Ensemble Worldwide Malaysia and PETRONAS have released the final festive film installation for the year in line with the PETRONAS festive films’ theme of 2020-2021, ‘Our Unique Family’.
Titled ‘Akka’ (meaning older sister), the animated film shows themes of embracing love and celebrating victory over the pandemic, with a message for Malaysians to light up their hearts with love. The story is a loose adaptation of the traditional Indian tale of Ramayana, highlighting the parallel experiences of Malaysians through the pandemic, and the battle of light versus the forces of darkness.
Didi Pirinyuang, Executive Creative Director of Ensemble Worldwide, said: “We realised that the younger generation is often unaware of the story of Ramayana and the reasons why we celebrate Deepavali. Bringing in elements of family love, friendship bonds and self-belief we were able to travel into a vivid fantasy world to play out these emotions while showing hints of the Ramayana in a simplified way, against the backdrop of our current reality. Darkness comes in many different forms in our lives, but we want to remind Malaysians that the light in our hearts will always help us overcome anything.”
The film narrates the story of Dheeya who goes on a quest to save her younger brother Prem, with the help of her friend Suria. The agency worked in close collaboration with Indian cultural consultants Gogularaajan Rajendran and Avanti Kundalia to map the key characters who go on this journey of self-discovery.
Datin Anita Azrina Abdul Aziz, Head of Group Strategic Communications of PETRONAS Group said: “Akka hopes to capture the spirit of Deepavali and celebrate the love for family that has become the true light in our lives. So, let’s light the lamp of love within so that we can move away from darkness to better days ahead. Though the pandemic remains a challenge, let’s not give up hope. We at PETRONAS wish all Malaysians celebrating this Festival of Lights, Happy Deepavali. May light and love always prevail.”
The film was released on 31 October on digital channels and TV, locally and in India. The production team includes film director Laura Low and the team from Passion Pictures Malaysia, with post-production by LorryPop Studios.
Alongside this, a ‘Deepavali Joy Pack’ comprising stickers and backdrop scenes to be used via WhatsApp and social media can be downloaded via the PETRONAS Facebook page. Two PETRONAS stations at Lingkaran Karak and Mutiara Damansara have also engaged local kolam artists to recreate the kolam from the film, an auspicious symbol commonly illustrated at the entrances of homes during Deepavali.
The PETRONAS festive films’ theme of 2021 extends the theme of ‘Our Unique Family’ from 2020, for PETRONAS to continue to bring and spread joy to all Malaysians. This effort is amplified in 2021 to encompass family in a larger sense – from the family you know to the family you discover, and the communities you serve.
Agency: Ensemble Worldwide
Production: Passion Pictures Malaysia
Film Director: Laura Low
Executive Producer: Adrian Lai
Tamil Script, Cultural & Concept Consultant: Gogularaajan Rajendran
Indian & Hindi Cultural Consultant: Avanti Kundalia
Concept Art & Illustrator: Koh Wai Team
Offline Editor: Jordan Goh
Post-production: LorryPop Studios
Post Producer: Frankie Lee
Animation Director: Calvin Mok
CG Director: Wei Liat
Art Director: Kraven Chew