Friday, June 19, 2009

My fourth time judging at an international film festival. (Excited giler, siot!)

Taipei International Film Festival 09

It all began in 2006, with the Fajr International Film Festival in Iran. What an experience that was! Tehran was freezing, my skin was so dry that my whole body was itchy, and my poor mother slipped and fell on the sleet-covered sidewalk and cracked her wrist.

On the plus side, I met Abbas Kiarostami, Majid Majidee, and became close friends with Bahman Ghobadi.

Another sunny side to Tehran was meeting a Turkish ulama with whom I shared my experiences on Gubra, and how certain quarters here went up in arms over the idea of a bilal who was very civil towards dogs and prostitutes. His response was, "What kind of Muslims do you have in your country?!"

Then it was Thessaloniki in Greece. This time around, it was my husband who came along. We enjoyed long walks, holding hands, by the Thermikos Bay, and the Greeks took us dining at magnificent restaurants. (Greek salads have no equal on earth.)

Best of all, I got to judge with, and learn from, cinematic luminaries like Fred Roos and Jirzi Menzel.

Next was Berlin. It was freezing again, but thankfully, a lot less dry. And by then, I had already developed such a soft spot for the Berlinale. They had given Mukhsin two prizes the year before, and, as it so happened, just slightly over a week after that memorable, if somewhat traumatic, bout of jury duty in Iran.

And now, Taipei.

I was in Taipei for the Golden Horse Film Festival less than two years ago, when they held a retrospective of my films: Sepet, Gubra, and Mukhsin. It was a charming experience I should never forget.

To start with, each screening was held in a thousand-seater hall, and almost every screening saw a full house. Alhamdulillah.

The programmers had lined up the screenings of my films in the chronological order of Orked's life, starting with Mukhsin, and ending with Gubra. Smart move, I thought.

But the most sensational experience of all happened at the Q&A after a screening of Sepet.

A young man in the audience declared openly, "Hi, I'm from Tainan City, in the south of Taiwan. My friend and I saw Sepet last year and we loved it. He is so sad that he couldn't come, but he asked me to kiss you for him. Would you please let me kiss you?"

The audience roared with wild laughter. Then, just as suddenly, it fell silent, waiting for a response from me. But I was gobsmacked!

First of all, I kept thinking, "How on earth did they get to see Sepet in Tainan?" And secondly, how the hell do you say "No" to a guy who was obviously very shy, but had somehow mustered enough courage to make such an earnest request, in front of 999 people?

After a long, uncomfortable spell of pin-drop silence, I cleared my throat nervously and mumbled into the microphone, "Ok... but can it wait until we're outside?" I swear the hall then literally shook with the thunderous applause and foot-stomping that ensued.

Sigh. Unforgettable city, Taipei.


Muhammad said...

permintaan itu sangat " COMEL "

owh...sudah lama me tak terima / memberi satu ciuman juga


adee said...

omg so sweet. haha.

I think this is the beauty of filmmaking. It gets into the very unexpected but fine places in the world.Like love.

yasmin said...


Jane said...

Ich bin ein berliner!

yasmin said...

haha! good one, jane kennedy!

Arvin said...

Man.....that guy have the BALLS.....i wan some kiss tooooo!!!!!!!

*cosmic freak* said...

thats all the world needs.

I remember meeting pete teo for the first time after your unity project in an event and asked if I could hug him for his effort. he was too nice. we hugged like old friends.

if you touch a heart with your work, those hearts you touched, deserves nothing less than a kiss and a hug.

ariz azali said...

why u not paste ur picture
during the prgramme?

yasmin said...

eh, got my picture, meh?

Arvin said...

Hahahaha.....u made my day... its kinda funny...
thx thx

*she kiss me in my blog*

Stefan S said...

that took a lot of courage, in front of a large crowd! :D

yasmin said...

stefan, i know!

fahmi said...

salam... hahaha very funny... what an unforgettable moment for you.. sound likes you are having a blast there..

p/s: juz recieved my letter from UM, very happy to study further there in Edu (TESL), wish me the best ok..

Ah Sen said...

Kak Yasmin,dah beli ticket of Talent Time,see you at Taipei!

kamal said...

so can I get a kiss too?

anyways, for the last post... there will be a tora-san film screening, and we need another 8 people. The list of participants so far..

1. Afams-chan
2. Insane Inkling
3. Cosmic Freak (Abby)
4. Reverie
5. Shana
6. Karateka
7. Kamal
8. syazana
9. kekure (ke-cure)
10. Jane (Nadrah)
11. crux (Rejaie)
12. Cikgu Ina

whoever want to join, please say so.

hady said...

