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.

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