Chiu Kicks Off "OlaBola", The Biggest Football Movie In Malaysian Film History

Chiu Kicks Off "OlaBola", the biggest football movie in Malaysian film history
Chiu Kicks Off "OlaBola", the biggest football movie in Malaysian film history
1st row from left to right: Marianne Tan, Mr. Chew Keng Heng (General Manager, Marketing Innovation Dept. from PANASONIC), Chiu Keng Guan (Director) , Ms. Philomena Tan (Business Executive Manager from MILO), Mr. Tung Yow Kong ( Senior Manager, Distribution from Golden Screen Cinemas), Dato Steven Lim (Group Managing Director from Multimedia Entertainment) , Henry Tan (Chief Operating Officer, Astro), Najwa Abu Bakar (Head of Astro Shaw), Frankie Lee, Bernard Hiew. 2nd row front left: Luqman Hafidz, JC Chee, Saran Kumar, Bront Palarae

After the overwhelming response to The Journey and Polis Evo, Astro Shaw brings another Malaysian classic to the silver screen that aims to inspire and thrill all Malaysians. Titled OlaBola, the feature film tells the story of everyday heroes through the lives of a multi-cultural football team. Using the world’s biggest sport as its premise, OlaBola captures the trials and triumphs that keep the team together and affirms that success is a truly collective effort. Packed with action and emotion, OlaBola is set to take Malaysian audiences on a memorable journey that showcases Malaysia’s enduring spirit at its best.

Award-winning director of The Journey, Chiu Keng Guan returns to the field, captaining an enthusiastic cast and crew. Chiu, a football enthusiast, shares that he was “once a top striker in the school team”. He says his mission is “to tell a football story that will inspire my fellow Malaysians”.Chiu believes that football is a beautiful game because it truly displays sportsmanship, boldness and team spirit.”

Chiu displays his distinctive touch in the deft handling of every character, from the determined captain Tauke and his home grown team to the enthusiastic football commentator, Rahman. Owing to personal financial issues, Tauke is forced to leave the beleaguered team. Faced by a strong possibility of failure at their first tournament, the members rally together;putting asidepersonal differences to rise above professional and personal hardships to achieve an ultimately historic triumph. Chiu’s final word says it all, “OlaBolatells us, if you have a dream, pursue it, and fight for it. Believe in yourself.”

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Henry Tan, Chief Operating Officer of Astro said, “We hope OlaBola will be the next big hit and that all Malaysians will support the movie. OlaBola will remind us of simpler times, the importance of diversity and shared values along with some thrilling on-the-field action! We are definitely committed to produce quality feature films that appeal to Malaysians.”

Najwa Abu Bakar, Head of Astro Shaw and Executive Producer of OlaBola said, “We hope that OlaBola will thrill audiences the way The Journey, Polis Evo and our other movies have. For the first time in Malaysia, OlaBolawill be filmed using Dolby Atmos sound technology, providing the audience with a fresh experience of optimal surround sound quality. It is also our aspiration to treat Malaysians to a good story that is anchored by global best-in-class production features and technical crews.”

Other features which Astro Shaw believes positions OlaBola as a world class film is the expertise from professionals in specific technical fields: Visual Effects (VFX) experts from Argentina boasting Hollywood experience; Australian specialists in aerial cinematography; post-production and multi award-winning sound effects courtesy of the Taiwanese master, TuDuu-Chih. Additionally, Chin Ting-Chang, the director of photography from Kano, Taiwan’s hit baseball saga, completes the impressive team behind OlaBola.

Pre-production of OlaBola took more than a year to complete. Principal photography began in April 2015 and was completed in fifty days. The cast and crew were on the road throughout Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Perak, Penang, Johor and Sabah, shooting in locations that still carry the charm of the 70’s and 80’s. The scenes to watch out for include the adrenaline-charged football matches at the iconic Stadium Merdeka and the scenic train journey between Beaufort and Tenom in Sabah. There are also scenes which bring back vividly the exciting night life of the ‘fun fairs’ in the 70’s. 

OlaBola -  You will believe again
Chiu Kicks Off "OlaBola", the biggest football movie in Malaysian film history

The OlaBola cast is helmed by popular actor, Bront Palarae (Best Actor for Terbaik Dari Langit at the ASEAN International Film Festival 2015); with charming appearances from Frankie Lee (Best Actor for The Journey at the 27th Malaysian Film Festival). The movie also showcases the talent of rising new stars like JC Chee (as Kwok Keong or Tauke), Luqman Hafidz (as Ali), Saran Kumar (as Muthu) and Marianne Tan (as the producer, Marianne). 

Henry adds that OlaBola has the confidence of major sponsors like Panasonic and MILO. “We are also working with our investment partners, Golden Screen Cinemas Sdn Bhd and Multimedia Entertainment Sdn Bhd to promote OlaBola through exciting activities that will be revealed by year end. They are also OlaBola’s theatrical distribution and DVD distribution partners respectively.”

Philomena Tan, Business Executive Manager from MILO said, “MILO®, the leading nutritious chocolate malt beverage in Malaysia has been supporting sports from a grassroots level since 1950 and strongly believes that sport is a great teacher of life values.The OlaBola film not only reflects the glory of Malaysian football but also shares the same  sentiment as MILO® that victory shines the brightest when we give our best at times of difficulty. The story told in OlaBola is a true testament that teaching sports from a grassroots level builds invaluable principles among children that they will carry with them throughout their adulthood. MILO® will be hosting exciting activations in conjunction with the screening of OlaBola from January 2016 onwards.”

JC Chee, Saran Kumar, Bront Palarae, Luqman Hafidz @ OlaBola Launch Event
JC Chee, Saran Kumar, Bront Palarae, Luqman Hafidz @ OlaBola Launch Event

OlaBola is scheduled for theatrical release in early 2016. In association with Woo Hoo Pictures, OlaBola is presented and produced by Astro Shaw, Astro’s film production subsidiary, which has scored several blockbuster movies in the past year: The Journey,Suamiku,Encik Perfect 10!, Pilot Cafe and recently Polis Evo. Astro Shaw also won 12 statuettes in major categories at the 27th Malaysian Film Festival in September 2015.

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OlaBola Football.  Image credit to
OlaBola Football.
Image credit to

OlaBola Synopsis

Set in the 1970’s, OlaBola celebrates the unity and courage that inspire a team of Malaysian footballers to rise through all odds and create a most triumphant zero to hero story. Inspired by real events, the film showcases the pride and passion of a multicultural football team and their struggles to overcome personal and collective hardships. It is at once a powerful exploration of everyday human relationships and of the indomitable spirit that perseveres through tribulations. An original Malaysian story directed by Chiu Keng Guan, OlaBola is a film for Malaysians from all walks of life; and an inspiring journey into the hearts of everyday Malaysian heroes.

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