Bangkitlah Kaum Buruh & Petani
Menentang Ekstremis & Hipokrits!
~ faisal mustaffa online ~
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
TAYANGI KUALA LUMPUR
TAYANGI KUALA LUMPUR
A screening in conjunction with "Processing The City" exhibition
by Valentine Willie Fine Art and The Annexe, Central Market
Curated by Amir Muhammad and Pang Khee Teik
Date: Fri 29 Jun – Sun 1 July, 2007
Venue: Gallery I, 2nd Floor, The Annexe, Central Market, KL.
Admission: RM5 by Donation
Enquiries: 03 2274 6542
Friday 29 June, 8pm
Hello Goodbye by Chi Too
An LRT ride inspired by a Kings of Convenience song: "Parallel lines, move so fast, toward the same point, infinity is as near as it is far." (5min)
28 Hours Later by Ng Ken Kin
Low-budget Malaysian DV meets big-budget British DV in this cheeky intertextual ride. A party-goer wakes up after a night of disco fun, only to find himself alone in the city. (14min)
18? by Danny Lim
Who's spraying the number 18 around the city? What are they trying to say? Are Malaysians running out of spaces to express themselves? (18min)
Ciplak by Kharil M Bahar (83min)
A Malaysian student in UK makes extra cash by smuggling pirated Hollywood films back to England. Unfortunately, the day he's supposed to deliver his supply happens to be the day of the biggest raid in the city.
Saturday 30 June, 8pm
Welcome to Kuala Lumpur by Eleanor Low
Al-Baqarah by Saiful Razman
Enigmatic urban odyssey where people literally never say what they seem to. Named after a part of the Quran. (7min)
Majidee by Azharr Rudin
Two strangers at Puduraya struck up a conversation while walking to Klang Bus Station. What do you know – they are from the same hometown! (15 min)
The Big Durian by Amir Muhammad
In 1987, a soldier ran amok with an M16 in Chow Kit. It triggered rumours of racial riots. Suddenly, over 100 political dissenters were arrested under the Internal Security Act. The film speaks to real and fictional Malaysians to uncover the facts and myths surrounding this event. (75min)
Sunday 1 July, 8pm
Detour by Jassim Alsaady
How safe is KL for backpackers? No, not from snatch-thiefs, but from weirdos. (27min)
A Day in the Life of by Syed Omar
A perfectionist civil servant in a "jabatan khas" escapes his reality only in his dreams. (10min)
Bukak Api by Osman Ali
A classic! A safe sex educational video turns into a drama about the trials and tribulations of the sex workers in Chow Kit. (80min)
~ ~ ~
Don't forget, we also have a FREE talk:
The Dogma of Economics
by Kevin Mark Low (designer, writer)
by Nani Kahar (architect, curator)
& Hishammudin Rais (filmmaker, cafe operator)
Performing on Site
by Anne James (actor, arts activist)
Date: Saturday 30 June
Venue: Gallery I
Friday, June 22, 2007
Filem DIVA: Ibu Adalah Segala-galanya
Pada tanggal 19hb Jun lalu, aku dijemput untuk menghadiri tayangan promosi DIVA di GSC Mid Valley. Tayangan tersebut khusus untuk wartawan dan bloggers.
Pada aku, DIVA banyak dipengaruhi dengan ciri hindustan. Aku tidak hairan apabila melihat filem ini diarahkan oleh Sharad Sharan. Sharan juga merupakan penulis dan penerbit DIVA. Seluruh krewnya datang dari India seperti Mithoon Sharma Naresh (Pengarah Muzik), Vikram Sood (Penulis, Caesar Gonsalves (Pengarah Lagu/Koreografer), Renu Sharan (Produser/Pengarah Produksi/Penulis) Sahay Rupa Dilip (Pencipta Pakaian), Manas Choudhury (Juru Audio/Jurutera Bunyi), Chirantan Das (Pengarah Fotografi/Sinematografi), Sayed Salim Abdulla (Make-up Artist), Biwajit Roy (Pengarah Seni), Sharmila Sankar (Penerbit Eksekutif/India), Sushil Kumar Shrikant (Ketua Pembantu Pengarah) dan Suresh Pai (Penyunting Filem).
DIVA mengisahkan mengenai seorang Diva yang menempah nama di luar negara,
Kartika yang pulang ke tanahair atas sebab-sebab yang tidak diketahui.
Dalam mencapai impiannya sebagai penyanyi, Kartika melarikan diri meninggalkan ibubapanya dan teman yang paling rapat, Arman.
Pihak media cuba menyungkil hasrat Kartika untuk pulang namun, Kartika berjaya menyembunyikannya sehingga timbullah spekulasi bahawa Kartika sudah tidak laku di negara luar.
Pihak pengurusan Kartika menganjurkan konsert yang besar-besaran buta pemintnya di Malaysia dan persembahan dan sambutan pemint terhadap konsert tersebut di amat luar biasa.
Selepas selesai konsertnya, Kartika pulang ke kampung tetapi ibunya (lakonan mantap Fauziah Nawi, kanan) tidak menerimanya.
Ibunya memberi peluang terakhir sekiranya Kartika ingin pulang ke pangkuannya; berkahwin dengan Arman, tetapi Kartika tidak dapat memenuhi permintaan tersebut.
Arman (lakonan Jeremy Thomas, atas) yang sempat bertemu Kartika di kampung memberi cadangan supaya Kartika menyambung usaha bapa Kartika untuk melatih anak-anak muda dalam memperjuangkan seni tradisional. Bapa Kartika mempunyai sebuah sekolah nyanyian Iskandar yang beroperasi secara kecil-kecilan.
