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Malaysia has selected ghost comedy Men Who Save The World as its contender for this year’s foreign-language Academy Award.
The second feature from Malaysian director Liew Seng Tat, the film revolves around a group of comical villagers who spring into action after the owner of an abandoned house decides to restore it as a wedding present for his daughter. Through a series of unfortunate events, the house attracts what the men believe to be a spirit, and they band together in an effort to protect their village. The ensuing action includes everything from a missing camel to cross-dressing sequences.
The Toronto International Film Festival, where Men Who Save the World screened in the Contemporary World Cinema section, said the film “has a ludicrous charm that makes [it] feel like a vintage Ealing comedy transplanted to rural Malaysia.”
“We are very thankful to Finas, our Malaysia Film Board, for this great honor,” said the film’s producer Sharon Gan. “It’s amazing to have our film submitted for the Academy Awards. It is truly a big recognition for our entire team. We are overjoyed and very grateful for all the support we have received.”
The film is an international co-production backed by Everything Films (Malaysia) and Volya Films (The Netherlands), Flying Moon Filmproduktion (Germany) and Mandra Films (France).
It premiered at the Locarno Film Festival in 2014.
This is just the third time Malaysia has submitted a contender to the Oscars Foreign Language committee. The country has yet to make the Academy’s final cut.
Watch the trailer for Men Who Save the World below.
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