Wednesday, October 21, 2009

[TIFF 2009 Tribute] Yasmin Ahmad

LtoR: Ho Yuhang, Orked Ahmad, Pete Teo

As part of the tribute programme to Yasmin Ahmad, TIFF's 2 public screenings of Talentime came with a back to back screening of a total of 5 commercials that the director had made. The hall used for this screening also held some significance, as it was the same hall that saw Sepet being screened at TIFF. I think most, if not all of the commercials can be found online, and if possible I'll post some links to them.

Otherwise, in order of the screening, they are:

1. One of Yasmin's earlier commercials where she provided a voice-over toward the end, this one is made for Malaysia's 41st birthday, in encouraging Malaysians not to be ashamed of going local. The commercial follows the adventures of a man who is shy of his Malaysian made shoes, and wondered if his wearing of the shoes instead of branded overseas ones, would enable him to snag the girl of his dreams, to great surprise of course.

2. This one had shades of the Red Shoes commercial (made for Singapore) that could be found in it, just a bit. A single father brings up his daughter (starring Sharifah Amani in the later stages) that talked about how the reward system she had grown accustomed to for various achievements, paled in contrast to the value of doing things for the pure love of, seen in a village where a young man tenderly cares for his aged, blind father. One of her famed Hari Raya ads made for Petronas.

3. Starring the other half of her Sepet duo, this commercial for Petronas' Lunar New Year greeting stars Ng Choo Seong as a son reminiscing the good old days with his late father, and the things he regretted doing, or not doing for him. For sons like myself, this commercial always strike a raw nerve with me each time I watch it, because it is so true, and only Yasmin has the knack of capturing life's essence such as the ones shown in this commercial.

4. The fourth commercial screened is Tan Hong Ming In Love, which needs no introduction as I believe this is one of the most watched commercials in the past year, and had won numerous commercial awards.

5. And the last commercial screened was the latest one she did for the Singapore Government's Ministry for Community, Youth and Sports, the Eulogy short which had made its rounds in the cinemas as well as television sets islandwide.

Pete Teo also performed the song Blue, and shared that while he and Yasmin are great friends, she has never seen him perform live, and dedicated the performance to her.

Yuhang, Orked Ahmad (Yasmin's sister) and Pete Teo then paid tribute to the director who had left us, sharing some little known personal anecdotes with the audience. Moderating this session is TIFF Winds of Asia-Middle East programmer Kenji Ishizaka, translated by Matsushita Yumi.

Part 1 of 3

Part 2 of 3

Part 3 of 3

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