Kartika bersetuju dengan harapan cara itu dapat menwan kembali ibunya.
Kemudian, lahirlah sebuah kumpulan yang digelar Jiwa, yang terdiri daripada:
1. Jay (lakonan Awal Ashari) - Jay ialah salah seorang pelajar di sekolah nyanyian Iskandar di kampung kelahiran Kartika. Beliau adalah produk didikan Arman. Bagi aku lakonan Awal kaku. Aku juga rasa Awal tidak dapat menyanyikan lagu yang mempunyai nada tinggi. Aku harap andaian aku meleset kerana lagu-lagu dalam sountrack Diva yang dinyanyikan oleh Awal tidak mempunyai naad tinggi.
2. Idit (lakonan Adam) - Adam pernah berlakon dalam filem Razak Mohideen seperti Cinta Fotokopi dan Main-main Cinta. Bagi aku, Adam sudah ada paltform dan label yang tersendiri. Babak sedih tidak dapat dihayati oleh Adam sepenuhnya.
3. Mera (lakonan Jessica Iskandar) - Mera berhijrah ke Malaysia dari Bandung untuk mengejar impian menjadi penyanyi, Kartika berjumpanya ketika Mera menjadi pembantu jualan pisang goreng sambil menyanyi. Diva bukanlah flem pertama Jessica. Beliau pernah muncul di filem Dealova dan drama bersiri Cewk-cewek Bandung. Jessica mempunyai raut yang cukup manis. Ketika aku berjumpanya di peancaran soundtrack di Planet Hollywood, dia nampak konfiden.
4. Eja (lakonan Balkisy) - Palakon kelahiran Lahad Datu ini pernah muncul dalam filem Cinta Fotokopi, Tak Ori Tapi OK dan Dukun (belum ditayangkan). Diva ialah filem yang mendukung watak utama. Lakonan Balkisy tidak original. Peranan gedik juga buat aku menyampah.
DIVA cuba menyelitkan babak lucu dalam filem ini. Ia dipertanggungjawabkan kepada AC Mizal yang memegang watak Rudy. Rudy bertindak sebagai pengurus media dan juga bertanggungjawab kepada JIWA.
Tetapi, bagi aku babak lucu yang sama terus membosankan.
Leukimia dan Kasih Ibu
Rakan-rakan baik Kartika mula mengetahui perubahan dalam Kartika apabila sering jatuh pengsan. Rupa-rupanya Kartika mengidap leukimia di tahak ketiga.
Jiwa yang pada mulanya merancang untuk meninggalkan Kartika akhirnya kembali.
Pada saat-saat akhir nafas Kartika, beliau tidak mahu ke hsopital bahkan minta dihantar ke kampung untuk menyedut udara nyaman di kampung.
Ibu akhirnya memaafkan Kartika dan pada saati tulah, Kartika menghembuskan nafasnya.
Turut hadir dalam tayangan tersebut ialah bekas-bekas exco Angkatan Muda; Zaerah Hanim, dan Sharifah Shahidah (foto oleh Syafiq Sunny)
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Jalan-jalan di Kota Singa
Tanggal 8hb Jun lalu, aku melancong ke Singapura. Keputusan untuk ke Singapura tidak ada dalam perancangan awal. Keputusan tersebut agak drastik.
Di belakang aku ialah Espalanade yang pada ketika itu sedang mengadakan Festival Seni 2007
Pertamanya, aku memerlukan masa rehat selepas bekerja hampr 20 jam setiap hari melayan kerja. Tekanan kerja yang tidak dapat digambarkan dalam bentuk penulisan ini begitu membuak-buak untuk aku memilih satu destinasi untuk melapangkan otak.
Keduanya, aku dijemput untuk menghadiri Anugerah Planet Muzik 2007, sebuah majlis penyampaian anugerah muzik yang dihadiri oleh artis-artis Malaysia, Indonesia dan sudah tentu Singapura.
Sebelum aku bertolak ke Singapura, sempat aku berjumpa kurator aku, Hishamuddin Rais di kedai makannya, Bau-bau Cafe di Central Market. Aku bersama empat jurugambar bebas akan mengadakan satu pameran foto yang dipanggil 5 Yang OMBAK. Pihak pengurusan Central Market bersetuju untuk memberi tarikh 23-31 Ogos akan datang untuk pameran aku itu. Pameran itu juga akan diletakkan dalam diari sebagai salah satu aktiviti dalam Bulan Kemerdekaan. Empat daripada lima jurufoto serta wakil pihak pengurusan Central Market yang akan melibatkan diri dalam 5 Yang OMBAK hadir. Antara lain, kami membincangkan konsep pengisian yang kita akan selitkan sepanjang pameran tersebut nanti.
Ketiganya, ialah tawaran kerja daripada pelbagai pihak juga memeningkan kepala ini. Ada tuduhan-tuduhan melampau daripada pembaca blog ini mengatakan aku seolah-olah desperate untuk mencari publisiti dan 'sudah tidak laku' dalam kerjaya aku. Tapi, alhamdulillah, banyak tawaran kerja dan membentang kertas kerja di luar negara aku terima sebelum berakhirnya 2007. Allah sahaja yang ketahui.
Tidak ada foto yang aku ambil sepanjang perjalanan ke Singapura melalui lebuhraya kerana masa perjalanan aku habiskan dengan membaca buku kontroversi May 13 dan tidur.
