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

 

Ratu Media Conference…

As always when it comes to big events happening in our local entertainment scene, this domain will always be one of the last, if not the last, to post something on it. For the uninitiated, Mediacorp Suria, along with Metrowealth International Group (MIG) from Malaysia, have teamed up and collaborated to bring you “Ratu“, an upcoming beauty-cum-talent competition on the local Malay television channel. To be hosted by Fauzie Laily and Marina Yusoff, this weekly competition will run for eight weeks beginning this coming Tuesday 27 November 2012 and will air every Tuesdays at 8:30pm. The Grand Final, which will be a two-hour affair, is slated to air on 15 January 2012, same time, same channel. The competition is also proud to welcome onboard RitaBella, or in fact the company that distributes the products, Forever Beauty Professionals, as its principal sponsors.

Along with resident judges Hafeez Glamour and former beauty queen, Nuraliza Osman, each weekly episode will have a different guest judge who will assess the contestants according to the weekly themes and challenges in various scenarios (cooking, culture, media & television, sports etc.). Unlike the different Anugerah competitions we have had over the years, this one will be solely judged by the esteemed panel of judges. The winner can look forward to being the new face of Suria, a cash prize worth $10,000, opportunity to become the new product ambassador for Ritabella and best of all, get to act in an upcoming movie / drama series produced by Metrowealth International Group, which has produced household names in the Malaysian entertainment industry like Shaheizy Sam, Pierre Andre, Maya Karin and Intan Ladyana amongst others. There will also be subsidiary awards like Ratu Elegan, Ratu Kebaya and Ratu Popular. The latter award will be the only one that will be determined by viewers’ votes via Mediacorp Suria‘s Facebook page.

A media conference was held on 14 November 2012 at the newly-opened Mamanda Restaurant, to introduce all sixteen finalists of the upcoming competition. The panel of bigwigs who addressed the media that day consisted of Mediacorp Suria‘s Senior Vice-President, Mr. Suhaimi Jais, Mediacorp Eaglevision‘s Vice-President, Ms. Sabariah Ramilan, Mediacorp‘s Assistant Vice-President for Corporate Communications and Artiste Management Unit, Mr. Azlan N. Salim and Metrowealth International Group‘s Chief Executive Officer, Major David Teo. As I have the benefit of the video clips I have recorded and put up for your viewing pleasure, I will not say more on what we can expect from the competition as mentioned by the panel. In summary, this competition aims to find an all-rounder that typifies the modern young lady. Which is why “Ratu” can also be abbreviated as “R.A.T.U.” – Ranggi (Attractive), Anggun (Elegant), Trampil (Stylish) and Unggul (Excellence).

I will not divulge what is in store for each episode, even though I have the information at hand. I would just like to keep the element of mystery and surprise to anyone of the sixteen beauties reading this entry. As an interesting sidenote, I can only say that it was an eye-opener to finally be in the same sitting as Major Teo, listening to his interesting anecdotes and funny quips, sharing how he has made some household names in Malaysia popular, or at least how they have worked hard to be where they are now. He also shared several useful pointers to the sixteen finalists, what he expects of them when they are ready to take the plunge in the industry. Previously I had the impression that he is quite a cocky person, based on watching some of his interviews on Malaysian channels, but then again to be fair, those interviews were taken out of context and sensationalised to suit the nature of the programmes that were aired. Through the session, I realised that Major David Teo is rather a genuine person who cares for his workers and want them to succeed as much as possible through hard work, honesty, sincerity, self-discipline and personal integrity.

So what can readers expect from this blog in terms of coverage of the upcoming Ratu competition??? I’ve learned over the years of blogging that people are normally curious to view photographs and such and do not care so much on long-winded analysis / commentaries that I come up with, unless they are fans or supporters of a particular contestant in a reality competition and would like to know what is being said about their respective favourites. I have been monitoring these jumps on my blog statistics whenever a particular personality gets married, or if there is a recent big event in the local entertainment scene, cos people are just curious to see the photographs and don’t bother that much about what I type, hence why my entries have been short and sharp in recent times. Maybe that’s why over the years, with blogging on the wane due to the existence of social media, I have been having less and less people commenting on my entries, other than the odd word of thanks for sharing it with my audience. But I am extremely thankful that you are still coming in to this blog from time to time.

