Primeworks Studios and WAU Animation announced the festival debut of Ejen Ali The Movie, the first big-screen follow-up to the Ejen Ali animated TV series released in 2016. Grossing over RM30.8 million at the box-office in Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, and Indonesia, the film was Malaysia’s top feature film at the box-office last year.
On the competition front, Ejen Ali The Movie was selected as one of 16 films in the running for the Best Animated Feature Film Award at the 24th edition of Cartoons on the Bay – Pulcinella Awards. Set to run from 3rd to 5th December 2020 in Pescara, Italy, the film has now joined the prestigious ranks of more than 350 works in competition from 20 countries.
The festival was initially founded in 1996 to showcase Italian animation but has since become an important event on the international children’s media industry calendar. This year, the jury panel in the feature film category includes Stefania Ulivi (Journalist, Corriere della Sera), Arianna Finos (Journalist, La Repubblica), and Flavio Natalia (Director and Journalist, CIAK).
Moving on to the Southeast Asian part of the globe, the film has received the honour of representing Malaysia at the ASEAN Film Week 2020, happening in three cities in Vietnam; Hanoi, Da Nang, and Ho Chi Minh City. The festival will be held in celebration of Vietnam’s Chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2020, with the aim to honour the core values of ASEAN countries through creative content.
The ten ASEAN member countries were invited to nominate films through their respective national film councils in line with the theme “ASEAN Cohesion and Proactive Adaptation”. As Malaysia’s representative, the film will be featured in a series of free public screenings scheduled below :
- 20 July 2020 : National Cinema Centre, Ha Noi at 8.00 pm
- 23 July 2020 : Le Do Cinema, Da Nang at 7.30 pm
- 24 July 2020 : Cinestar Hai Bà Trưng, Ho Chi Minh City at 8.00 pm
Datuk Ahmad Izham Omar, Chief Executive Officer of Primeworks Studios commented: “It’s an honour to kick off the second half of the year with Ejen Ali The Movie travelling on the international film festival circuit. The opportunity to be featured amongst the best animation content from all over the world is a milestone achievement, and I would like to offer congratulations to our partners WAU Animation for creating the rich universe and the warm story with heart seen in the film.”
Usamah Zaid Yasin, Chief Executive Officer of WAU Animation and Director ofEjen Ali The Movie added: “While the world is moving into COVID-19 recovery, the news about our film’s festival participation is very much welcomed as we strive to keep telling great stories in the animation medium. We are honoured to represent Malaysia and look forward to the audience reaction in Italy and Vietnam.”
Ejen Ali The Movie follows 12-year-old Ejen Ali, who after being accidentally recruited as a spy has now grown to embrace his role in secret agency Meta Advance Tactical Agency (MATA), to protect the futuristic city of Cyberaya from outside threats. Ali is surprised to discover that he is no longer the only master of the Infinity Retinal Intelligence System (IRIS) gadget since MATA has now upgraded to IRIS Neo for all MATA agents. When the new invention leads Ali to question his place and usefulness to MATA, he is approached by a rogue figure who claims to know about a surprising personal connection to Ali. Risking his loyalty to MATA, Ejen Ali embarks on a thrilling chase to unravel these mysterious links.