Sedar-sedar aku sudah masuk ke simpang Linkedua yang terus mengarah ke Singapura tanpa perlu melalui Johor Bahru yang sudah tentunya sesak.
Keesokan harinya selepas Anugerah Planet Muzik, aku dibawa oleh pemandu pelancong ke beberapa tempat tumpuan pelancong sambil menerangkan sejarah dan pembangunan 'lestari' Singapura.
Pemandangan dari depan hotel termahal di Singapura, Fullerton Hotel
Raffles Hotel, Fullerton Hotel dan Ritz-Carlton ialah tiga hotel termahal di Singapura. Raffles Hotel lah tempat penginapan Michael Jackson setiap kali berkunjung di Singapura.
Akhirnya kami dibawa ke Mustafa Street yang tidak jauh dari tempat penginapan aku di Beach Road.
Mustafa Centre ialah pusat membeli belah lima tingkat yang buka 24 jam
Keesokan harinya juga aku ke tempat yang sama (Mustafa Street) kerana agak sukar mendapatkan tempat makan halal. Mustafa Street mempunyai Mustafa Restaurant, Mustafa Foreign Exchange, Mustafa Travel & Tours dan pelbagai. Persoalannya ialah siapakah Mustafa ini? Adakah dia ada kena mengena dengan tycoon Malaysia?
Tempat lain yang kita berhenti sebelum membeli-belah di Orchard Road ialah di Espalanade serta maskot SIngapura.....Merlion.
PS: Kenapa susah nak cari cd Taufik Batisah, Hadi Mizwar di Singapura?....
Friday, June 15, 2007
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
This What I Call Music!
Spacecop Jamban presents a little bash by three bands, Stoned Revivals , Moods and Hujan (just when you thought there's enough rain here!), and also the sizzling Reza Salleh with his band. They play on Wednesday to help you pass this wet wet week while you wait for the big Junk Magazine Music+Fashion Mash-up this Saturday!
Date: 13th June 2007
Time: 9 pm
Venue: Main Gallery, 2nd Floor, Central Market Annexe
Limited time to salvage the Asean CharterKavi Chongkittavorn
The Asean Charter has failed to take into account the aspirations of all Asean citizens after three months of drafting.
Instead, the drafters, members of the High Level Task Force, have gone ahead to include what they believe represents their values and norms without paying attention to the peoples' desires.
The first clean draft will be ready for vetting by Asean foreign ministers at their annual meeting in next month. Something must be done now to ensure that the current draft will be amended extensively. This may require some kind of miracle.
To be fair, the 10 members of the drafting team must not be burdened with all the blame as they have received guidance from their foreign ministers.
At the retreat in Siem Reap in March, a line in the sand was drawn by the foreign ministers that would affect the writing of the charter. What was amazing about the process was the rejection of the pragmatic recommendations by the Eminent Persons Group (EPG) on the Asean Charter.
For instance, the idea of an Asean Union as the highest community-building goal in Asean was rejected, as were the provisions for suspensions, expulsions and withdrawals. Voting as a decision-making tool was not mentioned, as consultation and consensus are still sacrosanct.
Furthermore, Asean drafters are not comfortable exploring and including new dispute-settlement mechanisms in the charter. There is still a lack of mutual trust among the members.
Finally, Asean hasnot yet fulfilled its 14-year-old pledge to establish a regional human rights mechanism. As host of the upcoming Asean annual meeting, the is pushing hard to
include an Asean Human Rights Commission in the charter.
Followed the EPG's report last year, much of the regional and international press was excited about the prospects for changes within Asean.
Reports focused on the possibility of imposing sanctions against rogue members and letting go of the consensus requirement as part of the group's decision-making process. All along, Asean citizens, including civil society organisations, were led to believe that the Asean Charter would be outward looking and democratic and their voices would be incorporated.
Bridging the gap between the Asean "elites" and the "grassroots" began in in 2005 before the Asean summit. For the first time, representatives from Asean-based independent, semi-independent and government-sanction ed non-government organisations
deliberated together on what they perceived as their common aspirations.
Then, their report was submitted in a face-to-face session with the Asean leaders. More or less the same process was repeated at the summit.
Apparently, the charter drafters have not considered any input so far from civil society organisations. The Asean People's Assembly, established in 2001 by the Asean-Isis consortium and the Solidarity of Asian People's Advocacy, founded in 2004, are the two key organisations campaigning for citizens' groups.
Therefore, the remaining two most important sources of input for the charter will be from national leaders and foreign ministers, although the latter group have already expressed their opinions at the Siem Reap retreat.
Opportunities still exist for the Asean foreign ministers to be "bold and creative" when they scrutinise the first draft charter. Leaving the current draft as it is would be a shame because it does not contain provisions that strengthen the organisation or make it more dynamic with members fulfillingcollective responsibilities and duties.
The worst nightmare for the future Asean is still the lack of instruments to enforce compliance among members. Asean has over 200 agreements but most of them are voluntary, not legally-binding. Without clear provisions for sanctions, members would continue to be indifferent.
The past four decades have shown that certain members have a preponderance to ignore Asean
agreements, norms and peer pressure. Burma is a good case in point. Since its admission 10 years ago, the country has broken all the rules and stretched the trust and confidence that Asean members put in each other.
It is true that with the growing complexities of globalisation and transnational issues affecting the region, the current decision-making framework based on consensus does not work well. In other regional organisations such as Mercusor or the African Union, the principle of majority-rule voting is employed to facilitate meetings and policy decisions.
At this juncture, , the and are going through difficult periods in their democratic transitions and consolidation. Their contributions to the charter should have been more substantive, reflecting openness and political developments at home.
