Sat, Aug 01, 2009
The New Straits Times
'Talentime', Yasmin's final masterpiece?

Yasmin could be duly recognised at film festival

IT would not be the first time for Yasmin Ahmad.

She had won awards at the Malaysian Film Festival with Sepet in 2004 and again in 2006 with Gubra.

But it would be the first time for Yasmin if she wins the Best Director award at the 22nd Malaysian Film Festival in Kota Kinabalu next Saturday.

Sepet won not only the Best Film but also the Best Original Screenplay, Best Poster, Best Actress, Best Promising Actor and Best Promising Actress awards in 2006.

Its sequel, Gubra, won the Best Original Screenplay, Best Poster and Best Actress awards besides the Best Film award.

Film critics are all in agreement that Talentime, a sweet love story of an Indian boy and a Malay girl, was one of her best works.

Produced by Grand Brilliance, the film that introduced Malaysian Idol Jacyln Victor as an actress, did not fare well at the box-office.

The film collected about RM1 million, just like her earlier two award winners, Sepet and Gubra.

While Yasmin's Mukhsin, released in 2007 enjoyed better box-office success, collecting some RM1.8 million, it was largely ignored by the jury at the 20th Malaysian Film Festival.

Mukhsin only managed the Best Child Actor award despite being nominated in almost all major categories, including Best Director and Best Film.

With her sudden death on July 25, will the jury finally recognise her as one of Malaysia's best directors?

There is no doubt that Talentime will be shortlisted as a top five nominee in the major categories, including Best Director and Best Film.

The film, I believe, will win the Best Original Screenplay as well as Best Promising Actor and Actress for the performances of Mahesh Jugal Kishor and Pamela Chong respectively.

Being a semi-musical, the film might also win in the Best Music Score and Original Song categories.

Talentime also has a big chance at winning the Best Picture award because there is a lack of strong competition in that category.

The closest competitor in Best Film and Best Director categories comes from heavy drama Maut, and its director, the award-winning Badaruddin Azmi.

Yes, it will be a fitting tribute to Yasmin Ahmad if she wins the Best Director award for her outstanding work in Talentime.

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