Mediabrands Content Studio (MBCS), the media-fuelled creative content practice within the IPG Mediabrands network, has released PETRONAS’ festive film to commemorate the upcoming Merdeka and Malaysia Day celebrations.

Titled Rai, meaning to celebrate, the film honours the many significant things that have progressed Malaysia since independence. Set with the 70s/80s as a backdrop, Rai is a love story at heart that showcases the remarkable journey of PETRONAS through the decades. The interracial storyline follows Amir with his small-town innocence as he joins PETRONAS in the big city, his friendship with Maniam, and his infatuation with Ah Moi, amidst a fast-changing Malaysia.

Iskandar Putra, Group Business Director at MBCS said, “The 70s and 80s was a time of immense transformation in Malaysia. Cities were blossoming with the advent of capitalism, industrialisation and commercialisation, and PETRONAS was at the very heart of our nation’s evolution.

We wanted to show the resilience of our people and the strides we’ve made, not just economically, but with our thinking and harmony.”

‘Central to the film’s narrative is a concert by famous Malaysian singer, (late) Datuk Sudirman Arshad. It is well-known in local history for uniting Malaysians of all races and religions with over 100,000 fans across Malaysia attending the free mega concert at Chow Kit Street, and featured songs across all local and national languages. The film also features his song titled Warisan, meaning legacy, heritage or bequeath.

Iskandar added, “Using Sudirman’s concert was significant in our storyline, as music unites, and love transcends all. The song we used was also a special nod to Malaysia and PETRONAS, as all that has come before us is a legacy for future generations.

Everyone from an older generation would recognise that cassette tape, and we’ve come a long way from then to now, where our future possibilities are limited only by our imagination.”

The film features local actor Faizal Hussein, popular from the 80s, as the older Amir and was directed by Kabir Bhatia in collaboration with Mastermind Group as the production house.

The film anchors on the PETRONAS festive theme of the year, ‘Roots of Our Future’ which highlights and embeds the richness of heritage, customs and culture into all the festive films of 2023.


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