For instance, , given its current political crisis, has been reluctant to speak out, even though it has stronger views on human security and the enhanced role played by civil society organisations.
It is imperative that at the upcoming foreign ministerial meeting in next month, core countries such as , the , , and be united to amend the draft so that it will make Asean more efficient and responsive to citizens' needs.
If all else fails, Asean citizens must rise to the occasion. After all, without their support and ultimately their voice and input, there is no use in having an Asean Charter that would ruin their aspirations.
http://www.nationmu ltimedia. com/2007/ 06/11/opinion/ opinion_30036503 .php
Monday, June 11, 2007
Anugerah Planet Muzik 2007 - Siti Nuraliza diganding dengan gadis 13 tahun!
Estranged dari Malaysia menyampaikan persembahannya. Rich, penyanyinya lebih terserlah daripada menyanyi solo - Rich ialah salah satu produk dari Akademi Fantasia.
Saya berkesempatan untuk hadir ke salah satu majlis berprestij di rantau Asia Tenggara, Anugerah Planet Muzik 2007 yang setiap tahun diadakan di Singapura.
Kali ini majlis tersebut diadakan di Stadium Tertutup Singapura.
Bagi persembahan sebelum mengumumkan Lagu Terbaik, wakil dari setiap negara akan membuat persembahan.Sepatutnya persembahan tersebut mestilah diwakili oleh penghibur-penghibur yang berpengaruh dari negara-negara yang diwakili.
Malaysia diwakili oleh Datuk Siti Nurhaliza dan Singapura diwakili oleh pemenang Singapore Idol, Taufik Batisah. Gandingan tersebut diletakkan bersama seorang penyanyi berusia 13 tahun, Gita Gutawa. Gita Gutawa diapit oleh Siti Nurhaliza (Malaysia) dan Taufik Batishah (Indonesia)
Gita Gutawan ialah anak kepada komposer terkenal di seluruh nusantara, Erwin Gutawa
Sungguhpun, Gita mampu menyanyi dengan baik, tetapi gandingan tersebut merendahkan tahap Siti Nurhaliza dan Taufik.
Sepanjang majlis anugerah itu, kami dhiburkan dengan persembahan dari artis-artis ketiga-tiga negara seperti Tafik Batishah (Singapura), Ira Ajmain (Singapura), Hadi Mirza (Singapura),Irwansyah & Acha Septriasa (Indonesia), Gita Gutawa (Indonesia), Kris Dayanti (Indonesia).
Persembahan mantap dari Jaclyn Victor. Jaclyn tidak memenangi sebarang anugerah.
Dari Malaysia, kita dihidangkan dengan Estranged, Noryn, Jaclyn Victor, Siti dan Diddy.
Bagi kumplan pengacara pula, Aznil yang dibanggakan sebagai pengacara nombor 1 di Malaysia tenggelam dengan pengacara-pengacara lain dari Indonesia dan Singapura.
Penonton lebih terhibur dengan kelucuan Suhaimi berbanding dengan Aznil. Saya kira Bo Azrai dan Afdlin juga tidak sehebat Suhaimi.
Ada beberapa kategori yang diseraha kepada pembaca internet ntuk mengundi dan ada juga kategori yang diserahkan kepada juri untuk membuat penilaian.
Persembahan dari diva Kris Dayanti selepas diumumkan sebagai penerima
anugerah khas Cinta APM2007
bagi kategori 'popular' keputusannya berdasarkan kepada pengundi di internet manakala kategori 'terbaik' diserahkan kepada juri.
Artis Lelaki Paling Popular - Mawi
Faizal AF4 Malaysia
Glenn Fredly Indonesia
Iwan Falls Indonesia
Hady Mirza Singapora
Taufik Batisah Singapura
Artis Wanita Paling Popular - Siti Nurhaliza
Acha Septriasa Indonesia
Adibah Noor Malaysia
Agnes Monica Indonesia
Jaclyn Victor Malaysia
Kris Dayanti Indonesia
Melly Goeslaw Indonesia
Misha Omar Malaysia
Ning Baizura Malaysia
Siti Nurhaliza Malaysia
Kumpulan Paling Popular - Sofaz
Ahli Fiqir Singapura
Dewa 19 Indonesia
Pretty Ugly Malaysia
Lagu Paling Popular - Kian
Aku Ada Karena Kau Ada Radja
Biarlah Rahsia Siti Nurhaliza
Demi Waktu Ungu
Diari Seorang Lelaki Pretty Ugly
Juwita Citra Terindah M.Nasir
Kenangan Terindah Samsons
My Heart Irwansyah & Acha Septriasa
Sedang Ingin Bercinta Dewa 19
Sudah Itu Sudah Imran Ajmain
Tak Ada Logika Agnes Monika
Terlalu Istimewa Adibah Noor
Artis Lelaki Baru Terbaik - Imran Ajmain
Faizal AF4 Best of Faizal AF4
Imran Ajmain Dengan Secara Kebetulan
Irwansyah Original Soundtrack 'Heart'
Izwan Pilus Erti Kasih
Artis Wanita Baru Terbaik - Noryn
Acha Septriasa Original Soundtrack 'Heart'
Farhan AF4 Best of Farhan AF4
Noryn Aziz Alam Maya
Reika Roslan Bercerita
Noryn bukanlah sebenarnya artis baru. Beliau pernah melahirkan album pada satu masa dahulu.
