New S'pore-based company to help remake classic films from Cathay-Keris archive

Stills from Sumpah Pontianak (left) and Sun, Moon And Star.
Stills from Sumpah Pontianak (left) and Sun, Moon And Star.PHOTOS: CATHAY-KERIS, CATHAY ORGANISATION
Stills from the film Sun, Moon And Star.
Stills from the film Sun, Moon And Star.PHOTO: CATHAY ORGANISATION

SINGAPORE - A new company has been set up to help distribute and market works from Cathay-Keris Film's Chinese and Malay libraries, with an eye to help produce theatrical and television remakes of the classic films.

The Singapore-based I.E. Entertainment has been set up by Singaporean Indra Suharjono and Singapore permanent resident Erlina Suharjono, sisters with decades of experience in the film industry here and overseas.

Ms Indra Suharjono, 57, tells The Straits Times there is great remake potential in the archive of Cathay-Keris works, consisting of 166 Chinese titles and 91 Malay titles, mostly made in the 1950s and 1960s.

More should be done to let producers across Asia and elsewhere know that these older films are available to adapt and to ease the process of obtaining rights, she says.

"There are great stories. They can be made contemporary, as movies and as television series," she says.

The titles are owned by Cathay Organisation and are staples in retrospective film festivals looking at the glory days of film production in Singapore, when Cathay-Keris Films in East Coast Road made popular Malay-language films, including the Pontianak series of horror films. An associated studio in Hong Kong made films for Chinese-speaking audiences.

The Suharjono sisters see good remake potential in titles such as the two-part romantic epic Sun, Moon And Star (both released in 1961) and culture-clash comedy The Greatest Civil War On Earth trilogy (1961 to 1964).

"We are talking to producers in South Korea about adapting the Chinese titles and we are also speaking with producers in Indonesia about the Malay titles," she says.