Anyway, the subject of “beauty” itself differs from person-to-person. I admit hand-to-heart that I am no expert in judging or analysing beauties of a beauty pageant, as compared to observing a singing or acting reality competition. As such I do not want to be flamed nor have my credibility questioned by perhaps more experienced people in the know and those who are more expert in this field. Imagine the number of silent enemies I were to make if I were to comment wrongly??? In the past I made quite a number of people unhappy with some of my factual and spot-on comments, imagine the multiplication of resentment, if my words were nothing more than make-believe??? I’ve learned from years of blogging that perhaps less could be more and people will still visit this domain of mine. So I guess my subsequent entries on the upcoming Ratu competition will be more photograph-based. It could perhaps help ladies out there who are into fashion learn some tips on styling and such.

If I were to pass any comments and thoughts henceforth (if any) on the show, it will be based on whatever happenings that would have transpired in a particular episode of the competition. It is only fair that readers are able to counter-assess based on what they had also watched and come to an agreement or open to any relevant debate, rather than wonder if I had made it all up. I also think people would be able to understand my rationale better rather than question my credibility on a subject I have little to no knowledge upon, as compared to a singing competition for instance. It took me years to build up a strong foundation, for industry bigwigs to take me seriously and accept my standing as a credible and responsible blogger. I have made enough enemies in the past through my brashness and lack of tact. I do not wish to destroy that through moments of carefree and folly. With that, I hope anyone who wants to go down this road, or even be a blogger of a different subject like food or social issues, could practice basic decorum and common sense. It is one thing to display a high level of IQ and bombastic vocabulary in our postings, but we should also have a sense of EQ as well. Never take for granted whatever media invites we get cos it might not guarantee us more in future. We should always be responsible with what we say as it is more or less a reflection of our personality.

Which brings me to this point. After seeing the girls for the first time during the media conference and viewing some of their photographs online, I cannot help but point out that some of them had too thick a make-up on their faces that day. I do understand the need to look presentable and stylish to the watching media brigade, but I had also expected the girls to appear more natural with minimal make-up. Some looked a little too matured for their age, either from the extra layer of powder on their faces or hair done, and this is something our dear make-up artistes and stylists can work on lending the girls a bit of justice. Through inquisitive research, and viewing photographs on the contestants’ Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts (Sorry for stalking girls!!! I need to comment fairly on you… 🙂), I was extremely surprised to see that some of the girls actually look prettier with light make-up on their faces. I for one, would like to see that more often on the show, cos I believe it gives the girls a natural perspective and to just let their personalities, talents and auras shine through to back up their God-given physical features.

I hope viewers out there will not be too quick to slate the competition or judge the sixteen beauties even before seeing them in action or hearing them speak. I have seen comments online that this is nothing more than a flesh parade or demeaning the fairer gender. And these comments were made even before the auditions were held!!! I think this is something new that Mediacorp Suria is embarking upon and they should be given the room to experiment on a competition that has never been done before, even if it is quite similar to the Anugerah Skrin competition, which was held in 2006 and 2010. Based on previous reality shows, expect the contestants to be very raw and only showing their true worth and credentials somewhere in the middle of the competition. It is a challenge in itself for these beauties to maintain their poise and having to display their qualities for the viewers on a weekly basis. They have been chosen to compete and advanced to this stage of the competition, out of the 200-odd girls who came for audition, not only for their physical beauty but also other substantial qualities relevant for this show. So I hope the viewers can take some positives out of the competition. Who knows we might even learn a thing or two from some of their upcoming challenges, quips and quotes???

To the sixteen beauties, I wish them all the best for the competition. I am sure that whoever signs up for a reality show or to enter this vicious industry we call the “entertainment scene” have an inkling of what they are in for. People and viewers out there are going to talk, good or bad, whether they like it or not. They will be up for scrutiny and will be on the firing line for any brickbats / negative comments. I might add some of my own, but of course I will try not to be too tough as compared to previous Anugerah competitions, as I had pointed out earlier that this is not my forte. What the girls can do is give off their best, do their respective research on any particular challenges they are up for in the weekly episodes and try to keep themselves abreast with current affairs, especially reading them in our own mother tongue. In Marina Yusoff, Fauzie Laily, Hafeez Glamour and Nuraliza Osman, they could not have gotten better mentors (off-camera of course) for tips on how to better themselves or learn more about the scene. They just need to ask, I’m absolutely certain the four of them will not hold back on sharing whatever knowledge they have. See you girls next Tuesday, and don’t forget to smile for my camera… 🙂