20 Aug – Known for their heart-warming advertisements during national celebrations, particularly the ones directed by the late Yasmin Ahmad, this year, Petronas continues this tradition by taking it a step further with the debut of their web film, titled "Strangers".
The short film is created in conjunction with Hari Raya, National Day and Malaysia Day, and tells the story of a young Petronas engineer named Erman, played by actor Redza Minhat ("Pisau Cukur" and "Gol & Gincu"), who is unable to return home to spend Hari Raya with his family when he is stationed in Central Asia.
During that time, he encounters and befriends a local boy named Jeyhun by chance. This leads Erman to realise that he takes the luxuries at home for granted and slowly embarks on a journey of self-discovery. While he strives to make a difference to those around him professionally, Erman constantly finds himself unexpectedly repaid with extensions of friendship from the locals, which leaves a profound impact on him personally.
In delivering their messages about determination, friendship across borders, love and appreciation of Malaysia, "Strangers" opts for a more personal method by using interviews with real Petronas employees posted overseas. These interviews candidly reveal the interviewees' struggles and triumphs while being at a foreign place, revealing how being away from home helps them appreciate the lifestyle and culture that is truly unique to Malaysia.
"Viewers will witness real spontaneous responses and emotions of Petronas staff who miss their family and friends. It also conveys how their experience reinforces their sense of duty, pride and love for the nation," remarked Petronas' senior general manager of group corporate affairs division, Datuk Medan Abdullah.
The short film was launched on YouTube on 6 August, and has since seen overwhelming response from Malaysians.