Kabir Bhatia, Mumbai-born Malaysia-based director whose works include "Pulang", "Bisik Pada Langit" and "Nur Kasih the Movie", brings something different to the local movie industry that's saturated with comedy, romance and horror – the first movie in Malaysia to focus on mixed martial arts (MMA), "Sangkar".
The director told Cinema Online in a recent interview that while it wasn't easy to direct his first sports-themed movie, with the help of MMA fighters as well as technology, he was able to finally make "Sangkar".
Cinema Online: What did you have to do in preparation to direct the movie?
Kabir: When I was contacted to direct the movie, I did my own research to understand how to make a sports-themed movie work. Current technology made me feel more prepared in terms of getting information as a director.
The production team and I have collaborated with a few professional MMA athletes, including James McSweeney who guided us and taught us about the sport's techniques. They also took me to watch a real MMA fight for the first time and the first fight that I watched was a women's fight, so from there I had the inspiration for the movie's introduction scene.