Horror film ‘Roh’ named Malaysia’s official entry for the 2021 Oscars

Director Emir Ezwan's debut feature will be submitted for consideration in the International Feature Film category

Malaysian horror film Roh will represent the country at the 93rd Academy Awards in the Emir Ezwan’s directorial debut will be submitted for consideration in the International Feature Film category.

The announcement was made by the National Film Development Corporation (Finas) on November 4, noting in a statement that its Film Selection Committee “went through a detailed evaluation process based on filming criteria,” along with rules set by the Oscars organisers.

The Academy is expected to announce the nominees on March 15, 2021. The awards ceremony will be held on April 25. It was originally scheduled on February 28, but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.


In a statement, Roh producers Kuman Pictures expressed their joy at the film’s selection for this fiercely competitive category, saying they were glad to be able to promote Malaysian talent to the rest of the world.

See Kuman Pictures’ statement and the Finas announcement below.

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Syukur! Sukacita dimaklumkan #filemROH ialah penyertaan rasmi Malaysia ke @theacademy Oscars ke-93 yang dijadualkan berlangsung pada April 2021. Kami anggap penyertaan ini sebagai satu cara untuk promosi bakat Malaysia ke dunia luar. Kami semua maklum, persaingan untuk kategori International Feature Film Award sangatlah sengit setiap tahun untuk masuk pencalonan Top 5 sebab hampir semua negara akan hantar wakil. Buat masa sekarang, kami harap Malaysia akan terus hantar penyertaan setiap tahun, seperti dibuat oleh negara-negara jiran kami. ❤️🔥 Posted @withregram • @finasmalaysia #LensaFINAS Kenyataan Media FINAS Tarikh: 4 November 2020 Tajuk: Filem Tempatan berjudul 'Roh' mewakili Malaysia untuk pencalonan ke Anugerah Academy ke-93 (OSCARS) bagi kategori International Feature Film Award Unit Komunikasi Korporat Perbadanan Kemajuan Filem Nasional Malaysia (FINAS)

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Directed and written by Emir Ezwan, Roh revolves around a family who get an unexpected visit from a strange girl with a haunting prediction.

It premiered at the Singapore Film Festival in November 2019 and also made rounds in film festivals in Indonesia, Italy and New York.

Roh got its theatrical release in Malaysia on August 6 after cinemas reopened in July following the relaxation of the country’s Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO).


Roh is also Emir Ezwan’s debut feature film. In an interview with SINdie, he said he didn’t expect to create a horror film since he’s not a huge fan of the genre.

“I’ve always wanted to make a feature but more of a thriller or a mystery. But definitely a dark film. So probably something like ROH without the horror or ghost element,” he said.

Watch the Roh trailer below.

Roh is the sixth Malaysian film to be submitted to the Oscars. The first was Saw Teong Hin’s The Princess of Mount Ledang in 2004.

Last month, Singaporean director Anthony Chen’s Wet Season was selected to represent the city-state at the 2021 Oscars, also in the International Feature Film category.