Toyota releases a Ramadan film shot by Malaysians while social distancing

In the midst of this COVID-19 pandemic, “the new normal” is just a reality that everyone has to quickly adapt to. This is especially felt during this year’s Ramadan. With no bazaars in sight, and people spending almost all of their time at home, it is an entirely new experience.

To lift the spirits of Malaysians going through these challenging times, UMW Toyota Motor shot a Ramadan film that peeks into the reflections of everyday people during this holy month. For this, they collaborated with Hakuhodo Malaysia and Director’s Think Tank. The film – titled ‘A Time for Reflection’ – features real people in order to capture authentic self-discovery journeys. To achieve that, Toyota opened the participation to the public. Malaysians were invited to show how they observe Ramadan while under a Movement Control Order mandated by the Malaysian government.

The intention was to bring the introspective spirit of Ramadan, even when it’s celebrated differently this year. But with everyone effectively confined to their houses, the production team knew they had to get creative.

From conceptualising and planning, to executing the film, everything was done while social distancing was strictly practised. There were no big film crews, no film sets, there wasn’t even fancy equipment. The result was a film mainly shot by Malaysians with the film’s director, Aiman Aliff, guiding them via video calls. An experience that Aiman admitted was challenging but truly unforgettable.

Interspersing between different households and locations, the film showed people from all walks of life, observing Ramadan under new circumstances. From the pre-dawn meal of sahur to the breaking of fast at sunset followed by prayers – activities that were once done communally and outdoors, become more of a family affair, safely performed at home. The film also showcased front-liners and essential service workers who are no doubt the heroes during this pandemic.

A symbol of people’s ingenuity and tenacity, the film is the first of three by Toyota to be released throughout Ramadan and Raya that Malaysians can look forward to.

Toyota Ramadan Reflections

Client: Toyota Malaysia
Agency: Hakuhodo Malaysia
Copywriter: Indra Irwan, Aaron San, Nadiah Azmi
Art Director: Fikri Kamarudin, Tuan Shakir
Creative Group Head: Matt Wang
Executive Creative Director: Nicholas Kosasih
Chief Creative Officer: Woon Hoh
Head of Production: Max Tan
Producer: Chris Yeap
Account Director: Kiew Yennie
Account Manager: Kamille Taniguchi
Chief Operating Officer: Ryoji Suzuki
Production: Directors ThinkTank
Director: Aiman Aliff
Executive Producer: Pat Singh
Line Producer: Alexsis
Colourist: Yong
Audio Production: TwoAM Music Studios
Post Production: Post 2 Post

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