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Yasmin Ahmad Tribute At Australia Malaysia Film Festival

This year’s Australian Malaysian Film Festival (AMFF) from Oct 4 to 7, at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Federation Square, here, pays tribute to the memory of Malaysian filmmaking legend Yasmin Ahmad.

Yasmin’s work crossed conventional cultural barriers and fittingly, in its third year, the festival offers daytime screenings catering to Australian students studying regional language, culture and international relations, AMFF organiser Kate Stephens said.

The event’s opening launch party will feature cultural music, dance and cuisine, special guests, and the first of the festival’s Malaysian films, Yasmin Ahmad’s Talentime.

The recent death of Yasmin, one of Malaysia’s finest directors, death was mourned by many as her advertisements and films were renowned and loved for their heart, honesty and humour, Stephens said.

“Yasmin’s work was always laced with positive messages about racial harmony.

“When asked about the themes of her films, she would always declare that they were about humanity and love, the most important elements of mankind,” she said.

Yasmin’s films and advertisements received many awards and were screened at several prestigious international film festivals including Berlin, Cannes and Tokyo.

Her last two films, Talentime and Muallaf , will be the opening and closing screenings at the AMFF.

Talentime is the tale of an Indian boy and a mixed-race Malay girl who meet and fall in love during a talent quest. In stark contrast, Muallaf tells the story of two Muslim sisters who escape their abusive father to form an unlikely relationship with a Catholic boy who has a dark past.

“This year, the festival will hold daytime screenings on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, with films specifically chosen for a predominantly young Australian student audience,” said Farah Al Amin, AMFF event coordinator.

“We have invited secondary and tertiary teachers and their students to attend these screenings,” she said.

The films selected this year are from diverse genres; from comedy to animation to action adventure to melodrama.

Farah said the AMFF had chosen four films that showcased the rapidly developing technical expertise of the Malaysian film industry, as well as its high entertainment value.

Audiences will be treated to the highly acclaimed Cicakman 2 and winning films from the recent Malaysian Film Awards including Geng the Movie and the short film My Telitori, which received the Best Animation Award and was entirely created by students of The One Academy.

The film, Pensil, presents the emotionally confronting story of a handicapped man’s quest to succeed in life while faced with severe prejudice and adversity.

“These films are full of positive values and messages, which offer hope and are highly suitable for students,” Farah said. A free exhibition of batik design and fashion will be on display during the festival. AMFF 2009 is part of the inaugural Malaysia Week. For more information, visit the website at or

Source : BERNAMA

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