SMFS: Purnama 2 Finale (17 October 2009)

A week has passed and so did Purnama 2. From rushing for the completion of my Rikyu essay to spending an hour on make up, the Saturday of 17 October was certainly a night to remember. Apart from the rumours running around like wildfire and failed red carpet glamour, Purnama was a huge success.

The Singapore Malay Film Society (SMFS) team arrived early to set up and prepare the necessary items needed for the night. We had a registration table at the 5th level of The Cathay, complete with flowers courtesy of Liz Fleur, programme booklets, tickets and of course, the pretty ladies of SMFS to serve the guests. Reception went pretty well, I must say. 120 seats were filled up, including the guests SMFS invited. We had the honour of hosting Purnama 2 to the J.A. Halim family, Cikgu Yusnor Ef, judges Lim Yu Beng and Sanif Olek. Even Singapore Director Tan Pin Pin dropped by to watch the screenings!

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One of the guests signing the guest book.

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Even Mr X-Factor Effandi Mohamed came! Read about Effandi’s adventure as a visual effects artist at Dneg here.

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This is not staged, I was genuinely ushering the guests over to the other door.

Watching the films, as usual, gave me chills over my spine – in a good way that is. Everytime I watch a local film production, I say to myself, “Heck this is awesome!” If you were sitting next to me in the cinema, you’d probably notice my mouth drooling over the film. Like literally, because jaw just drops each time I watch something that transfixed my eyes. In Malay terms, my mulut selalu ternganga. I’ll post a review of the films in another entry, because I just have too many things about them. OH and I watched Shingoporu Monogatari for the second time! And I met Hafidz again! Hee hee!

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Pretty plaques for the awardees!

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Among those present – Lim Yu Beng, Rafaat Hamzah and Cikgu Yusnor Ef

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If Amalia Yunus were start a whole new series of children show, I want to be part of it! She’s a really bubbly character and her love for children led her to winning the Most Promising Director Award.

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Special Mention Awardees: Ghazi Al-Qudcy (left) and Ezzam Rahman (right). But hey, they’re no stranger to local film screenings man! Read more about them here.

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Special Mention Awardee: Hafidz Senor. If you haven’t read my interview with Hafidz, then read it here.

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Wan citing his reasons for choosing a Chinese actor to play the part of a Japanese soldier, when at the same time, using English and Australian actors to play the part of British and Australian soldiers respectively.

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Yazid aka Farid came down for Purnama 2 as well!

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Isnor giving away the token of appreciation to Cikgu Yusnor Ef.

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Awardees with Cikgu Yusnor Ef.

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A film screening is not complete without a photo-taking session!

For a film festival that is only in its second year run, Purnama 2 is certainly a motivation for us to continue our efforts in bringing back Malay films to the silver screens. Our efforts may be small, but we’ll get to our dreams someday. For now, it is important that we have faith in our community to produce more films, be it short or feature films, so that we can say Malay films in Singapore still exist.

Insyallah.

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SMFS: Purnama 2 Day I Screenings

So Purnama is baaaaaccckkkkk!!!!!

The Singapore Malay Film Society (SMFS) had its annual short-film festival last Thursday, and Purnama 2 is set to be even better than last year’s Purnama! This year, SMFS is holding a three-day screening to showcase talents from our Malay community on 8, 12 and 17 October 2009. Here are some snippets of the first screening held last Thursday at the Substation.

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Pretty Purnama 2 programme booklets!

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Posing/Cam-whoring while briefing.

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Pretty, right? Done by yours truly, sponsored by Linda!

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Audience! Spot Sarah, Nani and Izzati!

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The QnA Session led by our curator, Ghazi Al-Qudcy. Catch Ghazi’s directorial debut on Suria’s Sewa on Monday Nights and 9.30pm.

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Filmmakers, actors and funnymen. Second from the right, Hafiz Huzaifah, the director of Stress Management. A funny Mat instructional film that led me questioning the Mat culture.

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Crew!!

I’ll leave you all begging for more, so in the mean time, come down to the Substation today at 7.30pm for the round two of the screenings!

Tickets for the finals cum awards screening on 17 October 2009, 1930 hrs, can be purchased at the Substation today, or reserved via email to shamsydar@smfs.sg or roslinda@smfs.sg.

Hope to see you there!

A Date with Ezzam and Ghazi

When I first met Ezzam and Ghazi at The Substation for First Take: March, I knew they spelled trouble. Trouble in a sense that the ‘date’ we would have will turn out kecoh (rowdy) but fun. Meet Ezzam Rahman and Ghazi Al-Qudcy, possibly Singapore’s most provocative filmmakers.

Ezzam Rahman (left) and Ghazi Al-Qudcy (right)

Ezzam Rahman (left) and Ghazi Al-Qudcy (right)

Before meeting them, I thought they’re names sounded familiar. At the back of my head, I knew I’ve watched one of their films, but I just didn’t know the title. Then I was a given a DVD with their works – lo and behold – Ghazi was the director for Hidden Treasures! The film was one of the judges’ favourite in the 8 Minutes Muslim Youth Filmmaking Competition, but sadly was not chosen for the finals. It was a little bit awkward for me to interview another fellow competitor, but as Ghazi would say, “In this industry, you learn from each other. No one’s your competition. We’re all working for the same goal.”

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Ezzam Rahman (above), 28 years old, does not have any formal training on filmmaking. Instead, he holds a Diploma in Fine Arts from LaSelle College of the Arts. Trained as a scupltor, he tends to make films that questions the audience, “I don’t like messages being sent across so directly. I like a little bit of roundabouts before my audience gets what I want to say.”

Ghazi Al-Qudcy, on the other, took a longer education path to get to where he is now. Currently, the 25-year-old is an undergraduate at NTU’s Arts and Media Design Faculty. A former student at Republic Polytechnic, Ghazi began his filmmaking journey there while going through his three-year diploma course in New Media. “When you’re in a school like RP, you should make use of their facilities and equipments to make your films. You can’t say you’ve got no money cause you have the logistics,” this is one tip I will use for life. Somehow when Ghazi said that, I regret not joining Film Society back in MJC. Imagine the equipments I can exploit… (evil laughter).

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Anyways, some of their works include Demam Jantan (part of the All for a Guy series), Hidden Treasures, Blk 46, just to name a few. The duo has been hailed by local filmmakers like Tan Pin Pin and Royston Tan as The Next Big Thing in the local film industry because of their numerous works in various film festivals here. Amongst the film festivals that Ezzam and Ghazi have participated in are Fly by Night and the Panasonic Digital Film Fiesta. “We joined these competitions just because we needed money, seriously. We were lusting after the cash prize just so we can pay off our phone bills and go karaoke,” said Ghazi lightheartedly.

Nevertheless, the mini film competitions they participated in were the ones that shot them to fame. Their first short film, Demam Jantan, was the judges’ favourite in the first Fly by Night despite not winning any awards. The short was chosen to represent Singapore at various international film festivals like Thailand’s 3rd First Frame Festival and Indonesia’s 4th Q! Film Festival. Although both are accidental filmmakers, the duo has made over 25 short films in five years. Now we’re all asking them, how about a feature film?!

Ezzam said, “Short films are like sketches for your actual painting. So just wait for us, ya?”