"excited giler siot!"

wah, kamu guna bahasa yang sama macam kami juga! hehe.. sempoi..

yasmin said...

kamal, i will always have a spare one waiting for you.

our tora-san screening still has time to gather viewers. i'm off to vietnam tomorrow for 5 days, then immediately after that, taipei for a week.

yasmin said...

ah sen!!! guys, ah sen took good care of me while i was at the golden horse.

hey, ah sen, were you at that sepet screening too? tak ingat plak.

yasmin said...

hady, tadi gua celah kat profile lu. lu comey, siot!

Amir said...

keep up the good work yasmin! teringin rasenye nak kak yasmin comment blog saye..wah terlebih sudah ni..

Jane said...

haha someone sounds so tai-kah-jie-ish (how lah to spell?)

yasmin said...

ok, dah komen dah, amir. ;-)

Tammy said...

Kak Yasmin, you have such exciting adventures! It'll be so cool, listening to all the stories you have to tell personally. Do post more!

I went for casting for one of my college broadcasting student's short film project. Currently waiting for their call, wish me luck!


Tammy said...

Kak Yasmin, you have such exciting adventures! It'll be cool, listening to all the stories you have to tell personally. Do post more!

I went for a casting the a few days ago for my college's broadcasting students' short film project. Awaiting for their call now, wish me luck!

Take care and cheers!

Katrina said...

That is why I love to drop by here once in a while. She makes it all sound like a wonderful adventure.

andy gomes said...

i asked you for a kiss too when we met.
just so you know, i was serious=)
and i did notice how your expression changed.... that was very cute indeed.
(cheeky smile)

yasmin said...


adee said...

hello ma'am! me, adee here again from singapura.

if you rmmbr I was the tudung girl who came down to Causeway when you drop by here.

Clearly I'm a big fan of your films.:) And so for a module of mine called Regional Cinema, I decided to choose you as my director.YEAY!It was ballot know, so I was very takut if tak dapat.

ok cut short the story la. Where can I get your earliest film, Rabun. Cos I have watched almost all your films and some commercials but Rabun's a little difficult to get around here.:(.minta tolong?heh.

btw, have a safe trip around ya.:)

Ah Sen said...

Yes, at Mukhsin,Gubra screening as well :)

yasmin said...

adee, they used to sell rabun vcd's. very, very clear copies. some people in singapore also found them. but i think they've stopped printing and stock all dah habis.

adee said...


nevermind, will try to find it no matter what.

paling2, I will go malaysia find you and get it.haha.

joking. but that'll be nice.

yasmin said...

adee, if you come to KL, i'll hold a private screening for you, and anyone else who wants to watch it, inshaallah.

ZubaidahArshad said...

Malaysia needs better judges like you, so there would be no stupid films like a herd of idiotic stooges making jokes that are hardly laughable, then surprisingly win awards.

I do like you. You are one of a kind.

shahariah said...

That's what I miss about you in this blog. Your so heart warming, cutey miutey, tickling frenzy stories. Has anyone ever told you that you are a GENIUS in story telling? I like you the way i like Salleh Ben Joned coz of his genius in crafting tales. This kind of people comes one in a million. You have so much human interest experience to share with your acute and witty observations of people that a book MUST be one of your lifetime products. And I await earnestly for that and hope that you will not dissappoint me by not writing one.

*cosmic freak* said...

Hehehe. Ma'am, lu sempoi siot! wa tabik la sama lu. Itu kamal manyak cheeky, suka mintak cium sana sini ... (it rhymes siot!)

andy gomes said...

I've never seen rabun before and I've always wanted too. i guess that it is natural for me as a fan to want to be able to watch all of your movies. as far as it goes, i think that it is impossible for me to EVER watch it ever since "cerekarama" only airs once. do post it on your blog if u r planning to have a private screening. i will try my best to get there.
thanks mak=)

Geegee said...

nice ending. heheheh ..

yuhana said...

xterkate..... it more than WOW.. ^_^

kamal said...

what can I say, I'm a perv.

yasmin said...

but a loveable perv.

Yen said...

Hi i m a big fan of u n i love Talentime so much!^^
I watch it at Taipei Film Festival and it is so lucky that i even have a chance to take a photo with u after the show!^^

yasmin said...

yen, i am so grateful to taiwan!

fcc said...

Hi Yasmin, i want to purchase your DVD but couldn't find any in Taiwan. since my wife is going to Malaysia next month, do you have DVD with English subtitle available on the market in Malaysia? let me know and i will ask her to bring back all. love your storytelling.

yasmin said...

fcc, please email me at