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Actor "Ilo Ilo" (2013)

Dir Anthony Chen, Winner Cannes & Golden Horse Awards.

Lead actor, "Certified Dead" (2016)

Dir Marrie Lee aka Cleopatra Wong, Winner 14th Royal Bali International Film Festival (2016).

Director-Writer, "Bloodline Blues" (2018)

Selected Candidate - IMDA Lasalle Writerslab 2018


hits ONLINE: Gift (2014) & Hentak Kaki (2012)


productions in 9 years


Best Performance Awards, SSFA (2012/2014)

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Sunday, November 5, 2017

Malaysian Film Festival in Singapore 2017

@ The Art House, Old Parliament, Singapore from 31st August to 3rd September 2017

The most beautiful movie tickets I have ever seen
Malaysia and Singapore used to be one country, so it is apt that the Malaysian Film Festival in Singapore is inaugurated this year at the Art House, Old Parliament Building. So now we can enjoy the curated movies this side of the Causeway. Films like "Ola Bola" and "Adiwiraku" bring back fond memories of what Singapore used to be.

"Ola Bola" (2015) directed by Chiu Keng Guan, depicts a time during the 1970s when religion, language and race needn't matter in the game of soccer. Everyone united to play for the country. The movie culminates in the match between Malaysia and South Korea, to qualify to play at the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow in the Soviet Union. While they did not explicitly mention the players' names, I could identify some of them based on their character traits and positions in the team, namely: Soh Chin Aun, Arumugum (the goalkeeper) and James Wong (from Sabah). 

"Adiwiraku" (2015) directed by Eric Ong, is based on a true story of Cheryl Ann Fernando an English language teacher and her struggles and successes in a rural school in Kedah, Malaysia. It brings to life the story of SMK Pinang Tunggal and how its students worked towards a choral speaking competition. While this may not seem much to city dwelling folks, it is an impressive achievement for a rural school where most students had a very poor grasp of the English language.

It reminded me of the time when I was in primary school in Singapore, when English was rarely spoken, if at all, outside the classrooms. Then, we all spoke Chinese dialects and some Malay. To force us into speaking English, teachers fined us five cents each time we were caught speaking dialects in school. So yes, while it is reflex to speak English in Singapore nowadays, we didn't start off that way. 

"The Kid from Big Apple" (2015) directed by Jess Teong, brought me back to my childhood memories in an instance, experiencing the world through the eyes and minds of those lovely children.  I love the innocence and the fine details depicted and expressed. As a film maker and actor myself, I know it takes a lot of time and perseverance to bring forth such beautiful nuances and moments. It was so good that I also watched Part 2 of the sequel last month.

Redha (2015), directed by Tunku Mona Riza, is about a Malay couple who find their life crumbles as they realised that their child is autistic and struggles to confront the harsh realities of raising a child disabled by the condition they hardly knew about. The father's inability to accept the truth causes friction within the family but his wife's perseverance & maternal instinct help wade through the difficult times raising the child.

The director put in a lot of effort in researching about autism and also training the young actors to act as autistic kids. They played their part very convincingly.

There were three other films screened, namely "Vere Vizhi Ille" (2015) directed by M. S. Prem Nath; "The Dream Boyz" (2015) directed by Ryon Lee; and "Jagat" (2015) directed by Shanjhey Kumar Perumal; but I didn't have time to watch.

I also attended some talks by some film makers. This is what I have learnt:
  • Films are more influential than books put together.
  • 20% of the 23 million tourists in UK visit the country because of the films they have watched
  • Happy ending in movies sells
  • The depiction of alcohol being drunk in films will put them into PG13 rating in Malaysia
  • Always tell your story from the heart, so that it can reach the audience's heart.
  • Distributors like to ask what the tract record of the lead actors are.

For posts about film festivals in this blog, click here.

 #cinema #cinematicket#cinematickets #malaysian #malaysia#filmfestival #filmfest #filmfestivals#filmfestival2017

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