Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Anugerah Skrin for Khairy?


KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 17 — It is not every day you hear the name Khairy Jamaluddin being mentioned followed by rounds of applause.


Then again, today’s event was no ordinary event. It may even have been historic to a certain degree, but one thing's for sure... it was certainly unique.


15Malaysia, a joint effort between 15 independent film-makers and Packet One Networks (P1), a wireless broadband company, had its official launch here today.

Teo (left), Datuk Zaid Ibrahim and Lai (right) at the launch of 15Malaysia. — Picture by Choo Choy MayAmong the familiar faces present were actor Harith Iskandar, director Amir Muhammad, as well as Batu MP Tian Chua, who is the lead in one of the 15 films. ("One Future" by director Tan Chui Mui.)


“The films use us as material and try to put forward issues to the public,” said the PKR parliamentarian.


15Malaysia’s producer Pete Teo told the media that the films in the project deal not only with the issue of race relations but also various social and political issues faced by Malaysians today.
However, the question of whether these films will drastically alter people’s perceptions of issues is still uncertain.


“I dare not go so far as to say that things will change after watching these movies. The issue of racial conflict and tension requires more effort and time; the most this project does is to create a space for individuals to voice out their concerns and opinions,” quipped Chua.
The one condition the project required was that total "creative freedom" be given to the artistes and the directors, said Michael Lai, CEO of P1.


"15Malaysia is aimed at bridging gaps between the arts and broadband service," he said.

Tian Chua stars in one one of the 15Malaysia short films.According to Teo, most of the films have already been picked to compete in international film festivals.


So how did Umno Youth chief Khairy fit into the picture? Although he was not present at the event, his portrayal of a lamenting taxi driver in "Interview With The Taxi Driver" by Benji Lim and Bahir Yeusuff has earned him lots of praise and applause.


A few people who attended the launch went so far as to say that if politics does not work out for Khairy, acting is definitely something he can fall back on. Indeed.


Starting today, three films will be released each week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday over five weeks — so go to 15malaysia.com to watch the films.


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