The sad truth is that most Malaysians cringe at the sound of “there’s a new local movie out in the cinema.”

It doesn’t get them excited or make them want to spring out of their seats and immediately get tickets. They wince and whine, and then think about it at least 200 times before even making their way to the cinema. And when they do get to the cinema, they succumb to the latest Vijay or Ajith’s movie – because it’s safer that way, and because it’s what they’re accustomed to.

According to veteran filmmaker, N. Pansha, the only one to be blamed for this is the filmmaker himself.

“A lot of films nowadays take a very ‘syok sendiri’ approach. It’s always about ‘I want to act, I want to be a star’, ‘I want to be famous’, and they don’t tell any quality story.” Pansha said during a media engagement event hosted by the Sughamaai Subbulakshmi production team.

“Stop trying to be emulate movies from India. Stop trying to be them. Stop introducing your characters like Vijay or Ajith. Focus on the quality of your story. Tell a story that people can relate to.” he added.

Pansha stressed that the only way to make local audience choose a local movie instead of an Ajith or Vijay movie, is simply by telling stories that average Malaysians can relate to.

He also urged the media to give honest reviews for local films. “There’s no point in saying the film is ‘super’ when it’s really not. It’s also unethical to mislead your followers on social media. Give honest reviews,” he said.

Note: Pansha is a veteran filmmaker who directed the first Malaysian tamil film, ‘Naan Oru Malaysian’ back in 1991.