Pesta Perdana 2019 Media Conference

We are just a few days away from the actual Pesta Perdana event itself, relatively about 48 hours on the clock. Dunno why it took me this long to post this entry when the media conference event that took place to announce the nominees in the various award categories happened more than a month ago on 21st February 2019. A combination of being busy with several personal commitments, coupled with being lazy and procrastinating contributed somewhat to this very belated entry. I had half the mind to just skip doing it altogether seeing how short of a time I have to post this up with just a couple of days away. I just had to do it as the memory of the media conference itself, or rather its venue where it was held, was probably the best one I had attended in the history of this awards show. For the first time ever, the media conference was held at the beautiful Skai Suites on the 70th floor of Swissotel The Stamford, one of Singapore‘s iconic buildings and once billed as the tallest hotel in the world.

Mediacorp Suria’s prestigious television awards show, Pesta Perdana, will be held this year ‘live’ on Saturday, 30 March 2019 at the MES Theatre at Mediacorp. The event will be graced by Guest of Honour, Mr Zaqy Mohamad, Minister of State, Ministry of National Development and Ministry of Manpower. The biennial awards show, now into its 15th edition, honours the very best in local Malay television. This year’s show will be hosted by multi-talented actor, director and host, Khairudin Samsudin. As a celebratory prelude, fans had the opportunity to meet and greet their favourite celebrities and nominees in a special event called Viva Pesta! that was held on Saturday, 16 March 2019 at Mediacorp Campus Town Square. Hosted by A B Shaik and Farhana M. Noor, the event featured an exciting line up of immersive and interactive activities with delicious food and many instagram-worthy moments for the fans. In addition, fans at Viva Pesta! also attended a special prelude TV show, Pesta Perdana Ekstra! hosted by recently-minted Elit Suria winners, Hans Hamid and Hana Rosli. This show will air tomorrow on Friday, 29 March 2019 at 9.30pm on Mediacorp Suria.

Warna 94.2FM‘s Aura Shai was the host at the media conference…

A total of 31 awards will be given out at the Pesta Perdana awards ceremony from over 300 entries received between 1 January 2017 and 31 December 2018. Shortman Films’ social drama Bantal Buruk Saloma leads with 11 nominations while Mediacorp Eaglevision’s “Tujuh Hariis close behind with 10 nominations. This is followed by Flipside Stories’ “Mekah Di Hati and Millenia Motion Pictures’ “Tekan Minyak which are tied with 7 nominations each. In a nod to the budding new talents of the industry, this year’s Pesta Perdana boasts a total of 30 first time nominees in the performance and creative categories. Interestingly, for five celebrity families, it is all the more special as they are all up for nominations in the various categories and they are:

  • J.A. Halim, Aminah Ahmad, Helmindra & Fizah Nizam (Father, Mother, Son & Daughter-in-Law)
  • Sani Hussin & Rosita Hussin (Siblings)
  • Seriwahyuni Jaes & R. Azmann (Husband & Wife)
  • Faisal Ishak & Umie Isa (Husband & Wife)
  • Haslinna Ja’aman & Danial Nazim (Mother & Son)

Ms. Sabariah Ramilan, Head of Malay Audience & Eaglevision, Mediacorp addressing the guests at the media conference…

Other nominees include Papahan Film’s “SR115, winner of Best Original Screenplay at the Asian Academy Creative Awards 2018 and finalist at the New York Festivals TV & Films Awards 2019 for Drama and Best Screenplay categories; Xtreme Media’s “Swap Kerja Sr 2, finalist for Outstanding Variety Show category at the 4th Asia Rainbow TV Awards 2018, as well as Filmat36’s “Kembara Kasih Sr 3, nominee for Best Documentary category at the Venice TV Awards 2018 and finalist in the Community Service Programs category at the New York Festivals TV & Films Awards 2019. Two other nominated programmes, “Bonda and “Projek Kasih, are also recognised finalists at the New York Festivals TV & Films Awards 2019 for Drama Special and Variety Special category respectively.

Ms Sabariah Ramilan, Head of Malay Audience & Eaglevision, Mediacorp, said, “For nearly two decades, Mediacorp Suria has been working closely with local production houses and talents to ensure our programmes entertain, engage and remain relevant to our audiences. We are proud to see our programmes receive recognitions at the regional and international stage, but it is right here at Pesta Perdana that we celebrate and embrace the achievements of our homegrown talents.”

Hisyam Hamid being sandwiched by his missus, Mel Hanafi, and veteran actor, J.A. Halim

Though I agree with what was said, I did have a chat with several local personalities in different fields whom I will not name, who said a lot can be done after 15 editions of the awards show. For one and this has been mentioned extensively amongst the people in the industry, it would be nice to have monetary cash rewards to go along with the trophies they receive, something that we tend to see on some awards shows across the Causeway. However, to put things into perspective, Pesta Perdana is like our own local Malay version of the Emmy Awards. If we were to put it along parallel levels of such awards show (the Grammys and Oscars included), monetary awards are not given out, yet the prestige in winning speaks volumes for the artistes’ or production houses’ reputation, potential and quality. Monetary cash rewards means we need big sponsors pumping in big money. In reality, do we have that in the first place???

From left: Ryan Sufiyan, Razi Salam & M.K. Kash from Flipside Stories, and Fadhli Abdullah

For the Most Popular Male and Female Personality categories which are decided by voting, a prominent personality mentioned that it would also be nice if we were to take a leaf out of Channel 8‘s Star Awards show and crown the Top 5 or Top 10 from each category. Voters can have an initial choice of 30 from each category, 10 from the veterans, 10 from the current and the remaining 10 from the up-and-coming cohort. This particular system makes it an inclusive category and not leave the veterans forgotten or feel as though they are cast aside for younger, more good-looking and marketable personalities. I know for a long time, our local television scene has this tendency to favour looks over talents in the name of marketability, but I think it would not hurt at all to have the more veteran ones have their day in the sun. At least they know they have a place in the hearts of viewers and not just the young ones with better social media outreach. For the record, the public may cast their votes for the Most Popular Male and Female Personalities on toggle.sg/pestaperdana. Voting has been opened since 15 March 2019 and will officially close at 10.00pm on 30 March 2019.

Erwin Shah Dawson was seated next to fellow award nominees Aien Aksan (middle) and Batrisya Soffian

Another thing I would like to mention and this I feel is repeated like a bad record on my end cos I’ve said the same thing before in the past, is that certain categories can be expanded or introduced to include more production houses and not just solely limited to one. I have nothing against Mediacorp Eaglevision cos they, like all the other production houses, produce good and quality programmes on television. But when one category is dominated by just them, it doesn’t look quite good on paper as it looks as though it is favouritism, since they are producing this awards show after all, though I do note that this is probably an (only) avenue to honour their amazing in-house writers and producers. They can probably tweak the categories in future or as what I had mentioned in the past before, to have other production houses produce more of these Variety and Variety Special programmes on Suria, not just limited to them and being an in-house production company of Mediacorp. I think once in awhile, a different and fresh injection of ideas from others can produce a different kind of show on television. At least then we can deny the brickbats on social media that local television shows are one and the same.

