The film won the NETPAC Award, at the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival, 2008
"for the consummate artistry with which the director satirises business and media glitz, and his successful attempt at the presentation of the Malaysian context to an international audience, thus generating much optimism for a wider acceptance of Malaysian indie films."
Described as Malaysia’s first 'Manglish' (Malaysian-English) musical comedy, it points fingers at various institutions and people in the country, from bureaucrats and CEOs to artists and the media.
The film opens with the director appearing as an interviewee and being asked, by a TV arts-show host, to explain his strange 'art' films.
The TV host Raffleasia Pong is fed up of her interviewees, whom she calls "over-rated under-achievers, called artists". She is desperate for success as her ratings have fallen. So, she decides on a new, shock-solution to launch a reality show for terminally ill people, and she soon begins to interview individuals who are lying on their death-beds.
In love with Pong, is Eric Tan, a half English-Malaysian engineer, who works hard to create an eight-in-one super soya-maker machine. But he is ordered by his two bosses not to be 'creative', but to stick to being mediocre, which confuses him totally.
Both the protagonists work for a company called 'Fony Corporation'.
The film has been described as a "story of our times" that could apply to many Asian countries. It particularly makes irreverent fun of Malaysia’s complex ethnic structure, and its racial, economic and linguistic differences. The money-mad Chinese, the lazy Malays and the pompous half-breeds are all butts for jokes.
The songs add further fuel to the fire, with 'Money Money' being almost as vibrant as the one in 'Mama Mia'! The film was made with a modest budget, using non-professionals, with post-production done in Bangkok.
“My film speaks English, Malay and Cantonese, because that's what is crazy and fascinating about Malaysia," said Director Yeo Joon Han, a trained lawyer who chose films over law-suits. His debut short film 'Adults Only' won an award at the Venice Festival, and this was followed by 'Sell Out', which won the 'Young Cinema Award for Alternative Vision' at the same.
Since then, the film has been screened at more than 20 festivals around the world -
Vancouver, Buenos Aires, Moscow, Melbourne, Hawai, Barcelona, Zurich, Mumbai, Pusan, Taipei, Tokyo and Bangkok
What the critics said
- "A satire on business and media-greed that's played and helmed with a sophomoric enthusiasm -- the Opening sequence is the funniest thing in the picture!"
- “This humorous, wink-filled comedy relies on jokes that most South-East Asians can relate to.”
- "Producer, composer, writer, and first-time feature filmmaker Yeo Joon Han amusingly crafted an artsy film that pokes fun at almost every issue that society encounters."
It's not often that we get to see a light-hearted but hard-hitting indie film from Asia, and director Yeo Joon Han, deserves credit for culling his own personal style.
Flying down specially for the Closing Film of the FCCT-NETPAC Festival, is the founder-President of NETPAC, Dr Ms Aruna Vasudev
, film writer, critic, programmer, who has been awarded the Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres
by the French Govt, the Star of Italian Solidarity
by the Italian Govt, the Korea Prize
by the Pusan International Film Festival, to name only a few.
We’re also delighted to announce that the Director of the film, Yeo Joon Han, is specially flying down for the event. Copy-writer-turned film-maker, 40-year-old Han was the first Malaysian director to screen a film at the Venice festival, where both his films won prizes. The Director will do a Q & A, after the film screening.
STOP PRESS AGAIN!
Flying down specially for the Closing Film of the FCCT-NETPAC Festival, is the founder-President of NETPAC, Dr Ms Aruna Vasudev, *** founder of the important Asian Film Quarterly Cinemaya and the renowned Cinefan Asian Film Festival,**** who has been awarded the Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Govt, the Star of Italian Solidarity by the Italian Govt, the Korea Prize by the Pusan International Film Festival, to name only a few
To celebrate the screening of this much-talked-about movie from Malaysia, the new Archa Café & Wine Bar
at Sukhumvit Soi 26 (formerly Kopitiam), has kindly agreed to serve a range of Malaysian dishes including Laksa Lemak, Roti Cenai, Bakuteh, Beef and Chicken Satay
Don’t miss the closing film of the NETPAC Asian Festival, which is part of our Contemporary World Film Series.
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