10 Interesting Facts About OlaBola


Set in the 1980s, OlaBola is an uplifting fictional tale about an unlikely multicultural team of footballers who have to overcome their differences and personal struggles for a chance at international success. Inspired by true events, this original story by Chiu Keng Guan is a celebration of the glorious days when the entire nation stood as one behind our national team.

10 Interesting Facts About OlaBola

1. Why OlaBola? Ola comes from the Portuguese word “olá” which means “hello” and Bola is “ball” in Portuguese, which is the same in Bahasa Malaysia. And Portuguese is the language spoken in Brazil, one of the world’s biggest footballing nations and the country that gave us Pelé, the greatest footballer ever.

2. Director Chiu Keng Guan was once a highly notable striker representing his school team.

3. Pre-production took more than a year before principal photography commenced for 50 days. Post-production was completed in 4 months.

4. OlaBola was filmed in various locations in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Perak, Penang, Johor and Sabah that still bear the charm of the 80s. Historical landmarks such as Stadium Merdeka, Victoria Institution, the train ride in Sabah between Beaufort and Tenom, and the breathtaking landscape of Broga Hill in Selangor are featured in the film.

5. OlaBola makes history as Malaysia’s first feature film to use the immersive Dolby Atmos sound technology, which gives audiences optimal surround-sound quality.

6. The film is anchored by global best-in-class production features and technical crews, including visual-effects (VFX) experts from Argentina boasting Hollywood experience, and Australian specialists in aerial cinematography.

7. Visual effects were used quite extensively. CG work was done to add tiers to Stadium Merdeka and make the stadium look full of spectators during the football matches. Certain contemporary landmarks were also digitally erased to ensure the authenticity of an 80s cityscape. Green screen was used for the helicopter scene, where the aircraft was added in later.

8. A carnival, complete with a Ferris wheel, a carousel and game stalls, was built from scratch and the set was dismantled after 4 days of filming. Everything at the carnival, from bottled drinks to snacks in tins, was sourced or reproduced from genuine articles.

9. All the actors do know how to play football and were not just acting. Saran Kumar was a defender on his school team but in the film, he plays a goalkeeper.

10. Katrina Ho, who plays Taukeh’s girlfriend, was first-runner up in the Miss Astro Chinese International Pageant 2009. But that wasn’t what got her the role. She was spotted via Facebook by the assistant director. You never know who might find you on Facebook!

Win free passes to the OlaBola preview!

Thanks to Astro Shaw, GSC and Multimedia Entertainment we’re giving away 20 pairs of movie tickets to the preview of OlaBola!
Set for nationwide theatrical release on Jan 28, you can watch the preview first on Jan 27 at GSC CityONE Megamall at 9pm. Here’s how:
1) Like The Borneo Post SEEDS Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/theborneopostseeds
(Already liked The Borneo Post SEEDS? Just skip to step No.2)
2) Share this story on your Facebook page.
3) Send us your name, MyKad number and a screencap proving you’ve shared this story to [email protected]
We’re offering the free passes from today until Jan 26.
Winners will be contacted via email.

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