S'pore Malay film in Oscar bid

S'pore Malay film in Oscar bid
Film-maker Sanif Olek is proud to represent Singapore with his debut movie Sayang Disayang.

Singaporean film-maker Sanif Olek has much to celebrate.

His debut feature Sayang Disayang - an independent film six years in the making - has been selected as Singapore's entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars next year.

It is also the first Malay film submission from Singapore for this award.

An impressive feat, considering that the film has yet to see a general release here.

For the 44-year-old, the submission is "good news", especially since the film has been getting rave reviews at film festivals abroad.

"The movie has been submitted for consideration by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science (for the Oscars), but I am certainly happy to fly the flag for Singapore if I am given the opportunity," said Mr Sanif, a veteran of many English and Malay language TV dramas.

When contacted, the Singapore Film Commission confirmed the submission. A total of seven films were also considered this year, added its spokesman.

Previous local entries included Anthony Chen's Ilo Ilo (picked for 2013), Michelle Chong's comedy Already Famous (2012), Eric Khoo's animated work Tatsumi (2011) and Royston Tan's musical-comedy 881 (2007).

None were nominated by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science, which gives out the Oscars.

Mr Sanif said he is pleased that his "labour of love" is in the running, especially since Sayang Disayang is his way of "presenting Malay culture to the world".

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