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Sanif Olek Love Trilogy received full house at Sinema

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Sanif Olek’s Love Trilogy had a full house screening at Sinema on 12 October, 2010 despite of multiple screenings prior to this event. The Love Trilogy consists of three short films “Lost Sole”, “à la folie” and “Ameen”. Along the universal theme of love, the characters embody a diverse range of interpretations of what love could be.

Local director and producer Sanif Olek works full time in television work and has produced numerous award-winning TV programmes, music videos and commercials. He has won the “Best Director” award twice at Mediacorp’s Pesta Perdana, which honors the best in the Malay television industry in Singapore.

Describing himself as a “Malay producer who can’t even speak Malay”, he shared his struggles in communicating with his casts. In “Lost Sole”, which is about a deaf diabetic father who went on an accidental self-discovery journey while searching for his missing slippers after Friday noon solat, he wanted to use the Boyan language but due to his illiteracy of the language, his script was first written in English before going through two translations.

“I can understand Boyanese but I can’t speak the language,” he said. During the production, he conversed with his lead actor in English with a smattering of Malay and there were times where he “wondered if the lead actor really understands what I was saying.” Fortunately he had a crew who was a pure Boyanese and double acted as a translator.

During the Q&A session, an audience raised the topic on dialects and how the restriction on dialects will lead to the loss of “our multi-ethnic culture”. “I think that currently for dialects, it’s 20% [in Suria] per se,” said Sanif.

“Coming out from a film school, you always have this idea that you are going to be the next Steven Spielberg. But when I did this film [Lost Sole], I was quite surprised that there are people out there who want to see our Malay stories,” he said. His film was screened in over 30 film festivals, and the 1st Malay film to be screened in New York Museum of Modern Art. “To be picked among hundreds and hundreds of other films, I think that itself is an achievement,” he added.

Sanif is currently working on his first Malay feature film, RAMUAN RAHASIA (The Missing Ingredient). It is about a father who wants to reconcile with his son, who is in Sydney. The father has an Indonesian maid who wants to cook for him the best Sambal goreng and eventually it is her cooking that was the instrumental factor in their reconciliation. The film needs an estimated $200,000 to complete the remaining production.

Sinema Export! is a new event programme that will screen award-winning and acclaimed selection of local films that have been supported by Sinema and Singapore Polytechnic at international film festivals and curated programmes. The screening of the LOVE Trilogy is supported by Singapore Malay Film Society (SMFS).

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