Malaysian studio Kuman Pictures of ‘Roh’ fame seeks new horror/thriller script

The winning script will be turned into a movie directed by 'Roh' helmer Emir Ezwan

Malaysian film production company Kuman Pictures, which was behind the movie Roh, has put out an open call for horror and thriller script submissions with a cash prize for the winner as well as a share of the eventual film’s royalties.

In a partnership with production studio Entrophy, Kuman Pictures announced yesterday (December 1) that it is looking for a script to adapt into their next feature, helmed by Roh director Emir Ezwan.

People from any nationality, background and age are welcome to submit a script, and it can be written in English or Malay. Characters within the script can speak any language as long as it fits their character and location, which must be based in Malaysia.

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Keeping true to its low-budget ethos, Kuman asks that writers limit themselves to no more than three locations and 10 characters. It also noted in its Facebook post that “not all horror movies need a ghost, and not all thriller movies need a killing scene”.

SCREENWRITING COMPETITION FOR MALAYSIAN HORROR/THRILLER MOVIERun by Kuman Pictures & Entropy1. We seek an original…

Posted by Kuman Pictures on Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Aside from a RM20,000 cash prize, the winner will also receive 1 per cent of all royalties from all screenings of the movie, including in cinemas and on TV. The final submission date is May 30, 2022, with the winner to be announced in July 2022.

This is the second such call that Kuman Pictures has put out, with the previous winner in 2019, a script called ‘It Has Begun’ from Chong Keng Fatt, set to hit the big screen as a feature film titled Ceroboh.

Kuman Pictures has built its reputation on creating acclaimed thriller and horror films on a lean budget. A manifesto on its Facebook page says that Kuman Pictures films maintain an average cost of RM500,000 to make, and states that all proceeds and royalties from their films are shared between the cast and crew.

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The studio’s 2020 horror film Roh, director Emir Ezwan’s debut feature about a rural family who have their lives upended by a mysterious prophesying child, was selected as Malaysia’s 2021 Best International Feature Film submission to the Oscars.

In a four-star review, NME‘s Hidzir Junaini praised Roh as “a thematically rich, slow-burning folk horror in the vein of Robert Eggers’ The Witch“.

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