Duo / Kumpulan Baru Terbaik - Letto
Letto Truth, Cry, Lie
Rea 1/2 Gila
Samsons Naluri Lelaki
Artis Lelaki Terbaik - M.Nasir
Aris Lasso Selalu Ada
Glenn Fredly Aku & Wanita
Iwan Fals Iwan Falls In Love
M.Nasir Sang Pencinta
Artis Wanita Terbaik - Siti Nurhaliza
Agnes Monica Whaddup A?1
Jaclyn Victor Inilah Jac
Noryn Aziz Alam Maya
Siti Nurhaliza Transkripsi
Duo / Kumpulan Terbaik - Dewa 19
Dewa 19 Republik Cinta
Letto Truth, Cry, Lie
Samsons Naluri Lelaki
Lagu Terbaik - Biarlah Rahsia
Biarlah Rahsia Transkripsi
Cinta Terakhir Selalu Ada
Demi Waktu Melayang
Hapus Aku Breakthru
Juwita Citra Terindah Sang Pencinta
Kenangan Terindah Irfan
Album Terbaik - Transripsi
Anugerah Khas Cinta diberikan kepada Zainal Abidin (Malaysia) (atas) dan Kris Dayanti (Indonesia).
Jalan-jalan di Kota Singa
Sebelum pulang ke tanahair, aku dibawa bersiar-siar di Singapura. Seronok juga melihat tempat orang setelah beberapa bulan berhempas pulas bekerja, tanpa mengira masa,makan dan minum.
Kami dibawa ke Jalan Mustafa untuk makan dan membeli-belah, Orchard Rd untuk membeli-belah lagi dan ke Esplanade untuk mencuci mata.
Sesungguhnya Singapura memang berbangga dengan Raffles dan Ritz Carlton nya.
Perjalanan aku ke Singapura menggunakan Linkedua yang melepasi Johor Bahru.
PS: Patutlah pembinaannya satu kontroversi Malaysia-Singapura
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
extended periods of waiting
JUNE 8 Fri & 9 Sat, 8:30pm
Studio, 1st Floor,
The Annexe, Central Market
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
donna miranda / bilqis hijjas / yuka tanaka / louise yow sing-haw / low shee hoe / shaifuddin mamat / chan seau huvi / saiful razman / au sow yee / sickl / roman cruz
How do we measure time? By the number of cigarettes we smoke or sums of games lost? Sometimes, it's waiting for the train that never comes on time, unreturned phone calls, a lover stuck in traffic, broken promises. While waiting induces boredom, pleasure silently creeps up as we pass through this brief moment of uncertainty. It's new adventures waiting to unfold.
Extended periods of waiting is a collaborative multimedia research/performance project between Filipino and Malaysian artists in contemporary dance, video, technical theater and sound. The project delves into the violence and frailty evoked by waiting and passing time. Together performers and audience move back and forth into inertia, potentiality, pauses and stillness. Where is the dance and when does it arrive?
Donna Miranda is an independent dance artist from Manila. She has a penchant for process-oriented actions and cross-disciplinary collaborations. Extended periods of waiting is the product of her art residency at Rimbun Dahan.
Entry by Donation: RM15 (adults), RM10 (students)
Enquiries: 017 310 3769
An independent initiative supported by Rimbun Dahan presented in cooperation with The Annexe, Central Market and Green Papaya Art Projects.
Monday, June 04, 2007
Filem DIVA: A Touch of Hindi, Malaysia and Indonesia
Click here for the promo clip!
Diva is a first-of-its-kind collaboration involving different film making cultures from three countries with an illustrious history. The cast are from Malaysia and Indonesia while its director and technical crew are from India.
Independent film production house Tarantella Pictures Sdn Bhd together with Nusantara Films Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Astro Shaw Sdn Bhd which was set up to produce films that are targeting audiences around the region, produced Diva. The idea is simple and forwarding looking. This region has many peculiar yet interesting tales to tell from a local perspective that movies could be made from.
``This is an opportunity for me to bring in technical expertise from India and cast from Indonesia where I’ve worked before; and together with Malaysia, we will make films that will entertain viewers in the region,’’ says Sharad Sharan, founder and director of Tarantella Pictures. ``Audiences in the region will also be exposed to Malaysian actors and the many beautiful locations in the country,’’ he added.
Tarantella Pictures, the film production house he set up with his wife and scriptwriter Renu in 2004 is now remaking film history in an attempt to reestablish Malaysia to its glorious days when classic Malay movies, especially those featuring the legendary P. Ramlee, were made.
After having won numerous awards for his TV drama serials in Indonesian such as Janjiku, Bidadari, Istri Pilihan that are now being featured through Aruna Channel on Astro, Sharan felt he has reached the height of his career there and wanted to move on to bigger things. The offer to make films in Malaysia just came at the right time and proved difficult to resist.
Describing Diva, its director Sharan says: ``People will enjoy the movie as it will entertain every age group. It is fast-paced, has lots of drama and represents so much energy of the youth we see across the region today.’’
In November 2005, Nusantara Films first project Diva commenced production with a budget of RM3 million but suddenly had to be halted in mid-December due to several unforeseen circumstances. Having spent the last 10 years making TV dramas or more commonly known as sinetron in Jakarta, Sharan was new to the Malaysian film-making scene.
For Diva, during the four months when shooting was halted, Sharan had to look at the best way of completing the production. He reorganized the team after taking into account the various issues that affected filming. They started looking for a competent crew and quickly reassembled a team and in July 2006, shooting resumed without any of the earlier issues faced.
