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FFM27: A New Hope – This Year’s “Pengarah Harapan” Category
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FFM27: A New Hope – This Year’s “Pengarah Harapan” Category

by The Daily SeniAugust 30, 2015

WHO can ever choose between the most promising young directors in the land? Even an award of recognition for this quality – based on the strength of their best film output of the year – seems null when we’re talking about real change for the industry. A vibrant cinematic future for Malaysia should be a collective of these talents, like a beautiful tapestry of multi-personality, multi-background, multi-perspective individuals.

However so, we’ll still humour the shortlist – after all, that’s what we’re here for.

Take Me To Dinner


Nominee: Gavin Yap

Verdict: A man of the theater, the youthful Gavin Yap’s Joyce-ian ennui struggles to be translated onto the Malaysian big screen. Directing a veteran protagonist was bold and quite a feat by Yap but overall, if not for the decent form of Patrick Teoh(‘s voice), TMTD is a quite awful watch. Hopefully Yap gets to make more movies and truly find his cinematic voice.

Kami Histeria


(Pic: Norfanil.com)

Nominee: Shamyl Othman

Verdict: The up-and-comer pulls out all the stops here with this caper about an all-girl band who pay the price for wanting to be famous with their music: getting in trouble with a legendary folk demon. All the trappings of the current millennial youthscape can not only be seen in glorious digital colour but felt – through requisite touchscreen effects, boisterous new slang and the realness of the cast.

Red Films put out another winner with this one, in a genre they’ve known best. And Shamyl Othman delivered on that trust with this extended candy commercial of a teen dramedy, while we watched guilt-free.


(Pic: rajamukhriz.blogspot.com)

(Pic: rajamukhriz.blogspot.com)

Nominee: Raja Mukhriz

Verdict: Lead and Best Actor nominee Que Haidar has tweeted his annoyance at Ophilia – Raja Mukhriz’s skinhead opus – not being in the running for film of the year. A clear survivor of that particular scene in the ’90s and 2000s, Ophilia is the director’s obvious celebration of that subculture and its strong-willed characters. Whether this dedicated labour of love is seen as more as a niche masterwork will likely determine how Raja Mukhriz does in this category this year.

The Cage

The Cage

Nominee: Felix Tan & Kethsvin Chee

Verdict: The Cage‘s premise is ingenious enough – a bunch of stage actors are horrified when the line between art and life is blurred by a psychotic theatre director and they find themselves having to perform a living nightmare, with the ambiguous audience left to bear witness to the live insanity. Shot and cut at pace, such a treatment would need two heads to tame the story arc as it plays out on camera.  More of a physical achievement than a spiritual one, Tan and Chee’s thriller is gripping and watchable for what it is, though one-dimensional and almost Saw-like at times.



Nominee: Razaisyam Rashid

Verdict: For a Malay popcorn flick, CEO doesn’t really rise above the monotonous heap of the past five years. Fans of acting may feel that co-lead Beto Kusyairi‘s chops are a bit wasted in this tame rom-com, but at the least the adoring mass audience will have gotten to see A-list stud Remy Ishak in a self-deprecating light and slightly out of character. And director Razaisyam Rashid will at least have shown that he has a way with getting the rare performances out of big-name ensemble casts.

Daily Seni’s Pick

It would be a two-way toss-up between Shamyl Othman and Raja Mukhriz, with the Felix Tan-Kethsvin Chee pairing an outside vote. Gavin Yap is yet to define his silver-screen ouvre; with a WTF decision in store if Razaisyam surprises voters with the novelty/celebrity factor.

Who do you feel is “the next directing hope”?

Felix Tan and Kethsvin Chee (‘The Cage’)
Gavin Yap (‘Take Me To The Dinner’)
Raja Mukhriz (‘Ophilia’)
Razaisyam Rashid (‘CEO’)
Shamyl Othman (‘Kami Histeria’)

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The Daily Seni
The Daily Seni delivers news on local arts and culture, aiming to provide insight into Malaysia's ever-growing creative community as well as provoke thought and discussion.

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