"Take away LOVE and the earth is a tomb."
It has been more than 5 years in the making and finally on 14 February 2010, LOVE happened.
Ameen was finally completed and with it, the LOVE trilogy concludes. Lost Sole, the first film, was filmed in late 2005 and premiered in early 2006. à la folie, a spontaneous filming process that happened "without a script, but a concept and gifted casts", was filmed in 2007 but was only released in mid-2008. Finally Ameen, from a script written in late 2008, was filmed in early 2009 and finally released in early 2010.
All three films have been self-funded. I reflect upon the success of these films with bittersweet victory. Curious that these films have been more successful overseas than in this island I sweated blood and tears for in National Service as the token Malay Commando.
(My humblest appreciation to Teater Ekamatra for accomodating their Black Box for this screening.)
The evening was also special because it was the first time a selection of edited scenes from my upcoming film feature debut, Ramuan Rahasia|The Missing Ingredient, was screened to the public. A year had passed since the first phase of the shoot was filmed (February 2009). Just recently, Cathay Keris Films, from the Cathay Organisation, one of three main local cinema exhibitors/distributors, has pledged it will distribute the film feature, possibly the first Singapore-made, Malay-Singaporean film since the late 60s. Thank you Cathay.
This film stars the legendary Rahim Razali. I'm forever grateful to him for agreeing to be in this film. To those not familiar (...shame on you!) with the man, he's the Laurence Olivier or Anthony Hopkins of Southeast Asian Cinema. Gifted Singapore-based actors like Aidli 'Alin' Mosbit, Rafaat Hj Hamzah, Asnida Daud, Aaron Aziz, J A Halim and Keagan Kang complete the cast list.
However more work needs to be done. More money still need to be pulled in to complete the remaining phases of shoots in Singapore and Sydney, Australia. It's puzzling to know that with such an impressive regional casting, bittersweet story consisting all spicy ingredients that could raze the cinema screens (ie love, music and food), it's still hard to pull in the money in Singapore for this "historic" film.
And for those curious why a certain local govt-based film agency not participate in this exquisite concoction, yet - go seek their feedback directly. I don't wish to pepper this blog space with speculation on rigid bureaucrats.
No, blockbuster actors like Chow Yuen Fatt, Jacky Chan, Brat Pitt, Fann Wong nor Angelina Jolie cannot act in my film because they cannot speak nor sing in Malay nor Indonesian in believable local accents, yes?
I look forward to Ramuan Rahasia's film premiere - there'll be lots of personal and professional stories to tell. The self-discovery, friends who walked away and lost, professional sacrifices by acquaintances and the new friends made along the way... the journey is a tale in itself lah. But it's all good :)
Life is full of surprises and I take the challenge with a sweet hazelnut Magnum, yes the ice-cream!
Close to 65% of footages are already in the can. Just a few more $$$ and this film will be complete. Thus, no belakang pusing, majulah kehadapan! :D
To those who missed the LOVE affair, you may get glimpses of it from Gumbira, Neil and Zalinah.
Thank you soo much.