From left: Atyy Malek, Endang Rahayu, Andy Idris and Huda Ali

With that said, I am looking forward to attending and covering this Saturday‘s event, as it is looking more likely that this will be the only awards show this year that local television will witness. I’ve heard and this has been confirmed by several people that my favourite awards show, Anugerah Planet Muzik, has been consigned to the history books, a big pity really, as this was an event that I looked forward to fervently every year, not only for the array of stars coming to perform and win the regional awards on offer, but also an avenue for our local musicians, artistes and songwriters to be recognised for their contributions to the music scene. My appeal to the powers-at-be is never to forget nor cast aside our local acts. Even if we were to resurrect the one-time Anugerah Hitz SG, I will be more than happy because this domain of mine was afterall first conceived, in the aim of supporting local music acts, though I sometimes blog on other regional acts on show here as well. Doing away with APM took a big chunk out of my interest in blogging and seriously speaking, I really lost interest and almost called it a day when I first heard the news. I guess that partly contributed to why I hummed and hawed before finally deciding to post this entry up.

A beaming Fadli Kamsani, who is now the latest face in Warna 94.2FM‘s stable, seated alongside his good friends, Danish Ashraf (left) and Farhana M. Noor

Pesta Perdana goes live on Mediacorp Suria at 8:30pm this Saturday, 30th March 2019. The Red Carpet event will be shown live on Mediacorp Suria‘s Facebook page from 6:30pm onwards.

Pesta Perdana 2019 Full List of Nominees

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Graphics Posters of Nominees courtesy of Mediacorp Suria…

Snapshots of Pesta Perdana 2019 Media Conference

Hilang Kasih Di Sarajevo Gala Premiere Screening Event

We are slightly more than three weeks into the new calendar year. It’s been three months since my last post and I know I still owe entries on Anugerah Planet Muzik 2018 as well as originally-planned reviews for Ruffedge‘s and Anuar Zain‘s concerts. Unfortunately, my home PC picked an inauspicious time to go bust, so I was rendered PC-less for some time, hence I was unable to do any updates till I’ve gotten myself a new one. However, it’s been a quarter of a year gone by, and frankly speaking, whatever I owe my readers are old news by now. So I’ll keep my thoughts on APM2018 till the next one comes around (if it does) or maybe I’ll hold my peace forever, if rumours of it being consigned to history books are true. As for the Ruffedge concert, all I can say is, it was a blast and one of the best concerts I’ve ever attended for the fact that I had absolute access to snap photos from close-up without having security or organisers stopping me from doing so. Even the fans had a whale of a night. How many sit-down concerts here can you say that audience are allowed to stand up, dance and sway without having security bugging you to sit down??? Can’t wait for the next Shiraz Project concert here in March with a certain number one singer from Malaysia

The cast of the “Hilang Kasih Di Sarajevo” seen here with their executive producers, Safiyuddin Razif and Nusaibah Abdul Rahim (fourth and fifth from the left)…

Sorry for taking a whole paragraph rambling. Now that I got the explanation for my missing-in-action out of the way, let’s start 2019’s first entry with a gala premiere screening event I attended slightly more than a fortnight ago on 4 January 2019 at the Gallery Theatre of National Museum of Singapore. This screening event was jointly held by Mediacorp Suria and local production company, Poetry In Motion, to promote the blockbuster drama series, “Hilang Kasih Di Sarajevo“, which has already been aired on the national free-to-air channel since 9 January 2019. This drama series stars award-winning actor, Hasnul Rahmat, Nurul Aini, Norman Ishak, Jeff Catz, Hamidah Wahab, Fir Rahman, Adlina Adil, Shenty Feliziana, Bella Putri as well as sees the return of Rima Melati Adams on our television screens after a decade-long hiatus. The show also sees the introduction of Malaysian model-host-actress-rapper Amelia Henderson, who bears a very striking resemblance to international film star Gal Gadot as well as several Bosnian actors and actresses. This drama series is directed and written by the husband-and-wife team of Faisal Ishak and Umie Isa, no strangers already on these shores.

RIA 89.7FM‘s morning show presenters, Nity Baizura and Hans Ashrie, were the hosts at the gala premiere screening event…

Hilang Kasih Di Sarajevo” drifts between modern day and flashbacks from the 90s when Bosnia-Herzegovina was plunged into a civil war and mass ethnic cleansing. The aforementioned war serves as the backdrop to the story being told in this drama series, centering on its main protagonist, Rahman Iskander (played by both Norman Ishak and Hasnul Rahmat) and how he was separated from his Bosnian wife Zana (played by Alisa Brkic and Olivera Blazevic) when the war broke out in Sarajevo where he was based. He was tortured at the hands of the Serbs but was eventually released and returned back to Singapore after being found and rescued by the United Nations‘ peacekeeping force. He went on to rebuild his life and eventually got married to supermodel Ramona (played by Rima Melati Adams), but he continues to pine and yearn for his lost love, slipping into depression as a result. Well that’s the gist of the story that I can relate to you having watched the brief 70-minute screening on the gala premiere night where a bulk of the scenes shown to the audience were from the first three episodes.

Director Faisal Ishak relating to the audience some of the challenges faced during the filming. With him are Executive Producers, Safiyuddin Razif and Nusaibah Abdul Rahim

What I am impressed about the drama series are the breathtaking scenery of Sarajevo, the cinematography, the visual quality of the series which resembles more like a movie than a drama series and of course the pace of how the storyline is being told, which feels just about right. If there are some shortcomings or minor lackings, I would have to say, the CGI effects could have been done much better. But we all know to implement CGI-effects into a production is not cheap and will probably take several production or animation houses to get it right. I think with the budget that they were working at, it should be applauded that a local production house was able to achieve the kind of positive qualities that I mentioned at the start of this paragraph. The gala screening event also had several sections of displays showcasing some of the props used in the drama production as well as serving Bosnian delicacies to go along with the main spread. Truly they pulled all the stops for us to immerse ourselves into the drama series even before it was shown proper on television.

One for the album with the main cast, writer, director, executive producers, soundtrack singer, hosts of the event and new Mediacorp Head Malay Audience & Eaglevision, Community and Content Groups, Mdm. Sabariah Ramilan (centre)…

Some of my closest friends who know my character and how much I appreciate beauty might say I would have been smittened by Amelia Henderson. They might probably be right, having seen and talked to her up close and personal that night, but they are far from the truth actually. The one who caught my eyes the most with her innocence and honesty in delivering her lines was none other than young Bella Putri, the child star who is making her acting debut in this drama series, her first foray in the local Malay entertainment scene, having done several commercial ads and voiceovers for other productions. One could easily hear the audience warming to her with sighs of “Awwww…” every time she came onscreen to speak, moreso when there was a particular scene where she was scolded by her uncle Rahman for dropping his prized painting on the floor. I think this little girl’s career is just about to get a major upturn henceforth and we’ll probably be seeing more of her on television. Try looking out for the commercial advertisement on Changi Airport‘s Terminal 4 and you’ll see this cute little one prancing around in the trailer.