He brought in a choreographer and professional dancers from India while the movie’s soundtrack was composed by an acclaimed young music composer Mithoon Sharma who recently had a big hit with Tere Bin in India.
Getting the actors from both Malaysia and Indonesia to remain with the project even after a four-month halt proved extremely difficult but not impossible. ``I gave them the confidence to go on after showing the actors how they looked from clippings of the daily rushes and music videos which made them surprised when they saw the results,’’ says Sharan.
``The actors continued to work with us after a four month gap even though the production was faced with many issues. But we looked for the best way to complete the production,’’ says Sharan. ``Those were issues beyond my control as anyone who was initially unfamiliar with the local industry, what more for someone coming from a different country would encounter at the beginning,’’ he said. ``Diva was certainly a difficult movie to make and after seeing the results, it was worth every single moment after what we had gone through and I believe that everyone involved in the film will agree with that,’’ he added.
Talk-show host and former Malaysian Idol (1st season) Top 30 finalist Awal Ashari who is also Cleo Bachelor of the Year 2004 , a former newsreader with 8TV’s Twenty Hundred News and a former Leo Burnett advertising executive says, ``After all the challenges that Sharad went through, he managed to pull it off and emerged stronger.’’ ``If I am a producer, I will put my money on Sharad to make my next film.’’ ``He is adding colour to the local film industry and raising the bar which I hope other directors will be inspired to follow.’’
Veteran actress Fauziah Nawi who credits Ahmad Yatim, Joe Hafsham and the late Mustapha Noor as her mentors when she started out in the 70s, has this to say: ``The production crew of Diva knows what they are doing. I think the local film industry could improve their methods of film-making by watching Diva.’’
Fauziah (picture, left) finds that Sharan uses a different approach of making films. Being a producer herself, she hopes the standard of production locally would improve with more techniques being introduced by other directors who are more experienced. ``If you are an actor in India or Indonesia and your acting is not up to standard, you can be easily replaced because of the sheer amount of talent and size of the industry there but not here in Malaysia,’’ she adds.
For Adam, he was fearful of falling in the scene where he carries Jessisca Iskandar in his arms on a suspended bridge and spins her around repeatedly in Sunway Lagoon. ``The scene was re-shot more than 10 times,’’ he recalls. ``I have not been involved in any production whose cast and crew have been so committed in their work.’’
``Sharad delivers everything he imagines that comes across in his mind into film,’’ says Awal. ``If the scene he imagines requires a sports car but what is provided is a Proton, he will not shoot the scene.’’
Singer, actor and talk-show host AC Mizal who plays the comic relief Rudy has this to say: ``Sharad made me believe I could do something different from other movies that had been produced here before.’’ After many acting roles, AC Mizal will be making his film production debut in April.
For 2005 Gadis Metro Top 3 Finalist Balkisyh who lost 5kg while rehearsing her dance steps in Diva and who prefers to observe others’ acting techniques instead of asking says Sharad has a strategy to get the most out of each actor. ``He will encourage and guide me when I prepare to deliver my lines for the next scenes.’’ ``With Diva, Sharad will open the eyes of other directors and producers to look at what we can achieve.’’
The screenplay of Diva was worked on over six months after 22 drafts. It received further assistance from Astro Shaw’s committee of students, film enthusiasts and critics to provide input and the general consensus agreed upon was to keep the script simple so that audiences in Malaysia, Indonesia and the region can understand and follow the story line. Vikram Sood who wrote the final screenplay with Sharad Sharan, is also the writer for Tarantella Pictures upcoming comedy flick 100 Lies to Hide a Wife and has spent the last five years writing scripts for sinetron in Indonesia.
Not only has Sood made the script interesting but also entertaining, emotional and dramatic. The story of Diva shows how Kartika, Ning Baizura’s character, assembles four kids from different places and backgrounds into a group called Jiwa. Indonesian heartthrob Jeremy Thomas plays the role of Arman, the adopted son of Kartika’s father who has loved her since his childhood.
JIWA during the launching of DIVA the Soundtrack at Planet Hollywood KL
The movie has seven soundtracks composed by music prodigy Mithoon Sharma who had to listen to more than 40 CDs of Malaysian and Indonesian artists such as Kris Dayanti, Vina Paduwinata, Siti Nurhaliza and Ning Baizura while award-winning lyricist Loloq helped to pen the lyrics and tunes. Among the songs from the soundtrack that are poised to become a hit are Bintang Impianku, Nafas dan Hidup, Kasih and Lagu Cinta.
The movie theme song Bintang Impianku is sung by Ning Baizura. Relating her experience and involvement in Diva, Ning says she had to work very closely with Mithoon and his father Naresh Sharma to come up with Bintang which is about reaching for higher grounds. ``My vocals are on a different level so I had to improvise and create a magical fantasy tune which I hope came through in Bintang,’’ she said adding that it is a big ballad which is her forte.
On her playing the lead role of Kartika, Ning says, ``I was very excited as Kartika has a big resemblance to me personally.’’ ``I found it very challenging and emotional initially but once we all sat down together to meet with director Sharad and the rest of the cast, everything came together like a big puzzle.’’ ``I was a little worried about the expectations from everyone but that it normal,’’ she added.
Ning also found that Kartika is a very independent woman with a big heart. ``I just imagined what sort of person she would be if she were alive and I also drew inspiration from watching movies like Gone With The Wind, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Bodyguard and Meryl Streep’s movies.’’
``I also wanted Kartika to be the other side of Ning that my fans hardly see; the serious, loving, warm and friendly person that I am including her determination, which I also possess,’’ says Ning.
