EXCLUSIVE: Steve Stanulis, the former NYPD office and celebrity bodyguard whose move into film via his banner Stanulis Films has seen him make projects including 5th Borough, is eyeing expansion into the Malaysian film business.
Stanulis Films will partner with Ray Lee of local outfit Hornbill Films Sdn Bhd, whose credits include 2021 pic Zombie Infection, with a view to producing three features per year in the region. The first project under the deal is a sequel to Zombie Infection that is now in pre-production.
Further down the line, the team are analyzing the feasibility of setting up a Stanulis Production Studio with the ambition of hosting Hollywood productions in Southeast Asia as well as producing regional film and TV drama using local creative talents and crew, including Malay-language, Chinese-language and mixed-language projects that will shoot in Malaysia and neighboring countries.
The studio plan also includes a VR and online game development hub. The move comes as the Malaysian film industry has ground to a virtual standstill due to the pandemic, the team said.
The producers added that they are developing film production software that uses data and artificial intelligence to reduce the cost of production.
“We understand that what makes Malaysian films appealing (to the international market) is really the vibrant of multiculturalism of this country. Language is not a big issue anymore. The Malaysian movie industry is the equivalent to the MM2H program (Malaysia My Second Home) because the government is actively giving full support to the industry with policy incentives to attract foreign film companies to do shooting there,” commented Stanulis.