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Rain Town: Malay director’s Cantonese film set in Taiping gets international recognition

By Bernama – December 24, 2023

After making a mark on the international stage through ‘Redha’, film director Tunku Mona Riza Tunku Khalid is unlocking another achievement with her first-ever Cantonese-language movie, Rain Town.

Interestingly, the New York Film Academy alum is not conversant in the language and throughout the filming in Taiping, Perak, she had to rely on an interpreter.

“I enjoy new challenges…and I am not neglecting the Malay language, but it is good to use other languages to develop our film industry.

“I do not just work using different languages but go through the fascinating process from different perspectives through interaction and learning. Although there is a sense of fear and apprehension, I am satisfied with the results,” she told reporters after the film’s launch recently.

Tunku Mona said she had directed advertisements in multiple languages, including Mandarin, Khmer, and Vietnamese, besides making super telefilms Uri (Iban) and Parit Jawa (Javanese).

Like Redha, which was inspired by a true story documenting the challenges faced by a couple in taking care of their autistic child, Rain Town also features family issues plaguing Malaysia’s multi-racial society.

According to the Best New Director at the 29th Malaysian Film Festival, Rain Town tells an emotionally charged story of controlling parents.

“It is a common family issue faced by some communities. Although some may make light of the matter, it still can cause cracks in the relationship between family members, resulting in a loss of respect and understanding.”…from the feedback we get, many have shared that the issues presented in the film are relatable as they are facing the same problem,” she added.

Rain Town follows Choo, a father of three grown children, Isaac, Alex and Ruby, who continue interfering in their personal lives, forcing them to abandon their dreams and happiness.

Their already strained relationship takes a turn for the worse when Choo’s wife, Aileen, meets with an accident, throwing the family into heart-wrenching conflicts.

Rain Town received international recognition as the Most Anticipated Language Film at the 36th China Golden Rooster Awards held in conjunction with the Golden Rooster and Hundred Flowers Film Festival in Xiamen, China, in November.

Produced by Current Pictures Sdn Bhd, it also represented Malaysia at the 10th Silk Road International Film Festival in Fuzhou, China, the Vancouver Asian Film Festival, the Asian World Film Festival, the 54th International Film Festival of India and the Medan Film Festival in November.

Rain Town is set to premiere on Feb 8, 2024