Marcell singing the official soundtrack titled “Cinta Tersembunyi“…

The gala screening of “Hilang Kasih Di Sarajevo” was not complete without the presence of Indonesian heart-throb and soul crooner Marcell Siahaan, the singer of its soundtrack titled “Cinta Tersembunyi“. It’s like a nice package when you get Rima Melati to act in the drama series, you complete it by involving her husband to compose and sing the soundtrack to the series as well. And what a lovely composition the song is! I instantly fell in love with the song and as I watched the scenes unfolding during the screening as well as the first two episodes that have already been aired, I began to understand the meaning of its lyrics better. I won’t be surprised if this song is to be nominated in 2021‘s Pesta Perdana for Best Soundtrack. For the record, “Hilang Kasih Di Sarajevo” airs every Wednesday evenings at 9:30pm on Mediacorp Suria.  Would just like to say well done to the whole production team at Poetry in Motion and let’s hope they will produce more good programmes like this! Thank you too Mediacorp Suria for inviting yours truly to the gala premiere screening! 🙂

Snapshots of “Hilang Kasih Di Sarajevo” Gala Premiere Screening

 

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 2 Recap…

anugerahskrin2016promoposter

(Promotional graphics poster courtesy of Mediacorp Suria)

It’s been ages since I last blogged on a weekly basis. Am still trying to get back into that old groove again now that Anugerah Skrin has begun in earnest. I guess when you get older and priorities change, so too do our personal interests. The creative juices and writing flair are probably still up there in my head waiting to be released, just that they need a little coaxing and cajoling because I have been lull for quite some time. I just hope I don’t blabber unnecessarily and go off-point. Unlike the first episode’s recap, I’ll be a bit more thorough with my assessments for this week’s episode. That means I will be more critical of their respective performances. I hope the contestants reading my thoughts and observations will take my criticisms in their stride and try to improve where they might be lacking. There’s nothing personal whenever I pour forth my thoughts, just rational and objective, so do not take heart nor despair if my observations are deemed too critical for your liking.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 2 2016-02-02 001

This past Tuesday (2 February 2016), it was the turn of Group B to have made their television debut in this year’s competition. Ok maybe not all the ten featured made their official television debuts before this. One who is already familiar with the local Malay entertainment scene is Yaya Hamid, who has appeared in  several music video clips and promotional segments in programmes like Jus!, when she promoted her duet single “Jangan Main Cinta” with Hisyam Azmi some time back. As supporters of local Malay music would note, Yaya has released two solo singles “Taman Hati” & “Luar Biasa” before this, and was also featured in Haqym Mokhtar‘s “Semuanya Alright” music video. One could even note Yaya‘s unmistakable voice if you were to tune in to RIA 89.7FM these days and listen to her singing and rapping along to one of the station’s jingles, thanking its listeners for twenty-five years of loyal listenership. This competition is definitely different to what Yaya has been used to and she starts on a level playing field as the rest.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 2 2016-02-02 243

Sharon Ismail and Khairudin Samsudin were joined by Rosita Hussin on the judging panel…

Before I move on, I would just like to correct myself from my last entry when I said that Rilla Melati was mentoring Group A in hosting skill aspects. Based on the information that was shared this past Tuesday, Rilla is in fact mentoring both groups. I like the fact that her role as mentor this year will be of great asset to the contestants. I remember chatting with her after one of the episodes back in 2010 when she was one of the two resident judges. She had hopes then of one day mentoring and coaching the contestants and this year, she got her wish. I hope the contestants are taking in her lessons well along with their respective acting mentors. Speaking of mentors, Group B‘s mentor for acting is Azhar Nor Lesta. As for the judges, Rosita Hussin joined the judging panel as guest judge this past Tuesday.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 2 2016-02-02 045

Fadli Kamsani and Suharti Amy

Fadli Kamsani and Suharti Amy were given the honours to start off the night’s competition through their short hosting segment in the lead up to Syaiful Ariffin and Ain Zainal‘s acting performance. I found their hosting chemistry a little imbalanced in terms of energy, delivery and execution, which made for a little viewing discomfort on my part. While Suharti was presenting in a relaxed manner, Fadli came across as a bit hyper and formal at the same time, with a lot of hand gestures and movements. I like Suharti‘s voice tone and style though, it’s like she’s a natural fit to present info-ed shows in time to come.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 2 2016-02-02 346

As for their acting, I initially thought that Suharti‘s character was that of a student, or at least someone who was below twenty one years of age. Overall, their acting segment was generally good with Suharti‘s portrayal as a filial and concerned daughter, one of the better performances of the night. That was until Rosita commented that by right, Suharti‘s character was already supposed to be a married person. Due to that fact, I guess some points were taken away from Suharti for sounding a little kiddish. That last bit where Fadli‘s character had a heart attack was also a little unnecessary and too sudden though. Rosita was right when she said that there should have been a development leading up to that heart attack scare at the end.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 2 2016-02-02 182

Muhammad Mursyid and Yaya Hamid…

From Mursyid and Yaya‘s hosting segment, I was reminded that hosting itself is an art form and it is not easy to capture the attention of your viewers unless you are confident and well-equipped with what you wish to present. It was clear that they had rehearsed the whole thing, including the part where Yaya was supposed to ask Mursyid if he knew the meaning of the term “house husband” and he was supposed to butt in and say he didn’t know even before she could complete her sentence, as it was shown in one of their rehearsal video clips. Such things should come off naturally without looking as though it was staged. Facial expressions usually give away that fact. There were also several short pauses by Mursyid, probably his own jitters in trying to remember his lines. Yaya was ok, her endearing smile keeping things interesting between them, but it has to be said, she needs to run away from sounding kiddish. Right now, if I were to see her as a presenter, it would be more suited to children shows.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 2 2016-02-02 651

Right from the start, I just felt their acting segment was strange, in that they were switching from being serious to injecting humour and back to being serious in a matter of moments. Yaya‘s portrayal as a pregnant lady also did not come across as convincing, though I admit that I was looking at her as herself and not as the character she was supposed to be portraying. Even Sharon Ismail was not convinced with her portrayal though I would give marks to Yaya for playing the distressed role passably. The judges were quick to point out that Mursyid‘s character was seen flagging a cab when he came into the scene, whereas it was supposed to be Yaya‘s character who was supposed to “see” it first, a clear sign that logic and realism were not at play. Khairudin was also right to point out that Mursyid had played to the audience with his actions and movements. It would have probably worked well if this was a comedy skit for Mursyid, but sadly it was not. By the end of their segment, I had actually feared for their elimination, especially Mursyid.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 2 2016-02-02 253