For Indonesia TV drama heartthrob Jeremy Thomas who is making his film debut in Diva, this movie brings a lot of meaningful messages inside, which are about faithfulness, sacrifices, hope
and love; where all of these things are the part of our everyday life. ``We can learn many things from the movie and it just too precious to be missed,’’ he said. .
``I got involved in Diva is because I was asked by a friend and also my director, Sharan,’’ said Thomas. ``He informed me of a movie and that I am the only suitable actor for the role of Arman. When I read the synopsis, I found that I could relate to Arman’s character. For me, Arman is a very interesting character who matches my drama acting skills and background.’’
``My first impression was that it is an interesting role indeed because after 10 years of my career as a TV drama actor, to be on the big screen is one of the things that I have been waiting for. Moreover, to be part of a movie with an international market is only something that I could imagine before,’’ Thomas said.
For Thomas, working under director Sharad Sharan in Diva proved obviously different with other Indonesian sinetron directors. ``Sharan has a big effort, strong will, different vision and strategy compared to them. He is a drama director with cold hands and has great taste in drama. In the process of making Diva, Sharan almost never compromised with unnecessary situations that shouldn’t happen,’’ he added.
``I feel that a collaborative effort among three countries will bring a big influence to the film industry in Indonesia, especially in marketing strategy where it would make film-makers think of how to market their movie globally and produce more income.’’
Thomas who is married with two children says that his family has been very supportive of him throughout the duration of the shoot and that they are waiting for the results. ``They have been so used to see me being treated as a celebrity,’’ Thomas said. ``Who knows now that their daddy could go internationally,’’ he quipped. ``During the shoot of Diva, I did not have any problems in managing my time as I could go home during shooting breaks because of the support and teamwork from Astro Shaw.’’
Choreographer Caesar Gonsalves of Caesar-Bosco from India who worked on movies like Kuch Naa Kaho, Munnabhai MBBS and choreograph among others, Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan, brought along 12 dancers with him. It took Gonsalves nearly eight days to teach the actors the various dance moves.
The songs and dances scenes which were an integral part of the story in Diva were particularly challenging to coordinate. Firstly, the master shot had to be done before taking close-ups and cuts from various angles which had to be redone over and over again. The task proved very demanding for some of the actors who never had to shoot a dance scene in a film before. The song performance for the end climax scene had to be shot for nearly 800 times.
``In India, they film the song and dance scenes first but the Malaysian and Indonesian actors were not used to this,’’ explains Sharan. ``For actors here, only after they get to act out their characters, would it then be easier for them to shoot the song and dance sequences as it would then make sense to them of their roles and not the other way around.’’
Fortunately, Adam and Awal were dedicated in learning the dance sequences. During their break, they would sit down and watch the other dancers rehearse. ``They really worked hard in their performances and dance scenes, even ensuring hairstyle continuity from the beginning to the end and are always punctual,’’ says Sharan who believes that their work-attitude will see them both go very far in their careers.
In fact, Sharan believes that Ning stole the show with her first-class performance in Diva once she had understood her character very well. Sharad believes that her portrayal of Kartika is her best performance among the movies that she been involved in so far.
To create the required look and feel for the cast and set, production designer Renu Sharan designed individual looks for the actors. For Jessisca and Balkisyh characters whereby a transformation had to be made for them to look like village girls to city folks, Renu had them wear clothes and wigs suited to their individual characters. Even the colours of the clothing that each one of them wore with respect to their characters in the film were paid attention to.
For Ning, she had costumes designed individually to give her the glamorous look. Renu wanted her to start thinking and behaving like a diva so that the look designed for her fitted into the character while AC Mizal’s flamboyant character required very bright and colourful attire.
Renu also had to ensure that locations were made to suit the scenes that were being shot including the house where every prop had to be in the right place to suit a diva’s personality.
History in Making
A history in making, Diva will be released simultaneously in five countries namely, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei and India in mid-March 2007; making it a big leap for a Malaysian production.
On his two-year contract to produce six films with Astro Shaw, Sharan says that he intends to bring the Malaysian film industry to greater heights. ``We want to grow the local industry and provide opportunities for anyone to work with us,’’ said Sharad. ``Film transcends all languages…if you look at the film Gandhi, it was directed and starred both non-Indians namely Richard Attenborough and Ben Kingsley.’’ ``Likewise, Malaysians should be able to accept not only directors but cast and crew from abroad who are interested to make films in Malaysia.’’
``We are in the entertainment industry. We sell dreams, not reality,’’ says Sharan. He feels that the Malaysian film industry needs to be profitable for it to grow and that also means increasing the talent pool of actors, production crew, theatres, distributors and marketers. In India, you can get a full loan from the bank to make movies while established producers like Subhash Ghai and Amitabh Bachchan have their film production companies listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange.
With the support of Astro Shaw in creating awareness of the Malaysian film industry and investing in its vision to entertain viewers across the region, the Sharans believe that all kinds of movies on various genres can co-exist because there is a place for each and every one of them.
Sunday, June 03, 2007
Dua, Tiga Dalang Berlari
1 - 3 June 2007 @ 8:30 PM
Gallery, Top Floor, The Annexe @ Central Market
Entrance by donation (RM20 for adults / RM10 for students)
For more information, please call Five Arts Centre at 03 7725 4858 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or log on to www.fiveartscentre.org
Saturday, June 02, 2007
Filem DIVA: Like a Draq Queen
At a time where I was hungry and feel like eating good food, I remember and e-mail inviting me to listen to a press preview of Diva. Thanks to Alex and the film production.
