'Pulau' producer says 10 scenes had to be cut from film for PG-13 rating

Producer Fred Chong and the stars of the movie hope the public will change its mind about the misconceptions surrounding 'Pulau' as it is a film 'filled with powerful messages'. Photos: Handout

Pulau producer Fred Chong on Tuesday (Feb 28) revealed that 10 scenes had to be scrapped from the horror-thriller flick for a PG-13 classification.

During a press conference, Chong shared that he originally removed six scenes from his movie before submitting it to the Film Censorship Board (LPF) for review.

“After sending the film to the LPF, they told us to remove another four scenes – bringing the total deleted scenes to 10,” he explained, adding that 17 scenes were cut in Brunei whereas none were removed in Singapore.

Pulau – which will open at cinemas on March 9 – has been the subject of controversy since the release of its trailer on Jan 16 for allegedly depicting “explicit and suggestive” scenes.

The movie was banned from screening in Terengganu despite the Malaysian National Film Development Corporation (Finas) permitting a premiere nationwide.

“After going through the Mandatory Screening Scheme, Pulau was set to release in 70 cinemas nationwide.

“We managed to increase our number of screenings to 127 with the help of our distributors, but it got reduced to 124 after the movie got banned in Terengganu,” Chong elaborated.

In regards to the negative views surrounding Pulau, the local filmmaker – who produced hit movies like Juang (2022) and Nasi Lemak 2.0 (2011) – hopes that it won’t overshadow the film's good intentions.

“I hope that people won’t judge the show before getting tickets and watching it themselves because this film has lots of deep messages and dedication put into it.

“There’s a multiracial cast here whose characters end up sacrificing themselves to save one another.

“In the movie, you can see Chinese, Indians and Malays working together and helping one another. That’s one of the deepest moral stories presented in the film,” Chong said.

Similarly, Sabronzo of Malaysian girl group Dolla – who stars as one of the supporting characters – told StarLifestyle that she hopes the public will give Pulau a chance as it’s a film with powerful messages.

“I hope that when people watch this movie, all the (earlier) statements about the film will be changed. There’s so much depth and story to it which I believe needs to be explored and celebrated more,” she shared.

Meanwhile, Amelia Henderson – who leads the show as Kat, a woman with the ability to communicate with spirits – reiterated that Pulau is more than just a horror flick.

Amelia Henderson, who takes the starring role in 'Pulau', says that it's a powerful movie about love for one another.Amelia Henderson, who takes the starring role in 'Pulau', says that it's a powerful movie about love for one another.

“It’s a movie about love for one another. There's so many layered meanings which you have to uncover yourself.

"Once you do so, the takeaway point you will get is much deeper and grounded in society. It really changes the way you perceive not just relationships but friendship and respect too,” she explained.

At present, Chong revealed that he is still waiting for the Terengganu state executive council to respond to his appeal to lift the ban.

The producer hopes his latest project will break the RM7mil mark at the box office.

"I will let the film do the talking," he said.

Pulau tells the story of a group of youngsters who, after losing a bet, travel to a remote island despite being warned not to because of its grisly history. After unleashing a curse by accident, the group of seven, one-by-one, falls victim to a vengeful spirit haunting the island.

Shot in 30 days in Langkawi, the RM4mil project is helmed by Euho and also stars Alif Satar, Ikmal Amry, Joey Leong, Sanjna Suri and Ms Puiyi.

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