Asian Film Archive Collection: Cathay-Keris Malay Classics
The Cathay-Keris Malay films were made by a generation of lndian and Malay film directors who had survived World War II. The films are significant as documentary heritage because they portray the traditional mores and culture of the Malay people in an accessible and identifiable way. They depict the nation building, economic challenges, rapid modernisation, religious and social changes that occurred in the post war era. The films provide a visual documentation of the physical landscape and what some communities looked like in the 1950’s and 1960’s. They highlight the evolution of filmmaking in Singapore and its development as a film production and distribution centre.
The collection contains the surviving 91 titles consisting of 700 items. The films comprise of 16mm and 35mm formats in colour and black and white. Among them are 35 reels that were in bad condition and could not be salvaged. The negatives of some titles have been lost as have several significant films including the first colour film made in Singapore, and the first Malay film dubbed into Cantonese and released in Hong Kong.
MOWCAP Regional Register