Wednesday, October 31, 2007

"Talentime". The search for a hero continues.


theo walcott(5)
Originally uploaded by yasmin the storyteller
theo walcott(2)theo walcott(1)theo walcott(4)
It's a tall order, I know.

I'm still looking for a young man of Indian descent, 16 or 17 years of age. I'd like him to be someone shy, quiet, and possessing of kind eyes, and a smile that would melt any girl's heart.

Someone not unlike the devastatingly handsome 18-year old Theo Walcott of Arsenal Football Club.

Please pass the word around. We expect to start rehearsals around March or April next year, and shooting a month or two later, inshallah.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Write-up by Justin Johnson of The Times / British Film Institute 51st London Film Festival.


mukhsin_02
Originally uploaded by yasmin the storyteller
"Never falling into the traps of sentimentality or whimsy, Mukhsin is a lyrical and beautifully presented piece of work that will appeal to adults and children alike. The film's musical denouement stands out as a joyful and memorable conclusion to this remarkable film.

Winner of the Generations section at this year's Berlinale, Mukhsin provides us with an unmissable opportunity to enjoy a Malaysian take on the universal theme of the beauty of first friendships and first love."

- Justin Johnson

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Not one, not three, but two bits of exciting news!


peace sign
Originally uploaded by yasmin the storyteller
1) Japan seals TV rights deal with Grand Brilliance for "Mukhsin", making it the third foreign country to take on our film, after France and Korea.

2) My producer and I secured financing for "Talentime" yesterday evening.

Alhamdulillah, rabbana walakalhamdu.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A review of "Mukhsin", by Time Out, London.


mukhsin
Originally uploaded by yasmin the storyteller
"Those looking to indulge their cinematic sweet-tooth can't go far wrong with 'Mukhsin', a gorgeous paean to young love from Malaysian director Yasmin Ahmad which focuses on perpetually bullied 12-year-old Mukhsin (Mohd Shafie Naswip) who, during a school holiday, forges a bond with the brassy, self-confident Orked (Sharifah Aryana).

Ahmad shows great skill in painting a colourful, rich and believable family life for the pair, as well as portraying their burgeoning relationship with great tenderness and fragility.

It's also, at times, very funny, due mainly to an inordinate amount of slapstick which usually results in some kind of head injury: you have been warned."

- David Jenkins, Time Out London


Thursday, October 18, 2007

"Talentime". The search for a hero.


indian boy
Originally uploaded by yasmin the storyteller
I want him to be 16 or 17 years of age, and I want him to be of Indian descent.

Why Indian?

Well, I never bothered to explain why the heroes for "Sepet" and "Muallaf" were Chinese, or why the hero for "Mukhsin" was Malay, so I don't see why I need to explain myself for wanting an Indian this time around.

(And oh, he does NOT have to be musically inclined in any way, but he MUST be able to ride a motorcycle.)

The picture you see here was taken in Mumbai, India, on my Canon IXUS, about three years ago. I was astonished by how beautiful this mango seller was, so I asked to take a snapshot of him.

He was 17.

If you fit the bill, or if you know of somehow who does, please write to me at yasminthestoryteller@gmail.com and attach some photographs with your email.

Thank you kindly.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Poster.

muallaf poster
This is roughly how it will look like.

Of course, the colour hasn't been properly adjusted, and the credits at the bottom were lifted from the "Gubra" poster, but that's the picture, and that's how we'll crop it.

It was designed by Ng Choo Seong (yes, Jason!), and the photograph was taken by David Lok (the guy who played the chief gangster Jimmy in "Sepet"!)

Monday, October 15, 2007

"Talentime". My new film in the making.


my new film?
Originally uploaded by yasmin the storyteller
We originally planned to make a film called "Mok-Mok", but that project will l have to step aside for a while.

The reason, I have found one financier who seems very keen about this other idea I have for a film called "Talentime".

Inshaallah, it will most likely star Adibah Noor, Ho Yuhang, Noor Khiriah, and two new young actors in their teens who will play the lead roles.

The rough story: A music teacher, who is herself a great performer (Adibah Noor) is organising an inter-school talentime. Through the days of auditions, rehearsals and preparations, running up to the big day of the contest, the characters get embroiled in a world of heightened emotions - ambition, jealousy, human comedy, romance, heartbreak - all of which culminate in a day of great music and performances.

Not a new premise, I know. But neither was "Sepet" nor "Mukhsin". And I believe that the interesting thing about seeing the work of different artists is that you get to experience age-old emotions through new, totally personalised eyes.

