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Overseas release brings Malaysian LGBTQ film to the screen

Unwanted at home, groundbreaking movie 'Miss Andy' wins fans in liberal Taiwan

In the Malaysian-Taiwanese film “Miss Andy” (2020), the character Evon (Lee Lee-zen), left, develops an attraction for her co-worker, Teck (Jack Tan), who is among the few people who treat her with respect. (Courtesy of MM2 Entertainment)

KUALA LUMPUR -- "We were well aware from the start that the subject matter would have had its challenges in Malaysia and most other Asian territories," says Jin Ong, the producer of "Miss Andy" (2020), a Malaysian-Taiwanese film about the life of a transgender woman living in Kuala Lumpur. The film was released in Taiwan on Jan. 8 to circumvent a likely ban in predominantly Muslim Malaysia, where the LGBTQ community still struggles for equality.

Directed by Teddy Chin, "Miss Andy" follows in the footsteps of controversial Malaysian Chinese filmmakers such as Lau Kek Huat and Wee Meng Chee (also known as Namewee). Both also turned to Taiwan, one of the most LGBTQ-friendly countries in Asia, to release films that could not be screened in straight-laced Malaysia, where gay and transgender activity remain taboo topics.

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