Farid Azhar and Wirda Elliesa…

Before they went live with this short hosting segment, Wirda Elliesa was teased by wobby host Dyn Norahim during the commercial break due to her passing resemblance to Malaysian rock queen Ella, though I personally am reminded of Dangdut queen, Amelina instead when I look at her. Along with Suharti Amy, Wirda‘s voice was music to my ears that night. There’s a certain huskiness mixed with calm and assertiveness to her voice, making her a possible candidate for hosting serious programmes. Farid Azhar on the other hand did ok. However, if there was a weakness to his presentation style, it felt as though he was trying to protect whatever gold or valuable stuff he had in his mouth. He needs to open up a bit more, add a bit more zest to his voice and not dithering towards being deadpan and monotonous. As a whole, they had a working chemistry going.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 2 2016-02-02 858

Farid shocked the audience and even made yours truly a little startled when he began his acting segment by shouting at the top of his voice in frustration. As experts in the acting industry would often remind us, there are degrees to displaying anger and frustration and shouting at the top of the voice comes across as a bit amateurish, especially when he was overdoing it to stress on his level of frustrations. Farid also came across as rushed and like what Sharon had noted, I was also a bit puzzled as to why the lines suddenly switched from one possible scenario to another without giving them a better transition nor development. Wirda‘s portrayal as a physiotherapist was a good balance to Farid‘s angsty character though I felt she was a bit too touchy for comfort. Wirda though delivered her lines with the needed emotions and calming tone perfectly. The challenge for her now is to get meatier roles than this and to work on her facial expressions because there were moments when she looked like she had an evil agenda hidden when she smiled.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 2 2016-02-02 416

Syaiful Ariffin and Ain Zainal…

When I observed Syaiful Ariffin and Ain Zainal‘s hosting segment, I cannot help but feel that I was watching the hosts of a children’s television programme presenting. Something about their style and excessive facial expressions made me feel as such. Syaiful, the crooner with a host of other talents probably not known to the masses yet, tried his best to project different levels of voice projection and tone, though I struggle to see how it could have been useful to his presentation, especially when his partner was more relaxed than he was. Ain Zainal probably saved this segment between them by maintaining a level of calmness and not rushing through her lines. There are rough edges that’s for sure, but I think in time to come Ain might make a good host.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 2 2016-02-02 095

They had the unenviable task of opening the night’s proceedings via the all-important acting component. Overall, I felt Syaiful and Ain did commendably well as a team, feeding off one another and striking enough balance in emotions. Like the judges had pointed out, they had set the benchmark for the night. Being a freelance theatre practitioner and student, I have high expectations on Syaiful doing better than his other male counterparts and he did not disappoint. Maybe if there was a grouse that I could make, it was that his tears were more visible than Ain‘s when I personally feel that more of the feeling of hurt should have rested on Ain‘s shoulders. Ain it has to be said, has been a consistent performer since the audition rounds. I can see that she is able to carry off different and varying types of roles. Which will bode well for her in her quest to progress in this competition.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 2 2016-02-02 755

My initial fears on Yaya Hamid‘s possible elimination were doused when I observed how Yasmin Arissa fared during her hosting segment with Iskandar Shah. I guess it is safe to say that this segment probably brought down her overall score amongst the judges and signalled her elimination outright. Though from certain angles Yasmin reminds me of Adlina Adil, who was coincidentally watching live in the TV Theatre seated next to award-winning director M. Raihan Halim, there were no other notable similarities I could make between them. Her hosting was amateurish at best and she looked unsure at times, delivering her lines as though she was reading directly from the script. Iskandar Shah on the other hand was a bag full of confidence though I would caution him not to be over-confident and to be more a team player, cos he kinda showed a cocky side, as evident when he stole the limelight from Yasmin at the end of their short segment. Ok maybe that last part could have been planned earlier between them, but it didn’t make Yasmin look good in the end.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 2 2016-02-02 207

As for their acting, it was probably the same as their hosting segment, with Iskandar doing much better than Yasmin. Something about Yasmin that night showed that she was playing catch-up to her other competitors. For one, her delivery of lines and emotions were not up to par and it looked like she was having confidence issues that night. Or maybe her jitters just got the better of her. As for her sparring partner Iskandar, I can see that this kind of antagonist role given to him suits him to a T. He could probably ace bad boy roles given to him from now on without breaking into much of a sweat. But like what Khairudin had pointed out, he needs to be aware of his surroundings and know where his fellow actor is moving before turning towards their direction.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 2 2016-02-02 1061

The dejected look on Mursyid‘s face was evident, whereas Yasmin would probably have expected her fate…

It is only the second episode and the first for Group B. But I believe if there were comparisons to be made between the two groups since the start of the competition, the latter group probably shaded their Group A counterparts by virtue of learning from the first episode, how they could improve on their respective performances and applying it. Which also means, the standard and learning curve would probably go up as the weeks progress, which definitely bodes well cos we want to see improvements made by all the contestants and not remain stagnant or even dropping to unwanted levels. I am still undecided if I would do a weekly assessment every week right up till the Grand Finals. I might continue doing so or I might not. It all depends on my personal commitments for the week. Till then I hope I have been honest enough with my personal observations…

Snapshots of Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 2

Pesta Perdana 13 Snapshots

PP13

It has been a fortnight since Pesta Perdana 13 was upon us. A lot of post-event thoughts and comments were made on the winners or what happened during the event itself, some of which have been downright vile and preposterous in my opinion, but that is something I will discuss on another day. I am still in the midst of editing the 3400-odd photographs I snapped that night but just to satiate your wait, I’ll be sharing selected photographs I took during the pre-event cocktail reception, during commercial breaks as well as during the post-event reception in this entry. Hope this will be a good filler before I share my after-thoughts… 🙂

Pesta Perdana 13 Media Conference

pp13mediaconference

Graphics photo courtesy of Mediacorp Suria

The bienniel Pesta Perdana event, will make its long-awaited return this 28 March 2015 at the Mediacorp TV Theatre. The prestigious awards, now into its thirteenth edition, aims to recognise, acknowledge and honour the best talents in the local Malay television industry. It will also take viewers down memory lane with this year’s 50’s theme, in line with the ongoing SG50 celebrations. Pesta Perdana 13 (PP13) attracted more than 145 entries from 13 local production houses who are vying for top honours in the fiercely contested programme and performance award categories. A total of 32 awards and a special Lifetime TV Achievement award are up for grabs this year.

