the film.
It all began when the 53-year-old reached out to producers Matt Lai (Asia Tropical Films) and Jack Lim (The Film Engine) with the idea of capturing Malaysia's Covid-19 journey on the big screen.
"It's scary to make a film without the help of others in this climate. The era of making a film all by yourself has passed," Rosyam reflects.
Not only will Juang be brought to life with the help of three production houses, it boasts six directors, 100 artistes and 200 crew members.
The directors are Aziz M. Osman (XX Ray), Kabir Bhatia (Pulang), Eirma Fatima (Perempuan Melayu Terakhir), Osman Ali (Ombak Rindu), Yusry Abdul Halim (Vikingdom) and Lai (Fight Lah! Kopitiam).
Only three of the 100 actors have been announced so far – Zizan Razak, Zul Ariffin and Lim.
Action star Zul didn't hesitate when he was approached to star in the film, calling the project a "responsibility" and his "contribution as an artiste".
Juang is targeting a cinema release in the first quarter of 2021. Rosyam adds he is well-aware of the risks that comes with releasing a film during the pandemic.
"We hope the situation will improve by the time it comes out and people will go to the cinemas and support the film."
Asked if the film will seek the endorsement of the health ministry, Rosyam shares they intend to run the film by them for accuracy before it premieres.
"We hope to receive the endorsement from not just the health ministry, but the endorsement from all Malaysians."
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