Sunday, March 30, 2008

"Tan Hong Ming In Love" receives the highest award for public service commercials at the Asia-Pacific Advertising Festival.

The two biggest and most prestigious advertising award shows in the whole of Asia are ADFEST and the Media Spikes.

ADFEST was held in Pattaya last week, and ended on Saturday night, when the results of this notoriously tough competition were announced.

As always, thousands of entries were received from all over Asia -- mainly Japan, Thailand, Singapore, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia.

This time around, the highest award for the Social Engagement (public service) category was given to a Malaysian commercial for Petronas. It received the Silver Lotus, with no golds given.

It was also the only TV commercial from Malaysia to have won any award at the festival this year.

And yes, it's the simple little commercial that you see here. Alhamdulillah!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

So now they've met.

The main players of "Talentime" had dinner with me last night.

It was the first time they had ever met, and it was like at first sight.

Scriptwise, I've just passed a scene that was very painful to write: A Hindu open cremation.

As I see it in my head, "Talentime" is a story full of joy and pain, hope and despair, a host of beautifully-written songs, and rich, rich characters. May I be guided to write the screenplay well.


Monday, March 24, 2008

"Mukhsin" in Melbourne.

orked's ball
Originally uploaded by yasmin the storyteller
At 7:30pm this Friday 28th, there'll be a screening at Monash Caulfield campus.

The theatre seats only 130, and the audience will comprise mainly students from the university. There'll be a Q&A post viewing.

I've never been to Melbourne, and I've heard only good things about it, so I'm dead excited!

I'm hoping that our good friend Faiz will turn up. I miss him so.

"Rabun" screening. (Not again!)

At 8:30pm on Thursday, April the 3rd, 2008, inshaallah ten people will be viewing the uncensored version of my very first film, "Rabun".

"Rabun", originally a made-for-Cerekarama movie, also happened to be the first ever Malaysian film to be nominated for the Best Film award at the Torino International Film Festival in Italy. (Out of 650 films submitted from around the world, only 13 were selected to compete.)

This 88-minute film, shot in six days, is the story of an eccentric and extremely affectionate old couple who over-estimated the kindness of kampung folks.

The local censorship board (Lembaga Penapisan Filem) made severe cuts to the film, amounting to about four minutes of footage, including that now famous and most crucial bathing scene. And at that year's Anugerah Skrin, "Rabun" was not nominated for any category whatsoever.

Despite all that, Affandi Jamaludin, the editor of all our films and most of our Petronas commercials, has cited "Rabun" as his favourite among all the films that we have made so far.

I hope you'll enjoy it.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Today in the South China Morning Post.

It's Hong Kong's most widely-circulated English language newspaper.

An Australian friend working in Hong Kong sms'd me about it, then proceeded to scan the article and email it to me this morning.

You can only read it by clicking on the picture (this will take you to flickr) and then downloading it.

Thanks for the heads up, Andrew.

Anyway, before Andrew sent the article to me, I asked him if it had described me as strangely beautiful and brilliant. Andrew's reply was, "No. I'm afraid the piece was largely non-fiction."


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Lightning in Subang.

Originally uploaded by yasmin the storyteller
On the flight back from Paris, I read in a newspaper that Subang is now officially the most lightning-struck area in the world.

An average of 572 lightnings strike here each year.

I am now at home in Subang, typing this, while a loud, raging thunderstorm is crashing just outside my window.

God is awesome. Once again, the Tao takes my breath away.

"A lightning flash:
between the forest trees
I have seen water."
- Shiki Masaoka

It's a lot like epiphany, isn't it?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

March 12th screening of "Muallaf".

Originally uploaded by yasmin the storyteller
Last night was a hoot!

We met some nice new folks, and post-viewing discussion was livelier than it had been in a while.

Thirty-six JCo doughnuts disappeared quick as a flash.

Ted turned up after the screening (it's always a delight to have her around), just in time for a bonus screening of my new 20-minute documentary on east coast poverty.

Hopefully, the next gathering will be centred around actor rehearsals for "Talentime". Now, that'd be fun!

Monday, March 10, 2008

"Muallaf" private screening. Only 13 seats available.

I've screened this to a group of Indonesians and they said it was our strongest work so far.

Most Singaporeans I showed it to felt the same.

Malaysians think otherwise. One film reviewer whose opinions matter to me said it was my weakest.

Why such polar extremes in response to "Muallaf"? Find out for yourself tomorrow night, Tuesday the 11th of March, at 8:15pm.

I'll be testing the film against seven pre-booked people, including one journalist, so there are only 13 places available.

We need to know your name and email/mobile number before you can reserve a place. Admission, as always, is free.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Screening of my own personal favourite television commercials, with Q&A session after. Venue: HELP Institute. Time: 8:15pm.

Originally uploaded by yasmin the storyteller
I made a mistake about going to Jakarta on Friday in the previous thread. I just realised I'm going on Saturday.

On Friday at HELP Institute, they'll be screening a compilation of television commercials which I directed through the years.

I've shortlisted them to about 12 commercials, and the screening will last about 1/2 an hour, starting 8:15pm. I will also be there to answer questions afterwards, inshaallah.

Admission is free, so please come if you can.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Second Tora-san private screening. This week perhaps?

Originally uploaded by yasmin the storyteller
It's called "Tora-san's Love Call".

And although it was the 8th installment in the enormously entertaining and moving Tora-san series by Yoji Yamada, it was the first I ever saw.

I fell in love with it immediately.

At once hilarious and deeply moving, the world of Tora-san and his family and friends swam around my head and my heart for weeks after.

I propose we screen it this week. Any suggestions for day and date? Please bear in mind that I have to fly to Jakarta on Friday night.

Over to you, my handsome warrior Wira.

Oh, and by the way, I ordered ten more Tora-san dvd's and they just arrived today. That makes it a total of 16 Tora-san films in my collection! Alhamdulillah.