Pesta Perdana 13 Media Conference 2015-03-04 002

The PP13 media conference event was held at The Ballroom @ East Coast

This highly anticipated event, which will be the final time the awards show is held at the current Caldecott Broadcast Centre‘s Andrew Road premises before shifting to One North later this year, also offers Suria viewers the opportunity to become judges as they vote for the Most Popular Male Personality and Most Popular Female Personality categories respectively. Voting for Popular categories have started since yesterday, 14 March 2015, and will run till 28 March 2015 at 9.30pm. The results will be based entirely on public voting and will be announced on the night of PP13. Votes can be submitted through these platforms:
  1. Mobile App: Toggle Now
  2. Website: xinmsn.com/pestaperdana
  3. Facebook: fb.com/mediacorpsuria

 

Code details are as follows:

 

MOST POPULAR MALE PERSONALITY

  • Fir Rahman – Code: L1
  • Hisyam Hamid – Code: L2
  • Imam Shah – Code: L3
  • Norman Ishak – Code: L4
  • Syarif SleeQ – Code: L5

MOST POPULAR FEMALE PERSONALITY

  • Farhana M Noor – Code: W1
  • Mastura Ahmad – Code: W2
  • Nadiah M Din – Code: W3
  • Nurul Aini – Code: W4
  • Wahyu Rahman – Code: W5

Pesta Perdana 13 Media Conference 2015-03-04 016

The media conference was hosted by Fiza O and Fauzie Laily

I had the honour of being invited to attend the PP13 Media Conference held at The Ballroom @ East Coast on 4 March 2015, to announce all the award nominees. The event venue, as some of you might have known by now, is owned by Warna 94.2FM‘s A. B. Shaik. The media conference event saw the hosting chemistry of RIA 89.7FM‘s Fiza O and Fauzie Laily rekindled. Both of them had a field day tickling the guests with their witty and funny quips. They were also dressed according to the theme of the awards show this year, which is 50s Vintage. The event also saw Hyrul Anuar performing the theme song for Pesta Perdana, “Malam Gemilang“, accompanied by two of his good friends from AltoAura, Reyza Hamizan and Azura Goh.

Pesta Perdana 13 Media Conference 2015-03-04 054

Hyrul Anuar performing “Malam Gemilang“…

From the list of nominees announced this year, I note the wave of newer and younger generation of actors being nominated for their respective roles in the last two years. Which can only be good for the local entertainment industry, as they continue to hone their craft and complement the established and veterans in the scene. I’m also happy to see the likes of Farhana M Noor and Izyan Mellyna being nominated for Most Promising Actor / Actress. As I’ve said before in this blog, they have caught my eyes for their talent and potential, which can only get better. But do not discount the others nominated in their category. Asraf Amin, Atyy A. Malek (Nurhayati Abdul Malek) and Faizal Rahman will give them a run for their money.

Pesta Perdana 13 Media Conference 2015-03-04 081

Madam Zakiah Halim addressing the guests…

This year, there are also additions from Malaysia in the nominations list. The last Pesta Perdana event saw one nominee, Fauziah Nawi, whereas this year sees Iqram Dinzly, Keith Foo and Sharnaaz Ahmad being nominated. When asked by Berita Harian entertainment journalist Shahida Sarhid about the influx of Malaysian artistes into the nominations list, Mediacorp Malay Segment‘s head, Madam Zakiah Halim explained that they welcome the presence of the Malaysian actors over here, just like how our very own actors are welcomed over there and being nominated in several of their awards shows. This is good not only for bilateral exchange, but also the sharing of knowledge as well as good sparring in acting for both sets of countries’ actors. And I couldn’t agree more. I believe our actors can benefit from working with some of these actors, in turn even paving the way for them to work across the Causeway and hopefully, beyond.

Pesta Perdana 13 Media Conference 2015-03-04 107

Keith Foo certainly looked delighted with his nomination…

Pesta Perdana 13 will be telecast live on Mediacorp Suria on 28 March 2015 at 8:30pm. This year’s show will be hosted by Suhaimi Yusof and Huda Ali and the guest-of-honour will be Member of Parliament, Mr. Zaqy Mohamad. I end this entry with the full list of nominations as well as photographs taken during the media conference event.

Pesta Perdana 13 Nominations List

CATEGORY 1: PELAKON LELAKI TERBAIK DALAM WATAK UTAMA – DRAMA BERSIRI(BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE – DRAMA SERIES)
Ashmi Roslan Walimah Sr 2 Oak 3 Films
Iqram Dinzly Kes 253 Oak 3 Films
Sani Hussin Di Luar Garisan Sr 1 MediaCorp Eaglevision
Sharnaaz Ahmad Danny Flipside Stories
Syarif SleeQ Belah Hati DV Studio

 

 

 

CATEGORY 2:PELAKON WANITA TERBAIK DALAM WATAK UTAMA – DRAMA BERSIRI(BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE – DRAMA SERIES)
Ariati Tyeb Papar Kes 253 Oak 3 Films
Elfaeza Ul Haq Danny Flipside Stories
Hashimah Hamidon Mengejar Mentari MediaCorp Eaglevision
Izyan Mellyna Walimah Sr 2 Oak 3 Films
Nadiah M Din Danny Flipside Stories

 

 

 

CATEGORY 3: PELAKON LELAKI TERBAIK DALAM WATAK PEMBANTU – DRAMA BERSIRI(BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – DRAMA SERIES)
A. Mahadi Mengejar Mentari MediaCorp Eaglevision
Abdullah Ahmad Belah Hati DV Studio
Fadhlur Rahman 9 Nyawa Oak 3 Films
Nick Mikhail Kasih Berbisik MediaCorp Eaglevision
Taufiq Salleh Danny Flipside Stories

 

 

CATEGORY 4: PELAKON WANITA TERBAIK DALAM WATAK PEMBANTU – DRAMA BERSIRI(BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – DRAMA SERIES)
Adlina Adil Di Luar Garisan Sr 1 MediaCorp Eaglevision
Ateeqah Mazlan Belah Hati DV Studio
Farhana M Noor Belah Hati DV Studio
Haryani Othman R&D Shortman Films
Nurijah Sahat Danny Flipside Stories

 

 

 

CATEGORY 5: PELAKON LELAKI TERBAIK DALAM WATAK UTAMA – DRAMA KHAS / ANTOLOGI(BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE – DRAMA SPECIAL / ANTHOLOGY)
Keith Foo Raya Sempurna Flipside Stories
Najib Soiman Pesan Ayah Blue River Pictures
Nick Mikhail Bingit Sr 2 MediaCorp Eaglevision
Sharnaaz Ahmad Cinta Ramadan Flipside Stories
Zaidi Ibrahim Raya Bersama MediaCorp Eaglevision

 

 

 

CATEGORY 6:PELAKON WANITA TERBAIK DALAM WATAK UTAMA – DRAMA KHAS / ANTOLOGI(BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE – DRAMA SPECIAL / ANTHOLOGY)
Aishah Ahmad Ingat Tak Mak DV Studio
Halimah Ismail Ingat Tak Mak DV Studio
Rosita Hussin Kasih Ibu DV Studio
Seriwahyuni Jaes Raya Bersama MediaCorp Eaglevision
Siti Hajar Bingit Sr 2 MediaCorp Eaglevision

 

CATEGORY 7: PELAKON LELAKI TERBAIK DALAM WATAK PEMBANTU – DRAMA KHAS / ANTOLOGI(BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – DRAMA SPECIAL / ANTHOLOGY)
Hasif Nasir Papa Kool Element Pictures
Jeff Catz Ingat Tak Mak DV Studio
Junaidi Sali Ingat Tak Mak DV Studio
Sani Hussin Pesan Ayah Blue River Pictures
Zaidi Ibrahim Pesan Ayah Blue River Pictures

