‘Beautiful’ pic makes debut

Helmer returns to Cannes after haitus

SINGAPORE — Eleven years after “Kaki bakar” (The Arsonist) became the first Malaysian film at Cannes, helmer U-Wei Bin HajiSaari returns in Directors Fortnight with short pic “My Beautiful Rambutan Tree in Tanjung Rambutan.”

A LeBrocquy Fraser Prods., “Rambutan Tree” was produced with backing from Malaysia’s Media Development Corridor and Salon Films.

U-Wei’s feature debut in 1993 was the controversial “Perempuan, isteri & jalang” (Woman, Wife & Whore). Follow up, “Kaki bakar,” was invited to Un Certain Regard in 1995 as well as to Berlin, Montreal, Nantes, Fribourg, New York and Pusan.

LeBrocquy Fraser is also working on bringing U-Wei’s theater production “Wangi jadi saksi” to the stage at Kuala Lumpur’s Dewan Bahasar & Pustaka Theater.

LeBrocquy Fraser produced “Osama,” directed by Afghanistan’s Siddiq Barmak.

“We have several exciting and challenging films in development, with U-Wei helming these projects as writer/director,” said Fraser. “We feel there is a huge untapped vein of stories from the greater Asian region — from China to the Malay Archipelago to India to the Middle East — stories that will intrigue and entertain a global audience. Malaysia’s cosmopolitan urban-scapes are perfect settings for contemporary stories with an edge; as a starting point.”

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