Like Sunshine After Rain4 min readReading Time: 4 minutes
Singapore | Drama | 2009 | 85 minutes | English/Mandarin (with English subtitles) | Rating TBA
Directed by Jeffrey Chiang
Premieres 14th August 2010
Jia Wei (played by Julie Woon) is an abused woman who has run away from her violent husband. She ends up in a quaint little town, and takes a job at a piano cafe. With the generosity of kind souls there, Jia rediscovers her self-confidence and more importantly, finds happiness.
However. things take an abrupt turn for the worse, and Jia’s life is thrown back into chaos.
Will she have the strength and courage to rise yet again, and claim her true destiny?
About the Director: Jeffrey Chiang
At the age of 22, Jeffrey Chiang embarked on his first Malaysian television drama as writer, producer and director with VILLA USANG, an escapist fare about three boys encountering spooky occurrences at a dilapidated mansion. Subsequently, he delved into the world of suspense with the “˜made for TV’ thriller KONTRAK which starred Ramona Rahman.
Chiang then parlayed his passion for film and television into TV commercials production when he joined Yarra Films Singapore as a producer. He later worked with Shaw Organisation as a publicist and handled blockbusters like Terminator 2 and Dances With Wolves. Looking to further expand on his movie-making experience, Chiang signed on with Nippon Film Development & Finance, the financiers of The Crying Game and Howard’s End as regional manager of theatrical and television distribution.
In the mid-90s, Chiang set up his own company to work on regional television productions. Having more than a hundred hours of TV programming under his belt, he stepped into the cinematic arena for the very first time as producer with FOREVER FEVER, which became Singapore’s first feature film sold to USA’s Miramax Films. He then donned the director’s hat on GHOSTORIES: ECHOES OF THE SOUL, which starred Michelle Goh and Thomas Ong.
When the new Millennium rolled around, Chiang jumpstarted his Hollywood adventure by moving to Los Angeles. He garnered attention from a top-notch industry manager with his spec script TERRACOTTA WARRIOR, which was shopped around Tinseltown with key interest from Warner Brothers. His next action oriented script, S.O.S, made the rounds and created a stir within the community. Studio executives began to sit up and pay attention, and a number considered his writing skills for potential projects in the pipeline.
Not one to leave his producer’s instincts behind, Chiang cornered the US remake rights to a hilarious “˜coming of age’ tale from Japan called WATERBOYS. He pitched the project to the studios and came up with a winning hand when New Line Cinema agreed to pursue an American angle on the comedy.
Most recently, Chiang has re-engineered Cinetopia – a distribution entity whichwas responsible for the releases of The Blair Witch Project, Gods & Monsters and most recently, The Signal – into a HD production company. Chiang recently completed Malay horror, “DILARANG MASUK” as writer and director.
I was visiting a corporate sponsor in Taiping when I came across a small corner eatery called The Piano Cafe.
The name of the establishment immediately evoked in me a sense of romance, and with that, I began the journey of making ‘Like Sunshine After Rain’.
I had always driven past the township but never stopped in Taiping until that fateful day. The only thing I ever knew about the place prior to my visit was that it rained 365 days a year. It has the highest record of rainfall in any township within the federation of Malaysia. The other gems I discovered about the quaint little town were a wonderful Zoo & Night Safari, along with a beautifully manicured park which collared a shimmering lake.
Inspired in part by the beauty of the place and as well the warmness of its residents, I sat down to write a story about rediscovering ‘happiness’. The story revolved around a woman who had lost all hope in her abusive marriage, and her subsequent awakening upon arriving in Taiping.
WIth a tiny budget in hand, I knew I had to shoot this movie fast and efficiently. I was fortunate enough to have had the wonderful support of Panasonic Singapore whom provided me with their AG-HPX172EN camcorder. I shot 720p onto proprietary P2 cards, and with the ‘cinema mode’ setting, it helped give the movie a nice softness – an elusive quality on other comparable models. Principal photography was completed within ten days, and the movie was subsequently edited on Final Cut Pro.
Upon completion of the movie, I learnt of the closure of The Piano Cafe.
I was saddened by the fact that yet another business had fallen victim to the global economic downturn. Whatever the future holds, we must always hope for the best and await the ‘sunshine after rain’.
““ JEFFREY CHIANG, Director
Like Sunshine After Rain will be screening at Sinema Old School from 14th August. Director Jeffrey Chiang will be present at the 14th August screening to conduct a Q&A session after the film.