 

 

 

CATEGORY 8: PELAKON WANITA TERBAIK DALAM WATAK PEMBANTU – DRAMA KHAS / ANTOLOGI(BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – DRAMA SPECIAL / ANTHOLOGY)
Junaidah Ekhsan Raya Bersama MediaCorp Eaglevision
Maiya Rahman Bingit Sr 1 MediaCorp Eaglevision
Mastura Ahmad Bingit Sr 2 MediaCorp Eaglevision
Nurul Akhmar Ingat Tak Mak DV Studio
Rahimah Rahim Tetap Anak Papa Thinkplate

 

 

 

CATEGORY 9: PELAKON TERBAIK DALAM WATAK KOMEDI (BEST ACTOR / ACTRESS IN A COMEDY ROLE)
Alias Kadir Bubur Masjid Air Katira Sr 1 MediaCorp Eaglevision
Era Farida Bubur Masjid Air Katira Sr 2 MediaCorp Eaglevision
Khairudin Samsudin Sinar Lebaran 2014 MediaCorp Eaglevision
Suhaimi Yusof R&D Shortman Films
Suhaimi Yusof Sinar Lebaran 2014 MediaCorp Eaglevision

 

 

 

CATEGORY 10: PELAKON HARAPAN TERBAIK (MOST PROMISING ACTOR / ACTRESS)
Asraf Amin Belah Hati DV Studio
Faizal Rahman Rima Hatiku MediaCorp Eaglevision
Farhana M Noor Belah Hati DV Studio
Izyan Mellyna Walimah Sr 2 Oak 3 Films
Norhayati Malik Bingit Sr 2 MediaCorp Eaglevision

 

 

 

CATEGORY 11: PENGACARA TERBAIK – HIBURAN(BEST HOST – VARIETY)
Khairudin Saharom Sinaran Hati 2013 MediaCorp Eaglevision
Khairudin Samsudin Maintain Sr 2  Mediamorphosis
Khairudin Samsudin Te:Ra Seh 1.0 MediaCorp Eaglevision
Nurul Aini Kita Gerek Sr 2 Dua M
Syirah Jusni POP MediaCorp Eaglevision

 

 

 

CATEGORY 12: PENGACARA TERBAIK – RANCANGAN INFORMASI(BEST HOST – INFO-ED)
Dalina Jaapar Kembara Kasih Filmat36
Hazlina Halim Terbit  DV Studio
Najip Ali Kita Orang Singapura Sr 1 MediaCorp Eaglevision
Nurul Akhmar Jus Sr 6 MediaCorp Eaglevision
Rilla Melati Rudy & Rilla Sr 4 MediaCorp Eaglevision

 

CATEGORY 13: BINTANG CILIK TERBAIK (BEST YOUNG STAR)
Ahmad Sirhan Cobaan Kassim Selamat Dua M
Ahmad Sirhan SAM MediaCorp Eaglevision
Danish Putra Belah Hati DV Studio
Dayang Nur Balqis Danny Flipside Stories
Nyla Esman Ingat Tak Mak DV Studio

 

 

 

CATEGORY 14: DRAMA TERBAIK (BEST DRAMA SERIES)
Belah Hati DV Studio
Bingit Sr 2 MediaCorp Eaglevision
Danny Flipside Stories
Mengejar Mentari MediaCorp Eaglevision
Walimah Sr 2 Oak 3 Films

 

 

 

CATEGORY 15: DRAMA KHAS TERBAIK (BEST DRAMA SPECIAL)
Ingat Tak Mak DV Studio
Kasih Ibu DV Studio
Pesan Ayah Blue River Pictures
Raya Sempurna Flipside Stories
Tetap Anak Papa Thinkplate

 

CATEGORY 16: RANCANGAN HIBURAN TERBAIK (BEST VARIETY SERIES)
King Juara Memasak Mediamorphosis
Kita Gerek Sr 2 Dua M
Maintain Sr 2 Mediamorphosis
SG Mania MediaCorp Eaglevision
Te:Ra Seh 2.0 MediaCorp Eaglevision

 

 

 

CATEGORY 17: RANCANGAN HIBURAN KHAS TERBAIK (BEST VARIETY SPECIAL)
Anugerah Planet Muzik 2014 MediaCorp Warna, Ria & Eaglevision
Projek Kasih 2013 MediaCorp Eaglevision
Projek Kasih 2014 MediaCorp Eaglevision
Sinar Lebaran 2014 MediaCorp Eaglevision
Viva Elektra MediaCorp Eaglevision

 

 

 

CATEGORY 18: RANCANGAN INFORMASI TERBAIK (BEST INFO-ED PROGRAMME)
Di Hujung Pelangi Media Reel
Kembara Kasih Filmat36
Kita Orang Singapura Sr 1 MediaCorp Eaglevision
Percaya Lagi DV Studio
 Terbit DV Studio

 

CATEGORY 19: RANCANGAN KANAK-KANAK TERBAIK (BEST CHILDREN’S PROGRAMME)
Buli Baik MediaCorp Eaglevision
Kisah Kita MediaCorp Eaglevision
Mat Yoyo Berhari Raya MediaCorp Eaglevision
O.M.G DV Studio
SAM MediaCorp Eaglevision

 

 

 

CATEGORY 20: ARAHAN TERBAIK – DRAMA (BEST DIRECTING – DRAMA)
Bingit Sr 2: Bayangan Sepi Nasir & Team MediaCorp Eaglevision
Bingit Sr 2: Fantasi Biru Sanif Olek & Team MediaCorp Eaglevision
Ingat Tak Mak Zulanan Ahmad DV Studio
Raya Sempurna Razi Salam Flipside Stories
Tetap Anak Papa Seriwahyuni Jaes, Diana Salim Thinkplate

 

 

 

CATEGORY 21: ARAHAN TERBAIK – HIBURAN (BEST DIRECTING – VARIETY)
Anugerah Planet Muzik 2014 Fadila A. Wahid MediaCorp Eaglevision
SG Mania Zaharian Osman, Samri Badi MediaCorp Eaglevision
Sinar Lebaran 2014 Zaharian Osman, Fadila A Wahid MediaCorp Eaglevision
Te:Ra Seh 1.0 Fadila A. Wahid, Zaharian Osman MediaCorp Eaglevision
Viva Elektra Fadila A Wahid, Zaharian Osman & Team MediaCorp Eaglevision

 

CATEGORY 22: SKRIP TERBAIK – DRAMA (BEST WRITING – DRAMA)
Bingit Sr 1: Wajah-Wajah Amanah Mustafi MediaCorp Eaglevision
Bingit Sr 2: Aku dan Avatar Wan Firzaleenazrah MediaCorp Eaglevision
Ingat Tak Mak Haryani Othman, Janet Liau DV Studio
Pesan Ayah TT Dhavamanni,Manoj Prabhoda Chandran,Aidli Mosbit, Seriwahyuni Jaes Blue River Pictures
Raya Sempurna Razi Salam Flipside Stories