The idea behind "Talentime": That as humans, we have to go through a lot of pain and some measure of suffering before we can reach greater heights.

Some might say this somewhat echoes the principles behind THE FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS. But more accurately, the idea really comes from my own observations that some of the best moments in my life were those moments where I failed, or had my heart broken.

Why? Because those were the moments that have shaped me, made me a better person today, and helped me attain my highest achievements.

We should be opening up the auditons early next year, inshaallah. So if you know of teenagers (age 13 to 15) who can sing and/or play musical instruments, do let me know here. Thanks.

Salaam.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Two Malaysian films nominated for the most prestigious film awards in Asia-Pacific.


APSA_logo
Originally uploaded by yasmin the storyteller
FINAS submitted five films. CINTA, CHERMIN, TENTANG BULAN, THE RED KEBAYA, and, surprisingly, "Mukhsin".

Dahuang Pictures submitted about four or five, including Amir Muhammad's very powerful "Apa Khabar Orang Kampung" which, I believe, was unfairly and stupidly banned by the authorities.

Of these nine or ten films, two were finally selected for competition in their respective category. Alhamdulillah.


ASIA PACIFIC SCREEN AWARDS NOMINEES ANNOUNCED:

Nominees in the inaugural Asia Pacific Screen Awards, the region’s highest accolade in film in 2007, were announced tonight at a gala event in Singapore.

Feature films in contention for Best Feature Film are CARAMEL (Lebanon), NIGHT BUS (AUTOBUS-E SHAB) (Iran), OPERA JAWA (Indonesia), SECRET SUNSHINE (MIRYANG) (Republic of Korea) and TAKVA: A MAN’S FEAR OF GOD (Turkey).

The Asia Pacific Screen Awards is a collaboration between CNN International, UNESCO and FIAPF - the International Federation of Film Producers Associations. The Awards honour the works of filmmakers across a region covering more than 70 countries, one third of the earth and half the world’s film output.

The finalists are drawn from all over the Asia-Pacific region with 34 films nominated from 19 countries: Armenia, Australia, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kurdistan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Sri Lanka and Turkey.

Asia Pacific Screen Awards Chairman, Des Power, said: “It is remarkable that the Awards in their first year have drawn entries from so many countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Clearly filmmakers and the industry value the purpose and benefit of these Awards and the global broadcast platform of CNN International.

“I congratulate the nominees in the inaugural Asia Pacific Screen Awards. They represent the extraordinary creativity and energy of filmmakers across the Asia-Pacific region and the range and quality of their films undoubtedly reflects the aims of the Asia Pacific Screen Awards to celebrate both cinematic excellence and cultural diversity.”

The Asia Pacific Screen Awards will be presented at an Awards ceremony on the Gold Coast, Australia, on November 13, 2007, following deliberation by a distinguished International Jury headed by Indian actress and humanitarian, Shabana Azmi.

The full list of nominees follows:

The nominees in the 2007 Asia Pacific Screen Awards are:


Best Feature Film --

CARAMEL (Lebanon)
Produced by Anne Dominique Toussaint

NIGHT BUS (AUTOBUS-E SHAB) (Iran)
Produced by Mehdi Homayounfar

OPERA JAWA (Indonesia)
Produced by Garin Nugroho and Simon Field

SECRET SUNSHINE (MIRYANG) (Republic of Korea)
Produced by In-Soo Kim, Chang-Dong Lee and Hanna Lee

TAKVA: A MAN’S FEAR OF GOD (Turkey)
Produced by Sevil Demirci Cakar


Best Animated Feature Film --

THE BIG FIGHTING BETWEEN WUKONG AND GOD ERLANG (WUKONG DA ZHAN ER LANG SHEN) (China)
Produced by Hansen Liang and Meiling Zhou

5 CENTIMETERS PER SECOND (BYOSOKU 5 CENTIMETERS) (Japan)
Produced by Horitaka Kawaguchi

SUMMER DAYS WITH COO (KAPPA NO COO TO NATSUYASUMI) (Japan)
Produced by Yutaka Sugiyama


Best Documentary Feature Film --

BEIRUT DIARIES: TRUTH, LIES AND VIDEOS (YAOUMIYAT BEIRUT: HAKAEK WA AKATHEEB) (Lebanon)
Produced by Mai Masri and Jean Chamoun

A GREAT MASTER RECAPTURED (YOU JIAN MEI LAN FANG) (China)
Produced by Feng Gao

THE LOST LAND (SARZAMINE GOMSHODEH) (Iran)
Produced by Documentary and Experimental Film Centre and TOUBA Film

