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Sunday, July 26, 2015


While I'm writing this, S.S. Rajamouli's BAAHUBALI: THE BEGINNING is the 4th top-grossing Indian film of all-time. (It's written by Vijayendra Prasad, the director's father)

The first film in a two-part epic, and reportedly the most expensive Indian film ever made, I didn't know about it until the few days leading up to its worldwide release, and was surprised to find out that the film was showing in Malaysia too!

After I saw the film last Friday, I couldn't stop raving about it! And I'm proud to say that I managed to convince some other friends to catch it too :D

Friday, July 17, 2015

Conversation with the family of Yasmin Ahmad

Today is Hari Raya Aidilfitri (Eid al-Fitr), and most of our brethren in the country are celebrating.

Aside from being a public holiday, Hari Raya is about seeking forgiveness from family and friends.

These beautiful values of familial love, friendship, forgiveness and compassion are reflected very much from the films of the late filmmaker Yasmin Ahmad.

Last week, for a documentary that Ming Jin's directing (I'm executive producing), we had the pleasure of interviewing Yasmin's parents, Pak Atan and Mak Inom, and sister, Orked. (yup, she's the namesake of the protagonist in the "Orked trilogy")

Thursday, July 16, 2015

James Lee's LAST DAYS OF SCHOOL and other touching father-daughter commercials

A few days ago, James Lee shared a link to LAST DAY OF SCHOOL, a short film he did for Singapore's NTUC Income OrangeAid. Along with his 2013 short FAMILY PORTRAIT 全家福, this is possibly his most heartwarming (and most unabashedly tearjerking) work ever.

Starring newcomer Evon Chua and James Lee regular Mike Chuah, this short film tells the story of Siew Fang, who is finishing high school and has big dreams, but she also has bigger responsibilities towards her family.

Having gotten nearly 70 000 views to date (60 000 from yesterday itself!), his short has became viral.

Watch this if you haven't.

Recently, I have been seeing a lot of touching father-daughter short films and commercials online. Despite not being a dad myself, most of these works have left me a little misty-eyed.

Therefore I'm going to share a few that I've stumbled upon in the last few weeks.

The first one's been pretty ubiquitous, not only had it dominate my Facebook newsfeed, it's been airing on TV as well. LOVING EYES, a Japanese Toyota advertisement (for its Safety Sense feature) which came out last month, shows the numerous car journeys taken by together by a father and his daughter, from the time she was a baby to when she had a baby of her own. The ingenuity of this ad is that it was done in first-person perspective, first seeing the events from the father's POV, and then from the daughter's POV. It really gives you the feels.

Another Japanese ad from last year, which I only got to watch for the very first time last week, is from Tosando Music School. During a wedding, the emcee announces that the father of the bride has a message for her. He steps over to the piano, she's confused because he doesn't know how to play the piano! She's fearful that her dad's going to embarrass her in front of public, until we start hearing the first few notes of Canon in D, and a shared memory begins unveiling itself.

Yesterday, during a meeting, I was shown this charming Metlife Hong Kong ad called MY DAD'S STORY: DREAM FOR MY CHILD (Cantonese version is here). I don't want to spoil this. It's framed by a little girl's essay on her dad. Although it's for Metlife Hong Kong, I believe this ad was shot in Thailand with Thai actors, since I recognized the little girl from last year's MY BEAUTIFUL WOMAN Wacoal ad, now, THAT was a great mother-daughter ad!)

There are way more of these touching father-daughter ads out there, but these are the great ones that I had the pleasure to watch recently.