The film “Abang Adik,” which is nearing the hundred-million-dollar mark at the box office, was entirely shot in Malaysia. The plot portrays the society of migrant workers in Malaysia, depicting the hardships of stateless laborers and revealing the plight of the lower class in Malaysia. Similarly, “Ali Akau,” the graduation project of senior students from the Department of Film and Television under the College of Communication and Design, was also filmed entirely in Malaysia. The plot revolves around intergenerational education and racial issues. This work has also been shortlisted for the preliminary selection of the PTS Innovative Story.

The “Ali Akau” production crew comprised 18 students from the Department of Film and Television. They embarked on a journey to Malaysia last September for filming and location scouting. The storyline centers around two children from diverse ethnic backgrounds raised in families practicing intergenerational education. As their narratives unfold, the film delicately depicts the ethnic tensions prevalent in Malaysian society, advocating for tolerance and empathy in navigating life’s challenges. Director Darius Poo, a native Malaysian, brings a personal touch to the project. Raised by his grandparents due to his parents’ work commitments, he developed a deep understanding of intergenerational dynamics from an early age. Upon joining the Department of Film and Television at ISU, Poo set out to leverage his cinematic expertise to authentically portray the growth journey of intergenerational education and explore the intricate interactions between different ethnic groups. To ensure the utmost authenticity, Poo and his team made the strategic decision to conduct filming in Malaysia from the project’s inception.

In just 15 short days in Malaysia, the team tirelessly shot the film every day. Despite comprising 6 Malaysian students, they wholeheartedly dedicated themselves to the creative process, even if it meant being away from home. Their spirit and commitment to completing the film were profoundly moving, and they are particularly grateful to the Malaysian seniors who graduated from ISU for their comprehensive assistance in the local area. As the production coordinator, Zi-Qi Law, who hails from Malaysia, pointed out that the opportunity to return to her hometown to film with her classmates allowed Taiwanese students to immerse themselves in Malaysian culture, fostering a sense of camaraderie in working towards a common goal. For cinematographer Ping-Han Chuang, who visited Malaysia for the first time, the location-scouting process revealed the richness of local culture and history. He hoped that they could create a genuinely touching piece of work through this cross-border teamwork.

Instructor Isaac Li emphasized that Taiwan has a robust film and television environment and high creative standards, which position ISU as a top choice for many Malaysian students seeking education in this field. Students from diverse backgrounds converge at ISU with shared ideals and a passion for creativity. Even when filming necessitates travel to foreign countries for scenes, ISU students exhibit remarkable cohesion and determination, fearlessly overcoming challenges. Their collective goal is to produce representative works that reflect the essence of their university experience.

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