Before we ate food of Planet Hollywood KL,we were given a privilege to watch their film DIVA.
DIVA is about a pop queen Kartika who is a native Malaysian and an iconic diva. After watching the video clip on of the song, the Diva looks like a draq queen who performs at Las Vegas or 11 LA (once upon a time).
The Diva was very successful in the West and is greatly adored at home. But behind her admirable success story is a tale of personal tribulation. Everywhere Kartika goes, people seem to reach out to her. They want to touch her and be next to her. However, one person Kartika wants to reach out to and who never allows her to be near her is her mother.
Kartika ran away from home to seek money and glory but today she has precisely that left with her. Kartika was right in her own way, she could see her parents sacrificing so much for her, she saw the misery and hardship faced by her parents due to poverty and Kartika believed that she could make money in the city and help her parents. But what Kartika had not perceived was the betrayal her father would feel after her departure.
When Kartika returns to Kuala Lumpur for a concert after a gap of many years, she gets a mixed reception. While some shower accolades upon her, others question her motive to be back in Malaysia, accusing Kartika of being finished in her career abroad. Journalists are curious as to why she has returned. After her successful concert show, Kartika goes to her village to her unrelenting mother but fails to convince her yet again. In the village she meets her childhood flame Arman, the only man she has ever loved and the man her father wanted her to marry. Arman suggests to Kartika that the only way to melt the heart of her mother is to take charge of the remaining students of her father’s music school and train them to become successful. Kartika sets out to do just as what Arman has advised.
With two remaining students of her father’s school and two youngsters she picks up along the way, Kartika starts to train the quartet from a classical background into her own modern fusion music. Being the taskmaster that she is, Kartika puts the four young boys and girls in a tough grind where she not only changes their music, but their appearance and style like rock stars and eventually converts them into a bunch of dynamic performers called JIWA.
Who is Kartika?
A diva in her late twenties, a singer par excellence, she is very graceful and nice. Kartika is tall, slim and beautiful; she also possesses a face that is pinned up by youths all around the globe. There is a sad tale behind her immense success but she doesn’t let it show. Life is not kind to her as much she is kind to others. Kartika’s life finds an objective and meaning just when life itself is getting ready to ditch her. With grit and raw courage she accomplishes her objectives before time runs out.
Ning Baizura played Kartika and she did it.
Members of JIWA consists of Idit, Mera, Eja and Jay. Eja is from Kartika’s village and has been training under Arman. She has a huge crush on him and feels envious of Kartika and gives her a very hard time. However, when the first album releases they are an immediate success and are the new stars on the Malaysian horizon. JIWA is unaware of the reasons Kartika is putting so much effort into them to be the best and none of them has an inkling why time is running out for her. Eja just adores Arman and she feels that Kartika is spurning him to take credit for her success alone while in truth, the matter is entirely different. Success has also gone to Eja’s head and her rebellious streak comes to the fore when Idayu, a representative from a competing recording label, offers her a lucrative contract to cut a fresh album for Zack’s music empire. Eja goes about to convince her group members to join in a revolt against Kartika.
18-year-old, Idit is a lovely piano artiste and has great vocal chords to match. Lean and lanky, he is literally in the life of Kartika via an accident. He is the most sensitive and emotional of all the youngsters but when he realizes that Kartika was perhaps the cause of the accident that killed his parents, his emotions towards Kartika changed. He is lovable and likes Mera and in her, he finds a partner to visualize his life with. Idit is the typical vulnerable looking boy every girl should want to mother and love.
MERA (Jessisca Iskandar)
17 years old and from Indonesia, she had come without her parents and could never return back. Kartika likes her voice and brings Mera to her home where she blossoms from a folk singer to a pop artiste and also from a simpleton into a stunningly beautiful girl after a remarkable makeover. Mera is deeply in love with Idit and she is the one with conservative values in the group but speaks out when she feels she is wrong and if others are wrong too. Mera is the poorest of the lot and money is a very important tool of security for her. She nurtures a dream to buy a house for her parents in the village back home in Indonesia.
19-year-old, a classical singer and pupil of Arman over whom she has a massive crush. Arman sends her to Kartika to become a diva like her but Eja dislikes Kartika principally because she knows Arman loves her and she has loads of ego and attitude. She is mostly rebellious and can be very hurting at times to others. However she is pretty and a fantastic learner. Her classical and modern notes melding together creates mesmerizing magic. Eja comes to Kartika as a simple girl but turns into a well groomed stylish performer with Kartika as a mentor.
JAY (Awal Ashari)
20-year-old, Jay plays local percussion instruments. His fingers move on anything and everything, he plays well on the floor or on the table as well. He is a genius with a knack of developing fantastic rhythms. His mind though is not as quick as his fingers and he develops a crush on Siska. He is very loyal to Arman but this loyalty causes him to rebel against Kartika. He is the casual most amongst the lot with his mismatched colors, shabby hair and not much attention ever to his looks. Due to this, Jay always stands apart from the rest.
After the album’s success, Kartika is busy putting up a show to launch JIWA on the world stage. Kartika would make JIWA a household name across the globe and with them the name of her father and his school would be renowned. What she doesn’t know is the revolt brewing that would put her show in jeopardy.
But before the show could take place, Kartika learns of the desertion of JIWA, her students and now famed group that she assembled from scratch and turned into stars. Fortunately, Arman, Rudy (her driver) and Siska (her manager) are on her side and tries to uncover the secret that Kartika is withholding from everyone.
Friday, June 01, 2007
Dana Krishen Jit 2007