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Malaysia’s 1st gay film makes profit in 5 days

1 April 2011


Malaysia’s 1st gay film makes profit in 5 days

Malaysia’s first gay-themed romance film has become a swift box-office success, attracting curious cinema audiences who rarely get to see movies centered on sexuality because of strict censorship in this Muslim-majority nation, its producer said Wednesday.

The Malay-language movie, called “Dalam Botol,” or “In a Bottle,” grossed slightly more than 1 million ringgit ($330,000) in its first five days, recouping its production and marketing costs of 970,000 ringgit ($320,000), said Raja Azmi Raja Sulaiman, who wrote and produced the film.

The movie depicts a Muslim man who has a sex change operation because he believes it will please his male lover, but his effort ends in heartbreak for both of them. Some gay rights advocates have called it an unfairly negative portrayal of gay and transgender people.

Part of the movie’s financial success is likely due to intense advance publicity, including earlier speculation that the government-run film censorship board might ban it.

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