 

 

 

CATEGORY 23: SKRIP TERBAIK – HIBURAN (BEST WRITING – VARIETY)
Anugerah Planet Muzik 2014 Linilidia Abdul Hamid MediaCorp Eaglevision
Kita Gerek Sr 2 Ferlini Fandi, Aisyah Mohd Nooh Dua M
SG Mania Netty Fiona Othman MediaCorp Eaglevision
Sinar Lebaran 2014 Netty Fiona Othman MediaCorp Eaglevision
Viva Elektra Wan Firzaleenazrah MediaCorp Eaglevision

 

 

 

CATEGORY 24: SKRIP TERBAIK – INFORMASI (BEST WRITING – INFO-ED)
Di Hujung Pelangi Julianawarti Jumali,Seriwahyuni Jaes Media Reel
Jus Sr 6 Johari Aziz MediaCorp Eaglevision
Percaya Lagi Haryani Othman DV Studio
Rudy & Rilla Sr 4 Linilidia Abdul Hamid MediaCorp Eaglevision
Terbit  Haryani Othman DV Studio

 

 

CATEGORY 25: VIDEOGRAFI TERBAIK – DRAMA (BEST VIDEOGRAPHY – DRAMA)
Bingit Sr 2 Sofyan Daud MediaCorp Eaglevision
Cinta Ramadan Noor Azam Sheriff Flipside Stories
Ingat Tak Mak Faizal Ramli DV Studio
Raya Sempurna Noor Azam Sheriff Flipside Stories
Tetap Anak Papa Harrywanto Thinkplate

 

 

 

CATEGORY 26: SUNTINGAN TERBAIK – DRAMA (BEST EDITING – DRAMA)
Belah Hati DV Studio Post DV Studio
Bingit Sr 2 Flashforward MediaCorp Eaglevision
Ingat Tak Mak  DV Studio Post DV Studio
Kasih Ibu DV Studio Post DV Studio
Mengejar Mentari  Flashforward MediaCorp Eaglevision

 

 

 

CATEGORY 27: DESAIN PEMBUKAAN TERBAIK (BEST OPENING TITLE DESIGN)
9 Nyawa Oak 3 Films Oak 3 Films
Anugerah Planet Muzik 2014 Post Office MediaCorp Warna & Ria
Bingit Sr 1 Flashforward MediaCorp Eaglevision
Kembara Kasih Filmat36 Filmat36
Maintain Sr 2 Safiyuddin Razif Mediamorphosis

 

 

CATEGORY 28: REKAAN IMEJ TERBAIK (BEST IMAGE & STYLING)
Bingit Sr 2 Intan MediaCorp Eaglevision
Maintain Sr 2 Razinna Nuri Mediamorphosis
Sinar Lebaran 2014 Fatimah Mohsin & Team MediaCorp Eaglevision
Te:Ra Seh 1.0 Fatimah Mohsin & Team MediaCorp Eaglevision
Viva Elektra Fatimah Mohsin & Team MediaCorp Eaglevision

 

 

 

CATEGORY 29:  LAGU TEMA TERBAIK (BEST THEME SONG)
Belah Hati Belah Hati Composer: Zulanan AhmadLyricist:  Zulanan AhmadSinger: Sofia Arissa DV Studio
Bingit Sr 1 Mental Composer: Reyza HamizanLyricist: Reyza Hamizan / Tukang KataSinger: Eiss feat Tukang Kata MediaCorp Eaglevision
Mengejar Mentari Mengejar Mentari Composer: Sulaiman WahabLyricist: Nizam RahmanSinger: Maiya Rahman MediaCorp Eaglevision
Rima Hatiku Rima Hatiku Composer: Reyza HamizanLyricist: Reyza HamizanSinger: Rima Hatiku Cast feat Sezairie Sezali MediaCorp Eaglevision
Walimah Sr 2 Kini dan Selamanya Composer: Reyza HamizanLyricist: Reyza HamizanSinger: Ashmi Roslan and Izyan Mellyna Oak3 Films

 

 

 

CATEGORY 31:  PERSONALITI LELAKI PALING POPULAR (MOST POPULAR MALE PERSONALITY)
Fir Rahman Code: L1
Hisyam Hamid Code: L2
Imam Shah Code: L3
Norman Ishak Code: L4
Syarif Code: L5

 

CATEGORY 32:  PERSONALITI WANITA PALING POPULAR (MOST POPULAR FEMALE PERSONALITY)
Farhana M Noor Code: W1
Mastura Ahmad Code: W2
Nadiah M Din Code: W3
Nurul Aini Code: W4
Wahyu Rahman Code: W5

Banting Film Premiere

BantingPoster

(Graphics poster courtesy of Papahan Films)

Ok I know I promised you in the last entry that my next one would be my review on Anugerah Planet Muzik 2014. However, after attending the film premiere of Banting (or Slam! in English) this past Friday 24th October 2014 at the The Grand Cathay Cineplex, I have decided to prolong your wait for quite a bit as this movie takes precedence. Editing photographs I took the other night, which were less than a hundred, is much easier than going through 3500-odd photographs to be included in my entry. Hence you can regard this as sort of a filler entry before I speak about APM2014 again. Anyway I would first and foremost like to thank Papahan Films, especially Ms. Nurazleena Ramli, the person in-charge of the film’s publicity, for the kind invitation. In my ten years of entertainment blogging, this was indeed my first film premiere invite and I was honoured to attend with the missus.

So what is Banting all about??? Well, I will be paraphrasing this paragraph and the next, since I’m taking them out from what has been typed in its official website (Credits to Papahan Films). The film tells a story of a twenty-four year old Yasmin Muhammad (played by the likeable Izyan Mellyna) who barely has the most exciting life, with a strict mother and religious upbringing. Yasmin is also sick when she’s being judged all the time for wearing a Hijab or sees discrimination upon women who don it. She wonders if a Hijab girl will ever be able to do what most normal girls can do. Things change when Yasmin chances upon a professional wrestling gym and does the unthinkable: she secretly signs up as a wrestler!!! Soon, Yasmin is trading her Hijab for a mask and her awkwardness with unbridled high-flying moves as she becomes her alter-ego, the fearsome Zarith Blade!!! (The name Zarith is I believe, a tribute to director M. Raihan Halim‘s wife, Zarith Sofia

Banting Premiere 2014-10-24 037

The film cast and director seen here being photographed with guest-of-honour, Minister for Communications & Information, Mr. Yaacob Ibrahim

But “laying the smackdown” on people is not what Yasmin is meant to do in life. At least not according to her conservative and very strict mother, Halimah (played by the respected Mastura Ahmad). Yasmin hides her new passion from Halimah and for good reason. Halimah’s idea of having her good Muslim daughter clashes with the life of a professional wrestler clothes-lining and slamming people before a cheering crowd. Things take a precarious turn when Yasmin’s secret double life is threatened to be exposed. And Yasmin finds herself in her most important match ever: wrestling (a.k.a. convincing) her mother to give her the chance to keep her dream alive!!! Will she succeed??? Well, I will not divulge or give you any spoilers as the only way to find out is to watch the movie.

