'Redha' filmmakers hope to screen movie on autism in schools


Tunku Mona Riza, who took home Best New Director at the Malaysia Film Festival in 2016 for Redha, received another recognition recently for her contribution to the autism community. Photo: SHAARI CHEMAT/The Star

Redha director Tunku Mona Riza was recognised by the Ministry Of Women, Family and Community Development and the National Autism Society of Malaysia (Nasom) for making a contribution to the autism community.

Tunku Mona’s directorial debut, Redha is one of very few Malaysian films to shine a spotlight on autism to date. She received the recognition at an event celebrating World Autism Awareness Day in Kuala Lumpur on April 2.

“I’m thankful that the film has helped family members and friends of autistic individuals feel like they are not alone, and in doing so, encourage them to share their stories,” Tunku Mona says.

Tunku Mona hopes the impact of the 2016 film can extend further. “We have spoken to Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo about the idea of airing the film on RTM. RTM has the ability to reach viewers from all walks of life, including those living in rural areas where autism awareness may be low,” she says.

Redha producer Haris Sulong adds he hopes other ministries can also take on the mantle of using the film as a tool to educate people on autism.

“Perhaps the Ministry of Education could screen the film at schools. This will help reach students from Standard One to Form Six. It’s important to educate them when they are young in order to effectively remove the stigma associated with autism. They are our future generation.”

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