Saturday, December 27, 2008
Malaysia faces "Talentime", tentatively scheduled for release on March 26th, 2009.
Not since our disovery of Sharifah Amani when she was only 16, back in 2003, had I ever met such talented young Malaysians as the people you see here.
Starting with Mahesh Jugal Kishore, allow me to introduce you to this diabolically good-looking 18-year old who could command a new language in less than a week!
Then there is Mohd. Syafie Naswip, winner of the Best Child Actor award at the FFM two years ago, and, at the tender age of 15, beat veterans like Rosyam Nor, Nasir Bilal Khan, and Rusdi Ramli, for the Best Actor award at last year's Anugerah Skrin. His heartfelt debut performance as Mukhsin stole hearts in Berlin, Tokyo, Paris and New York. In "Talentime", he plays the extremely demanding role of a schoolboy who tries to put on a brave face for his cancer-stricken mother, played by Azean Irdawaty.
Swiftly moving on, next in line is Pamela Chong, one of a two-sister team which got second prize at last year's Amazing Race Asia. She took to acting like fish to water, and had memorised her lines, way before most other actors at reharsals, two months before principal shooting began.
Obviously, Jaclyn Victor needs no introduction here. The first ever winner of Malaysian Idol, and arguably the finest singer in South-East Asia, Jac stunned the crew with her powerfully nuanced debut as an actor.
Finally, the drop-dead gorgeous Howard Hon Kahoe, barely 17, became the instant hearthrob on set, with his winsome smile and sultry pout. He played the domestically pressured teenager to perfection, and will most likely have a part in my upcoming Japanese film project, "Wasurenagusa".
These fine young performers, along with the amazingly gifted and versatile Elza (sorry babe, they never gave me a good-sized photo of you!), daughter of Azean Irdawaty, make for worthwhile viewing of our new film "Talentime".
Allah has been so generous. Rabbana wa lakalhamdu.