Honest-to-goodness, I am not good at reviewing movies. I’m also the kind who will pay scant respect to movie reviews unless I’m really sceptical of its storyline and need to read first before investing my money to watch it. So my views here might differ from those who watch movies looking at technical aspects and nitty-gritty details. As a watching audience, I want to be entertained, to have a feel-good factor even after the rolling credits are done and to smile just reminiscing about the movie. Banting ticked all three boxes in my list. I am also sure the rest who attended the film premiere, which was by the way, resembled a mini Pesta Perdana event with so many personalities in the local Malay entertainment scene in attendance, walked away with smiles on their faces and encouraging words being heard exchanged between them outside the theatre.

Banting Premiere 2014-10-24 035

It’s a wrestling movie, so a bit of fierceness being shown here by the film cast, producer and director along with Minister Yaacob Ibrahim

Banting in all honesty after watching it, is so close to my heart. I grew up watching wrestling, had great wrestling matches at the high jump mattress at Serangoon JC with my friends when we were in secondary school. I also used to wrestle my cousins on our respective beds and till now I still do practise some of the safer moves with my daughters and nephews. Up till this day, I religiously read the weekly World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) RAW reports just to keep up with what is happening in the WWE. We all know the storylines and moves in wrestling are fake, even Banting revealed a bit of that, but it keeps us entertained, like a soap opera, willing the good guys on and wishing the bad guys would just shut up and lose. Banting tried to create that and the wrestling fanboy in me was suitably impressed to an extent.

I take my hat off to the wrestling girls played by Gloria Tan, Abigail Chay, Syaza Qistina Tan, Ashley Erianah and Joanne-Marie Sim, besides Izyan Mellyna of course. Wrestling is not easy for ladies and I sometimes detect how difficult it is, even for the professional ones in WWE to execute some of their moves. They did try to create a convincing outlook in their matches and some of the moves did look great and believable. The person or persons who trained them can take heart that these girls did their utmost best and done well. Not easy to look pretty and having to suffer bumps, cuts and bruises in the process. I’m sure during the course of filming, the girls have taken slight knocks and injuries from botching their moves, but this is all part and parcel of filming, especially action scenes.

Banting Premiere 2014-10-24 043

Another “garang” pose, this time with the film poster backdrop in the background…

Other than the wrestling aspect of the movie, the film resonates with me because of the life being led by the lead character herself and her sister Nissa (played by Adlina Adil). Like the movie, I have two young daughters myself and it has probably given me an advanced glimpse of what the future might be in for me when they eventually grow up and be young women with their own dreams and aspirations. They will have their own interests and likes which will differ to or contrast with what we want or expect from them. We are also living in a generation where everything needs to be explained with logic and rationale, without being too strict and hard-handed, lest the kids will turn rebellious and lie at the first available opportunity. During our parents’ time, a raised eyebrow, a wave of the cane, a slight raise in tone of voice, a wag of the finger and a simple “No!!!” usually would do the trick. Now no more. And what’s more, I see some of the character traits of Yasmin (the younger daughter in the movie) similar to that of my younger one – Steely, determined, fiesty, independent and strong-willed.

A good movie needs to have a good balance in how the actors bounce off each other. I see a lot of that in this movie, from the leads right down to the supporting cast. I just find the Atok character played by legendary actor Osman Zailani, very endearing. It even made me miss my own late grandfather who defended me at the slightest opportunity when my father would flare up with me when I was younger. As for Fauzie Laily who plays Yasmin‘s BFF, Zaidy, words cannot describe how proud I am for my old friend at his achievement on becoming a film star. He brought his A-game in this movie and he has improved so much since his first stab at acting in “Teman Anugerahku” back in 2005. Watching him in the movie is just like knowing him in real life. The characters in reel and real life are just too similar, the jokes and teasings, as well as the sound advices, are what I have been accustomed to from knowing Fauzie since he was still the scrawny teen from Temasek Polytechnic. Oh by the way, I like that Fauzie looked a bit chubby in this movie. Hahaha…

Banting Premiere 2014-10-24 054

The lead actors in Banting: Fauzie Laily, Adlina Adil, Izyan Mellyna and Mastura Ahmad

While I do not need to wax lyrical on the likes of Mastura Ahmad and Adlina Adil, because we know what accomplished actresses they are both on television and theatre, I feel that as a relatively newbie in the scene, Izyan Mellyna has all the attributes to be Singapore‘s very own Sharifah Amani. I cannot describe in words why I feel this way, but if there is a reference point I can compare her to, then Sharifah Amani is the one. Ok I used the word “newbie”, but really Izyan is already an experienced hand in the scene having been a child star during the days of “Ya Alif” and also has theatre background. It’s just that television viewers have been warming up to her since the start of 2014 when Walimah, followed by TeRaSeh! 2.0, Di Luar Garisan 2 and Walimah 2 came along. Along with Nurfarhana M. Noor, Izyan Mellyna is the name and talent to watch in our local Malay entertainment scene. See them soar and progress over the years, they will only get better.

Banting, is not just your typical light-hearted comedy. It brings with it moments of anxiety, also tugs a bit on our emotions (yes some people I know cried at some of the scenes :P). Above all, it feels very Singaporean and relates so much to the average Malay family here, the challenges we face as a society, as individuals, having to chase our dreams and having to appease our older folks in matters sometimes beyond our comprehension or will. Then there are the conflicts of interests. Somehow, somewhere, for those of us who have watched this movie, we can relate to them and agree that at some point of time in our lives, we have been through those kind of situations before, whether to listen to our instincts and passion or stick to the tried-and-tested success formulas. Director M. Raihan Halim and his team at Papahan Films have done well to potray all that I have mentioned either directly or subtly in the movie.

Banting Premiere 2014-10-24 079

Executive producer Edmund D. Lim addressing the audience along with fellow executive co-producer and director, M. Raihan Halim, before the film commenced…

The film, which is brought to you by the same people who produced award-winning television shows like “Yazid Pakai Lampin“, “Mr. Perfect“, “Papa Rock” and “Step Puteri” amongst others, will hopefully usher in a new era of film-making and revive the local Malay film industry which has long been decimated since the demise of the Jalan Ampas studio. I will not go as far as to put undue pressure on M. Raihan Halim and declare that he is now the messiah of the revolution, but in a way, he has taken steps to break down the walls of barrier and shown fellow local Malay film-makers that it is possible to take the plunge and tread where others do not dare. He stands tall with his team from Papahan Films that such a move can be done. I share their pride at seeing their dream materialise and realised and I was honoured to have witnessed the momentous and ground-breaking occasion. Please do support and watch Banting when it is out officially at the theatres this Friday 31st October 2014 onwards and you will understand the same pride that most, if not all of us who came for the film premiere feel and share till now…