The makers of an award-winning movie that has been banned by the government because of "communist overtones" will let Malaysians see it free online.

Hummingbird Productions, which made Absent Without Leave, said it decided to offer the film online for nothing after it failed to obtain approval from the local authorities to screen the story. It is set during the Communist insurgency in the then Malaya peninsula.

"It's still forbidden to screen the film in Malaysian cinemas. So we decided to make the film available for free on the internet - only for Malaysian audience - in the week from February 28 to March 5 2017," the company said on its Facebook page.

"If the link is not working or has been blocked please send us a message and we will solve the issue asap," it said.

Absent Without Leave was directed by Lau Kek-Huat and Chen Jing-Lian. It tells the tale of his grandfather's experience during the so-called Malayan Emergency. The movie, costing more than RM80,000 (£14,000), took five years to produce.

The film, which won the Singapore International Film Festival's Audience Award, has been featured in several film festivals globally.

Absent Without Leave movie
The Facebook page promoting the online Malaysia premiere of Absent Without Leave. Hummingbird Production/Facebook