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Monday, October 20, 2014

RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS media coverage


Ever since the announcement of its nomination in the Main Competition section of Tokyo International Film Festival late last month, the local media had been very generous with their coverage of RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS. For that, I am very grateful.













I also went to a radio show with RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS lead actor Koe Shern.




Mr. Yoshi Yatabe, programming director of Tokyo International Film Festival, had been doing a series of articles which introduces all of the 15 films in the main competition. I shuddered a little when he said that I have what it takes to become a Hou Hsiao-Hsien of the next generation. Very flattered, I'll try my best.

In truth, the works of Hou Hsiao-Hsien (and Edward Yang) were massive influences for RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS, since I was indeed doing a marathon of his older films just before shooting the film. :)



Tomorrow, I'm appearing on an online TV station to talk about the film. So much excitement!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

I was on TV to talk about RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS (Agenda Awani)


A week from now, I'll be flying off to Tokyo for the Tokyo Film Festival, where RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS will be making its world premiere.

Two weeks ago, before going off to Busan, I was on Agenda Awani to talk about my film. It was a great chat with host Kamarul Bahrin Haron. Thanks for having me there, Astro Awani.






Right now, I'm still trying very hard to fine-tune my trailer before uploading it!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Breast Cancer Awareness video I made

Two weeks ago, I posted about shooting a Breast Cancer Awareness video for Pink October, it featured the interviews with breast cancer survivors like my friend Claire Khoo, and family or friends of those who were touched by breast cancer.

The video was uploaded a couple of days ago while I was in Busan. Please please share this around.




THE SECOND LIFE OF THIEVES at Busan International Film Festival 2014

Just got back from Busan.

Ming Jin's new film SECOND LIFE OF THIEVES, which I produced, co-wrote and edited, had its world premiere at the Busan Film Fest.

I was there from Oct 5 to Oct 10.

I wasn't updating much on Facebook, but the others were. So I'll just share the Facebook updates here.

We arrived on Oct 5. Then we had some really spicy Korean food.




On Oct 6th, we had our screening.






Oct 7, we were signing some posters, as gifts for the cast. To celebrate this wonderful experience, and the end of this extraordinary journey we had while making SECOND LIFE OF THIEVES.





Oct 8th, we had our second screening!










Our exploits in Busan were reported on papers too. Yay!



Check out our actress Mayjune's photo album of the Busan Film Fest trip!



Wednesday, October 01, 2014

RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS in Tokyo International Film Fest main competition


The Tokyo International Film Festival announced its line-up yesterday. So it's official, RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS is going to the main competition section. (In fact, I already received the messages from friends at the moment of the press conference, the age of social media is awesome. And so fast!)

So this was the message I posted at night, when I finally got home.



It's official. My debut feature film River of Exploding Durians 榴莲忘返 is in the Main Competition of Tokyo International Film Fest, where it will make its world premiere. I would like to thank each and everyone who had helped me with this film, the cast and crew, from the leads to the extras. Each and every one of you made this happen, thank you for believing in this.

River of Exploding Durians is the first Malaysian film ever to be in Main Competition, we have made history together. Thank you so much for helping me fulfil my lifelong dream.

Woo Ming Jin Kong Pahurak TK Cheng Minimal Yossy Prapapan Kay Wong Teo Wey Yinn Liew Hanji Vince Cheong Ji Lian Kwan Zh Joe Liew Edward Yu Chee Boon Anas Aiman Husyn Matthew Roche Cheah Jie Juan Wilson Foo Yong Sheng Gabrielle Hooi Min Lee MonDay Yan Kenny Chua Eva Tan Eric Yeo Chik Soon Come Koe Shern Joey Leong Daphne Low Zhi-ying Zhu Nottei Yeong Ram Pd MayJune Tan Angel Chang Azman Hassan Loo Sheng Yau JT Josh Ivan Tai Kayce Koh Chin Hui Jasmine Chin-xm Aop'x Yee Theng Soulomon Tan Yi Yuan Justin Tay Yann Lim Yeet Sim Pearlly Chua Kinwah Chew Lee Chatametikool Gigs Siripun

(I'm sorry if I've left anyone out! I might not have you on FB!)

When I started making this film in January, I was angry at so many things, so many people. But as the shoot went on, I felt nothing but love and gratitude, every single second of the shoot was exciting. I absolutely loved it.
Congratulations for getting into main competition too, Khavn De La Cruz!

And congratulations to a couple of directors whose films are in Asian Future Competition: Jiekai Liao, Kiki Sugino and fellow Malaysian director Nik Amir (director of KIL) and Pepe Diokno! And Shingo Ota too, for getting into Japanese Splash! I'll see you all in Tokyo!



Since then, I've been getting quite a few congratulatory messages on Facebook, emails, Twitter, from friends, family and the media. I'm very grateful, and honoured. There were a couple of phone, email and Facebook interviews too.

I woke up and saw the news from the local media. In three different languages. It never happened to me before, as long as I could remember.

China Press newspaper. (I first read the article when it was shared by my cousin, who inspired a character named "Cousin Choong", played by actor Jonathan Lee, in the film!)



And then there was Cinema Online.




And even Astro Awani! (Which reinforced the fact that RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS made history.)



I even launched the poster today. Whoa!



The cast members of RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS had posted about this great news too.








Tomorrow morning I'm heading off to Puay Chai, my primary school, to give a talk to Standard 6 students. I hope I won't bore these 12-year-old kids.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Photos from a breast cancer awareness video shoot

I was in Bangkok doing the post-production for RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS when I saw an old acquaintance of mine, Claire Khoo, asking on Facebook whether anyone would be able to help her do a video about breast cancer awareness.

Claire, of course, was known as Minishorts back in the day and had a very popular blog. I've even done some guest posts for her. Those were almost 9 years ago. An eternity.

She is a breast cancer survivor too.

I decided to join the cause. Assembled a team to do a video where breast cancer survivors like Claire and many others, along with their friends and family, could share their stories. There are those who didn't survive, so their family members could tell their stories too.

Yesterday morning, I triumphantly declared the beginning of the shoot... but accidentally leaving out the "CANCER" in the "BREAST CANCER AWARENESS". As you can see from the comments, Comedy ensued.






TK, of course, posted way more good photos of the shoot.





And this was me, doing some directing stuff. (No, I really was just adjusting my hoodie)



I got Steve Long, a long-time friend and very experienced DoP (also a director) to shoot for me. It was our very first collaboration!



Gonna start syncing the audio and do my editing.

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