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“The Journey” Is An Award Winning Anime, Premieres At The Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia

The Journey

The premiere of the first-ever Japanese–Saudi Arabian animated action fantasy film, “The Journey”, based on the pre-Islamic historical event, was premiered at a  private event at the renowned Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia earlier today. This award-winning film  was well received by the invited guests that included over 90 representatives from the academia,  professional associations, corporations; 26 representatives of the Malaysian government and 18  representatives from 11 countries. This premiere event paved the stage for a successful future of the  animation industry that aims to weight USD 600 billion in 2030 and stands now at USD 400 billion  

“The Journey” is a story set 1,500 years ago and is inspired by Arabian folklore as well as Islamic history.  The storyline follows an invader who threatens to destroy the Kaaba, one of the most sacred Islamic  sites, causing an outcry among locals. The film’s main character, Aws. a potter who battles a dark  secret goes on a faith-backed journey to defend his city along with the people of Mecca.  

This movie saw a collaboration between two animation studios; Manga Productions of Saudi Arabia, a  subsidiary of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman foundation, and Toei Animation of Japan. A film  emotes that blends two cultures, this anime was originally directed by Shizuno Kubo (“Godzilla”, “Case  Closed”), with the script written by Atsuhiro Tomioka (“Pokemon”, “Fairy Tale”), character designs by  Tatsuro Iwamoto (“Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney”), and score composed by Kaoru Wad. (“Inuyasha”  and “D. Gray-man”).  

The film is considered the first Saudi and Arab film in history to win the best experimental film award  at the Septimius Film Festival held in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. “The partnership between Manga  and Toei has set a fine example of successful collaboration in the history of anime film-making. “The  Journey’s” is a testament that equals some works by bigger production studios globally”, shared Essam  Bukhary, CEO of Manga Productions and executive producer of “The Journey”.  

He adds, “We are proud of ‘The Journey’ winning the Septimius award for Best Experimental Film for  the first time in the history of Saudi and Arab cinematic films, as it showcases that (the) creative  content of our Saudi culture can compete globally and drives us at Manga Productions to continue our  journey in further developing Saudi talents in the creative and film industry. Manga Productions will  continue to produce value-driven work, attract viewers, and contribute to the diversification of the  Saudi Arabian economy. And we are sets the tone for endless Arabic tales to be told in anime format. 

“Today, Japanese anime and manga makes up 60% global dominance, with related media content and  pop culture that have brought people together from all over the globe, including Malaysians.

According to YBhg Dato’ Kamil Othman, the Director of Salon Films & Malaysia Representative of ACBS  (Asia Content Business Summit), “1 out of 2 movies released today globally is an anime production. In  the world, Malaysia holds the 8th spot with 48% of the population watching anime movies. have taken  to this style of storytelling with a growing popularity amongst adults and the younger audiences today”.  

Dato’ Kamil further expounds, “The Journey has carved its name and earned its accolade as the first  group effort between two different production teams, bridging cultural differences with innovative  and creative ways to bring unique storylines to the world too”.  

Dr. Essam Bukhary, CEO of Manga Productions, stated:” We are pleased to be able to share our film  with Malaysian moviegoers as we share similar values and have a close bond with both our countries.  We believe the film will inspire audiences worldwide with our rich heritage and showcase our talents  by competing with international standards”.  

Fred Wang, Chairman of Salon Films, commented:” We are happy to be part of The Journey’s  distribution across Asia and share this unique film for anime fans to enjoy. We believe there will be  more exciting and new content from the Arabian Peninsula, and more works will be collaborated  between the Middle East and Asia.”  

Salon Films is a film production, film distribution and film equipment rental company headquartered  in Hong Kong since the 1950s.  

“Salon HK’s investment into Malaysia has opened the door to possibilities and opportunities that will  give Malaysia the potential for a greater share of the animation market. At the same time, this is an  excellent encouragement that our creative content industry needs; one that will help nurture our  skilled pool of local talents that will contribute to a greater promoting the growth of the creative and  film industry too”, adds Dato’ Kamil. “Imagine the type of magic a young budding animator or film  maker can get from global experts like Salon HK”.

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