Roger Christian, the Oscar-winning art director of 1977’s “Star Wars” has confirmed that he’s making a movie in Sabah about the death of 1,000 British and Australian soldiers during the “Sandakan Death March” in World War II. Roger, who has been in Sabah for three months, said shooting of the USD5mil (RM15.2mil) film would begin in October 2013.
He has already begun research into the project, including watching documentaries made about the Death March and talking to the Kadazandusun indigenous community who has witnessed it, where the occupying Japanese army forced thousands of emaciated prisoners of war to walk for 140km from Sandakan to Ranau. Many of them died along the way.
According to Datuk Masidi Manjun (state Tourism, Culture, and Environment Minister), Roger Christian’s coult not only be highlighting Sabah as a tourism destination, it could also be a great source of encouragement for aspiring Malaysian filmmakers to embark on similar ventures.
The yet-to-be titled movie, which would tell the story of the Death March from a local perspective, is in collaboration in Finas.