Monday, August 17, 2009

15Malaysia

Short note: I rarely blog on reviews about an organisation, projects, events, movie or show, unless they are related to me personally, or they are of something special. This is indeed a special project by 15 Malaysians for 25 million of Malaysians.
15Malaysia
Today, August 17, 2009 is a special day - it is the launch day for 15Malaysia.
I first heard about 15Malaysia after the demise of Yasmin, as she was part of the team member of this project. That was about a month ago. Back then, the Facebook group page of 15Malaysia had only about 3,000 fans. But since its launch at midnight, the figure has been increasing rapidly and it has since surpassed its initial target of getting 10,000 fans on its launch day.
What 15Malaysia is all about, you may ask.
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"15Malaysia is a short film project. It consists of 15 short films made by 15 Malaysian filmmakers. These films not only deal with socio-political issues in Malaysia, they also feature some of the best-known faces in the country, including actors, musicians and top political leaders. You may think of them as funky little films made by 15 Malaysian voices for the people of Malaysia." - taken from 15Malaysia.
The most important thing is that everything is free. We all know how good Malaysians are when it comes to free stuff, aren't we haha.
The project is produced by Pete Teo and the team that brought you MAFU last year. Remember that video Here In My Home, a music video project that became a national popular culture phenomenon? Here are some FAQ taken from 15Malaysia.

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WHAT IS 15MALAYSIA?

15Malaysia is a short films project. It consists of 15 short films about Malaysia directed by some of the best young filmmakers in our country. Each film lasts between 3 to 7 minutes.
WHAT ARE THE FILMS ABOUT?
All our films have socio-political subject matters. These vary from corruption, race relations, inflation, Islamic banking, social apathy, ethical commerce, pedophilia, government health warnings and so on. Some are funny, other serious – all try to deal with aspects of Malaysian life. Each filmmaker was responsible for choosing his or her own subject matter.
WHO ARE IN THE FILMS?

Our cast is a mix of actors, musicians and politicians such as Khairy Jamaluddin, Nik Aziz, Liow Tiong Lai, Tian Chua and Zaid Ibrahim. All were invited based on their willingness to participate and suitability for the role that they played. There is also a dog amongst our cast. And no, we don’t mean Paris Hilton…
HOW WERE THE FILMMAKERS CHOSEN?

Invitations to filmmakers were issued based on their track record. Some are well known while others are relatively unknown. Many have spearheaded the award winning successes of Malaysian independent films at international film festivals in recent years. While not an exhaustive list of Malaysia’s top filmmakers, our directors nevertheless represent some of the best in the country. Their biographies and photographs are provided on this site.
WHY POLITICIANS?

Since our project is about Malaysia, we feel it is entirely appropriate that we invited participation from our political representatives. It started out as a wild idea, but we were pleasantly surprised by how keen each of our politician cast member was to get involved. Every one of them joined us without imposing party political spin control or censorious stipulations. We retained final cut rights to every one of our films.
IS THIS A POLITICAL PROJECT?

Insofar as all our films touch upon Malaysian lives, it goes without saying that they are creative expressions circumscribed by the country’s politics. However, 15Malaysia is staunchly non-partisan in party political terms. All Malaysians regardless of party political affiliations face the situations expressed in our films. As such, they are issues that every Malaysian citizen has a constitutional right to voice and are in fact above narrow party political interests.
WHO PRODUCED THE PROJECT?

A small team led by Pete Teo produced 15Malaysia. It’s the same team that brought you the Malaysian Artistes For Unity project in 2008. There is a flattering little blurb about Pete in the ‘Producers’ section of this site. Go read it if you like that sort of thing.
DID YOU ROB A BANK TO FUND THIS?

15Malaysia is sponsored by P1, the WiMAX Internet access provider. Please read about them and watch their profile film in the ‘Producers’ section of this site. Either they were super cool to buy into a crazy idea like 15Malaysia, or Pete Teo had to sleep with a lot of people. Probably both.
WHY 15?

No reason other that it is a nice round number. Unlike 17.43…
Seriously, there must be hundreds of Malaysian filmmakers who are qualified to be included in our project. But we are not yet crazy enough to handle more than 15 films at one time. If you feel aggrieved that you weren’t invited and want to show us what we missed, please check out the ‘28Malaysia’ section on this site.
HOW MANY PEOPLE WERE INVOLVED?

Directors, actors and tyrannical producers represent only a fraction of the people involved in this project. If we included editors, sound people, line producers, website designers, coding geeks, translators and other supporting technicians, over 100 people were involved directly with the production of 15Malaysia. The project took only 3 months to complete. It would have been sooner if not for the fact that Pete Teo doesn’t do mornings
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There are fifteen short films in total and the following are the release dates of all the 15Malaysia films, starting from the first one today by Ho Yuhang entitled "Potong Saga" and it will end with the last one - "Rojak!" by Suleiman Brothers on Malaysia Day on September 16th. Each week around three films would be released, on Mondays, Wednesdays as well as Fridays. Films will be made downloadable for free and viewable via YouTube.
17/8/09 Monday POTONG SAGA [Ho Yuhang]
19/8/09 Wednesday CHOCOLATE [Yasmin Ahmad]
21/8/09 Friday THE TREE [Amir Muhammad]
24/8/09 Monday HOUSE [Linus Chung]
26/8/09 Wednesday HALAL [Liew Seng Tat]
28/8/09 Friday THE SON [Desmond Ng]
31/8/09 Monday LUMPUR [Kamal Sabran]
02/9/09 Wednesday ONE FUTURE [Tan Chui Mui]
04/9/09 Friday SLOVAK SLING [Woo Ming Jin]
07/9/09 Monday GERHANA [James Lee]
09/9/09 Wednesday METER [Lim Benji]
11/9/09 Friday DUIT KECIL [Johan John]
14/9/09 Monday HEALTHY PARANOIA [Khairil M Bahar]
15/9/09 Tuesday LOLLIPOP [Nam Ron]
16/9/09 Wednesday ROJAK! [Suleiman Brothers]
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If you have been to the site of 15Malaysia, you would notice a section where anybody can join the team by making our own film about the country we all love. I submitted my video I made last year entitled "Jiwa Merdeka" and you would see both versions there, at the recommended section.
In fact, I'm currently in the early stage of another 'secret project', and it should be finished in several weeks. I'm actually quite excited about working on this project and you will know what this 'secret project' is all about very soon. For the mean time, enjoy the fifteen short movies at 15Malaysia.

5 comments:

ns29 said...

should be supported if they made good films

Ken said...

Sokongan padu terhadap 15Malaysia! Btw, I'm kind of blur with the message embedded in ' Chocolate'. Not until I watched the making of.

calvin said...

@ ns29:
from the two films so far, i think they are not bad at all. in fact, they make me feel that i want a much longer film than that.

calvin said...

@ ken:
yes, it has a deep meaning, unlike her usual simple and straight forward message. i would like to quote one comment left by someone;

"Originally, the encounter of that boy with that girl can be a very sweet one. However, because of so many negative circumstances surrounding them, it becomes a heart-rending story. Are we going to continue allowing our life to be affected by those unfortunate circumstances and prejudices? And let many sweet moments and good opportunity of life pass us by...."

Anonymous said...

The man who has made up his mind to win will never say "impossible ".


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Université de Paris