Saturday, March 22, 2014

Sayang Disayang official trailer

If music be the food of love, play on;
Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.

Announcing the official trailer for my debut feature film, Sayang Disayang.

Sayang Disayang will screen at the 4th edition of the Southeast Asian Film Festival. I am honoured that the film has been selected to close the festival. The screening took place on 4th May 2014 | 5.30pm | Singapore Art Museum. This will be its Singapore premiere.

UPDATE: The film opens on Singapore's National Day (Aug2014). Get your tickets at

Synopsis #sayangMovie
Live-in nurse Murni works for Pak Harun, a lonely and bitter elderly man who continually harangues his caregiver. Murni tries to cook a Sambal Goreng dish that is exactly like the one cooked by Harun's late wife but success seems to elude her. Despite this, she sings all day in the kitchen, which serves only to irritate Pak Harun further. What is the elusive ingredient that can unlock the tension between Murni and Pak Harun, remedy these damaged hearts and bring them together to sing the same tune?

I want to tell a story affecting all Singaporeans and the Southeast Asian region, especially of the elderly and the domestic caregivers by observing the dynamics where families are increasingly depending on the “outsider” to take care of their elderly parents while the respective adult children are out at work or totally absent in the household.

It is also to celebrate the various ethnicities that define the Nusantara (Malay Archipelago) in Southeast Asia - we may share the same food and evergreen songs, but our perceptions to one another differ because of the language, geography and (cultural and national) politics.

In developing the theme for Sayang Disayang, I used the Sambal Goreng. Sambal Goreng is a signature Javanese dish made of the chilli condiment, or sambal and traditionally is stir-fried, or goreng, with livers and gizzards. Like many dishes of the Nusantara, flavour is achieved by the individual's preference and the amount of ingredients is never exact, but usually estimated and simply thrown in.

Growing up, I watched a lot of Malay films by legendary filmmakers such as P. Ramlee, Hussein Haniff and M. Amin whose socially-aware films had influences from classic Bollywood films, where music and dance are used as segues in their narrative. Sayang Disayang, also pays homage to these film genres - but with a contemporary twist.

Kindly visit Sayang Disayang on facebook for details on this film's journey.