Screened at the 24th Busan International Film Festival
The Garden of Evening Mists (TGOEM) made its world premiere at the 24th Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) under the ‘A Window on Asian Cinema’ category on 4 October 2019 and saw the attendance of Taiwanese director, Tom Lin, and lead actress from Malaysia, Sinje Lee. TGOEM was also screened on 6 October, 4pm at MEGABOX Jangsan Haeundae and will screen again on 11 October, 8pm at Lotte Cinema Centrum City 4, of which, both venues with a capacity of 841 seats each, were sold-out, attesting to the positive response to the film.
TGOEM has received a multitude of positive reviews from audiences, such as:
“This film showcases the resilience in women in dealing with harrowing life situations, and their fight to achieve their goals. Full of emotion, this film also includes aspects of architecture and art similar to traditional Korean artforms. I enjoyed the character of Nakamura Aritomo, by actor Hiroshi Abe, as that character was charismatic and had a unique personality. TGOEM is a great film and I will definitely recommend it to my family and friends.” – Minsol Kim
“A good film. I thoroughly enjoyed the music arrangement, along with the captivating landscape that brought the film to life. The cast deserves due commendation for their impeccable, tear-jerking performance. Three great elements about this film I really enjoyed are the high-quality production, music and cinematography.” – Dongki Kim
“While I was initially sceptical about the film, after watching it, I enjoyed the film because the plot was developed so well. For a Malaysian film, it is not often we find a combination of high-quality production, acting, styling, background and location paired perfectly, as in international films. The director also successfully brought together elements of forgiveness so well. My favourite scene was the “shakkei” which is a concept also used in Korea.” – Bonita
Tom Lin, Director, TGOEM, said, “Directing this film, I decided to steer away from focusing on elements of hatred and anger, like in many other war movies. I felt that showcasing more aspects of love could help develop to a wider variety of elements in the movie. Through the love felt by character Teoh Yun Ling, the importance of forgiveness was highlighted, with that being our main focus in the film.”
Sinje Lee, Lead Actress, TGOEM, said, “To properly embody this character, I prepared by watching numerous documentaries about people who lived during the World Wars. The director, production team and cast also provided me with a lot of guidance, making it a very valuable experience to me.”
Raja Jastina Raja Arshad, Vice President, Head of Astro Shaw & Nusantara, said, “We are excited to have this film adaptation of a Penang-born author’s book presented to industry experts and audiences around the world. Not only does this film have an interesting storyline, but through its cinematography, showcases the beauty of Malaysia and Asian cultures which are rarely shown to international audiences. The screening of TGOEM has received positive response, with sold-out tickets and positive reviews. We hope this film continues to grow and chart its own history.”
The Garden of Evening Mists Gardens will also screen at the Hong Kong Asian Film Festival (HKAFF) as a “Gala Presentation” with screenings to take place from 14 to 16 November 2019 and has been selected as the “Closing Film” at the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival (Golden Horse) on 21 November. Additionally, TGOEM will compete at the Golden Horse on 23 November, in 9 categories it was nominated for; Best Narrative Feature (Astro Shaw Sdn. Bhd.,HBO Asia), Best Director (Tom Shu-yu LIN), Best Leading Actress (Sinje LEE), Best Adapted Screenplay (Richard SMITH), Best Cinematography (Kartik VIJAY), Best Art Direction (Penny Pei-ling TSAI, LUM Heng-soon, CHEN Hsuan-shao), Best Makeup & Costume Design (Nikki GOOLEY, Biby CHOW, Penny Pei-ling TSAI, Nina EDWARDS), Best Original Film Score (Onn SAN), and Best Film Editing (SOO Mun-thye).
TGOEM has seen an international production team from Malaysia, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, India, Australia and the UK, working to bring together this celebrated novel to the silver screen. The crew of this global production includes award-winning Taiwanese director Tom Lina and Scottish BAFTA-winning screenwriter Richard Smith. It also boasts a star-studded international cast including Sinje Lee (The Eye), Hiroshi Abe (After the Storm), Sylvia Chang (Love Education), David Oakes (Cold Skin), Julian Sands (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and John Hannah (The Mummy).
The film tells the story of Teoh Yun Ling (played by Sinje Lee) who, embittered from atrocities of World War II in Malaya, seeks solace in the rolling hills of Cameron Highlands. There, in her quest to build a garden in homage of her late sister, she embarks on a forbidden love affair with the mysterious gardener, Nakamura Aritomo (played by Hiroshi Abe)
The Garden of Evening Mists is slated to debut in Malaysian cinemas starting 16 January 2020. Film adaptation of critically acclaimed novel of the same title TGOEM is produced by Astro Shaw and HBO Asia with support from the National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (FINAS) in association with CJ Entertainment.