Media Prima's video streaming service, tonton will be releasing its first original movie, By MY Side produced and directed by Malaysia’s top YouTuber JinnyboyTV on the silver screen starting Malaysia Day.
The 75-minute movie is a coming-of-age story of Faye (Marianne Tan of the Ola Bola fame) who is about to embark on a new life journey, going to college with her first love Ben (played by Brandon Ho), only to find him planning to leave the country to study overseas. The movie is targeted to younger audience especially the Millennials as the entire plot revolves on the typical day-to-day experiences of a college student who must figure out how to save her relationship with Ben or deal with the expected long distance romance and cope with being alone.
The news comes within the same week after Media Prima announced its new offerings of Outdoor Channel to its users.
Airin Zainul, director of tonton and licensing and merchandising at Media Prima Television Networks (MPTN) said the movie release is the first tonton original movie to be rolled out since its subscription tier tonton VIP was launched last year. “tonton has made great progress over the past year with expansion into Singapore and Brunei while beefing up our video library to over 30,000 hours of the best Malaysian dramas, TV shows and movies. Today marks another milestone as we are introducing our own original movie,” Zainul said, adding that it's now targeting to launch tonton into one more regional country in 4Q 2017.
A+M has reached out to Media Prima for more details on its new targeted market.
Zainul added the movie could potentially garner higher audience reach given that this is also tonton’s first movie collaboration with a top YouTube "sensation" JinnyboyTV. It features cameo appearances of other Malaysian YouTube stars such as Jared Lim, Ernest Ng, Dennis Yin, Shawn Lee, Joseph Germani, Jenn Chia, Luqman Podolski, Mark O’Dea and tonton’s Chinese ambassadors, Thomas and Jack. Supporting cast includes Nadia Nash, Arwind Kumar, Adam Shamil, Maggy Wong, Josephine Yap, with a special guest appearance by Joanne Kam.
Zainul added the actors have a total reach of over 2 million followers across Instagram (687,000), Facebook (604,000) and YouTube (879,000). "We conducted the movie’s promotional tour at college campuses last week and with an 'overwhelming' response, we knew a cinema release will do justice to the film. Usually, tonton gets to offer movies or feature films many months or even a year after they premiere. However, with By MY Side, tonton is expected to feature the movie immediately after its cinema schedule," she said.
Campus tours are also part of the movie promotions, which involved social media and digital content knowledge sharing sessions by award winning JinnyboyTV founders Jin Lim and Reuben Kang. In addition, there was a ten-minute movie preview session and a meet and greet session with the cast.
“Another plus about this movie going to the cinemas is the additional revenue channel and activation touch points to go on-ground and reach out to different sets of audiences – those who may have not experienced content through tonton before,” explained Zainul. While the movie is featured in cinemas, tonton VIPs will get first hand access to behind the scenes, previews, the making-of video and loads of other goodies only available exclusively on tonton.
The movie premieres at local TGV cinemas nationwide on 16 September 2017, and will soon be showcased in Brunei.