A STORY OF PEOPLE IN WAR AND PEACE (Armenia)
Produced by Vardan Hovhannisyan

VILLAGE PEOPLE RADIO SHOW (APA KHABAR ORANG KAMPUNG) (Malaysia)
Produced by Tan Chui Mui


Best Children's Feature Film --

THE BICYCLE (GULONG) (Philippines)
Produced by Menardo Jimenez and Socorro Fernandez

DENIAS, SINGING ON THE CLOUD (DENIAS, SENANDUNG DI ATAS AWAN) (Indonesia)
Produced by Ari Sihasale

LOCKSMITH (GHOFL-SAZ) (Iran)
Produced by Hassan Agha-Karimi

MOTHER NANNY (INANG YAYA) (Philippines)
Produced by Antonio Gloria

MUKHSIN (Malaysia)
Produced by Puad Onah


Achievement in Directing --

Nadine Labaki for CARAMEL (Lebanon)

Rakhshan Bani-Etemad and Mohsen Abdolvahab for MAINLINE (KHOONBAZI) (Iran)

Shawkat Amin Korki for CROSSING THE DUST (PARINAWA LA GHOBAR) (Iraq/Kurdistan)

Tao Peng for LITTLE MOTH (XUE CHAN) (China)

Zhanna Issabayeva for KAROY (Kazakhstan)


Best Screenplay --

Feroz Abbas Khan for GANDHI, MY FATHER (India)

Michael James Rowland and Helen Barnes for LUCKY MILES (Australia)

Kiumars Pourahmad and Habib Ahmadzadeh for NIGHT BUS (AUTOBUS-E SHAB) (Iran)

Chang-Dong Lee for SECRET SUNSHINE (MIRYANG) (Republic of Korea)

Onder Cakar for TAKVA: A MAN’S FEAR OF GOD (Turkey)


Achievement in Cinematography --

Yu Wang for THE GO MASTER (WU QINGYUAN) (China)

Trofimov R G C Sergey for MONGOL (Russian Federation)

Palitha Perera for SANKARA (Sri Lanka)

Zhao Fei, Mark Ping-bin Lee and Yang Tao for THE SUN ALSO RISES (China)

Hooman Behmanesh for THOSE THREE (AN SEH) (Iran)


Best Performance by an Actress --

Nadine Labaki, Yasmine Al Masri, Joanna Moukarzel, Gisele Aouad, Siham Haddad & Asiza Semaan in CARAMEL (Lebanon)

Hanan Turk in CUT AND PASTE (KAS WA LAZK) (Egypt)

Joan Chen in THE HOME SONG STORIES (Australia)

Baran Kosari in MAINLINE (KHOONBAZI) (Iran)

Do-Yeon Jeon in SECRET SUNSHINE (MIRYANG) (Republic of Korea)


Best Performance by an Actor --

Sasson Gabai in THE BAND’S VISIT (BIKUR HATIZMORET) (Israel)

Antropov Evgeniy in HARD-HEARTED (KREMEN) (Russian Federation)

Deok-Hwan Ryu in LIKE A VIRGIN (CHEON HA JANG SA MADONNA) (Republic of Korea)

Mehrdad Sedighian in NIGHT BUS (AUTOBUS-E SHAB) (Iran)

Erkan Can in TAKVA: A MAN’S FEAR OF GOD (Turkey)


Two additional major Awards will be presented for outstanding achievement:

1. The FIAPF Award for outstanding achievement in film in the Asia-Pacific region.

2. The UNESCO Award for outstanding contribution to the promotion and preservation of cultural diversity through film.

The Asia Pacific Screen Awards is producing television programs attached to the inaugural 2007 Awards for global broadcast on CNN International.

The programs, titled Scene By Scene, will carry stories and interviews about the region’s film industry. Scene By Scene - Films of Asia Pacific will screen on CNN International on November 10 prior to the Awards ceremony on November 13. The second program, Scene By Scene - Best Films of Asia Pacific, will include the Awards ceremony and will air on November 17.

FIAPF - The International Federation of Film Producers Associations has endorsed the Asia Pacific Screen Awards Charter.

The Director General of UNESCO has given his formal endorsement for the Asia Pacific Screen Awards to be conducted under the auspices of UNESCO.


THE ASIA PACIFIC SCREEN AWARDS IS AN INTERNATIONAL CULTURAL INITIATIVE OF THE STATE GOVERNMENT OF QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA, THROUGH QUEENSLAND EVENTS CORPORATION.