Having made a mark by dominating China’s box office, Malaysian director Chiu Keng Guan’s international debut, On Your Mark, will soon be available to Malaysian audiences starting August 26, exclusively on Astro First!
The award-winning director’s earlier works include 'Think Big Big' (2018), 'Ola Bola' (2016), 'The Journey' (2014), 'Great Day' (2011) and 'Woohoo!' (2010), which rank among the most successful films in Malaysian history.
Meanwhile, his latest film, 'On Your Mark', has started screening since June 18 in more than 9,000 cinemas across China. It collected RM8.7 million (RMB 13.65 million) on its first day and debuted at No. 1 on the film charts in China.
Originally titled 'The Great Dad' or 'Liao Bu Qi de Lao Ba' in the Chinese market, 'On Your Mark' has gone on to collect RMB148 million (around RM96 million). The film garnered praises from audiences, the media and even art activists in China.
Chinese audiences were pleasantly surprised to discover that the film’s director, Chiu, hailed from Malaysia as the film managed to capture significant emotional and cultural elements of the community. Strong audience support for the film even began prior to its premiere in Chinese cinemas, with the community participating in a promotional marathon event celebrating the film’s release.
Appreciating fathers everywhere
'On Your Mark' also pays homage to fathers all over the world. Inspired by real events, the prolific director weaves themes of unity, family, friendship, and the spirit of patriotism against the backdrop of a marathon, one of the most popular sports in China.
Chiu’s signature touch is evident throughout the film, colouring it with nuances of the emotions, culture and harmony of Malaysian society. As a result, the film touches audiences through the main subjects of familial relationships, sacrifice and the fighting spirit in the pursuit of one’s dream.
The emotional scenes are accompanied by the stirring soundtrack, and the film's official song titled 'My World Changes Because of You' is sung by the lead actors, Wang Yanhui and Zhang Youhao.
Award winning team
The production of 'On Your Mark' also sees collaborations between award-winning and renowned creatives such as Academy Award winning music director, Du Duzhi; Asian Film Awards winning editor, Deng Wentao; renowned director of photography, Park Song II, sound stylist Wang Xiwen, and art director Zheng Chen.
The film features extraordinary Chinese actors Wang Yanhui (Best Supporting Actor at the 8th Chinese Film Media Awards), Zhang Youhao (winner of the 'most media-focused new actor' at the Film Channel Media Award of the 23rd Shanghai International Film Festival 2020), Gong Beibi (Best Actress at Beijing Youth Film Festival 2017), Li Xiaopang, He Nan (Top Ten Rising Stars of the Year at the 3rd Golden Shark Awards), Zhao Liang (winner for the Twelfth Chinese Drama Award Plum Blossom Performance Award), Li Yu (winner of Most Influential Actor through the Film Competition of the 1st Duyun Film and TV Festival in 2019), Liu Jinshan (winner for most media-focused supporting actor award at the 22nd Shanghai International Film Festival Film Channel Media Awards 2019) and a special appearance by The Last Tycoon actor Feng Wenjuan (winner for the Annual Supporting Actress Award at the 1st Hainan Island International Film Festival in 2018).
To share its pride in the work of local creative talents who have successfully created a phenomenon on the international stage, Astro Shaw is excited to bring and present the film 'On Your Mark' to Malaysian audiences through Your Home Cinema, Astro First, channel 480. Astro Shaw will also have the film screened in cinemas in Singapore soon.
Astro is proud to bring the film to our shores
Vice President, Head of Astro Shaw & Nusantara, Raja Jastina Raja Arshad said, “'On Your Mark' is a universal story that inspires everyone. In celebration of Chiu Keng Guan’s international success, Astro Shaw is extremely proud to bring another masterpiece by the acclaimed Malaysian director to the local audience.
"In line with Astro's Merdeka theme this year, which is 'Kita Teguh Bersama', the film 'On Your Mark' has an element of deep appreciation of the fighting spirit and concern for loved ones. We hope that this film can also create its own success here, and that Chiu Keng Guang’s success in China can further inspire local creative talents to continue producing quality films," she said.
Director shares his experience
'On Your Mark' Director Chiu Keng Guan stated that working in China was a new experience for him.
In addition to a new working environment, some of the challenges he faced include mastering the local Chinese dialect for the film and being unfamiliar with the sport of marathon.
“I am very excited that 'On Your Mark' will be presented to the audience in Malaysia and at the same time a little nervous to see the acceptance of the public. If my previous works incorporated Malaysian culture, this time it is a little different where it highlights the culture of the community in Chongqing, China.
"The main messages I want to convey in this film are sacrifice and passion that I believe is very close to all of us.”
Meanwhile, talking about how he got involved in the film, he said that it started in 2016 when the film 'Ola Bola' was screened at the Shanghai Film Festival.
“The producer of 'On Your Mark' came to meet and share the info of this film, then gave me the opportunity to direct this film. I was interested in the storyline and the characters. So, that’s where my career in China started.
"For me, by striving to produce a good film, it can take us to a higher level. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Astro, the cast, crew, media and especially the Malaysian audience who have always supported my works over the years," said Chiu Keng Guan.
A touching story based on real events
The film tells the story of a young boy Xiao Erdong, who aspires to be a marathon runner like his mother.
However, his ambitions were thwarted by his father Xiao Daming, who did not want to see his son upset, remembering Xiao Erdong is likely to inherit blindness syndrome like his late mother.
Even so, Xiao Erdong surreptitiously watched and practiced off the field without his father's knowledge. During the qualifying race for the competition, Xiao Erdong falls and his father’s nightmare comes true when Xiao Erdong is confirmed to be blind.
'On Your Mark' is produced by a line-up of international producers such as Jiangsu Maoyan Culture Media, Wuxi Cangsheng Film and Shanghai Ruyi Film and Television Production. The Co-Producers are Tianjin Maoyan Weiying Culture Media, Jiangsu Hao Di Cultural Development and Sports Culture Development Center of the State General Administration of Sports (China Sports Museum).
Available on 'Astro First' soon
Astro Shaw is the distributor for Malaysia and Singapore. Watch the movie 'On Your Mark', which will be available in Your Home Cinema, Astro First, starting August 26, 2021. To subscribe, please go to channel 480 or you can also stream it on Astro GO or On Demand.
For only RM15, you can watch it for 48 hours (2 days) repeatedly. Follow interesting info and clips about this movie through Astro Shaw's Instagram, Facebook and Twitter account.