Singapore Malay Filmmakers Society - a word with Isnor...


If the overwhelming entourage of supporters to Shahrezza's `Brotherhood:Consequences' is anything to go by, I think with the setting up of the SMFS (see title for long form), we can expect a bolder voice from the independent Malay filmmakers and perhaps more prominent directors who would break the Chinese domination in the scene...... i.e. enough of getais, hungry ghosts, vulgar Hokkien and melancholic Mandarin narration read over contemplative images.

I had a chance to interview Isnor Jaffar, the founder SMFS to know more about it.

Jeremy(J): How did it start? Who started it?

Isnor(I): I am the founder of SMFS. How it came about or what moved me to start this was when I was watching the late P. Ramlee film with my wife. All the malays in Singapore knows who the late P. Ramlee is. His films up till today is a pleasure watch. A film that will never go out to date. Particularly the film "Seniman Bujang Lapok" where the three friends goes for a screen test audition to Jalan Ampas (The place where the golden age of malays films were). I came to know that there was a company called 'Malay Film Production' here in Singapore and the building could be seen in the film which I didnt notice all these time!

So, my wife and I started to search google, yahoo.. on 'Malay FIlm Production' and from then on I figured most Singapore films nowadays are either in Chinese, Mandarin, Hokkien, etc... NO MALAY? What are we malays been doing man?? Wake up?!! So that is what moved me. If there was a Malay Film Production then.. why not now?! Malays are now equipped with technology that is easy to films.Jan 2008, I started on friendster. Promoting my movement. (Can be seen in SMFS' Facebook). They added me.. but there was no respons. Most were bunch of teens. I tried Clubsnap. Only 1 responded, Suffian Zain. But it was only around March 2008 someone told me "Try facebook!" and I did. Boy it started to grow. Thats how i meet Rezza, Rafaat, the 8min youth organizers, Lina & Iqbal and many more.

J: What are the activities/things the society has planned?

I: Some of the things planned is something similar to Sinema but on a lower scale. We try to gather MALAY FILMMAKERS in Singapore. As i felt that, most of us tends to be doing their own stuffs, alone or in small groups. SMFS will try to gather all these pple in one society. So far in the SMFS' facebook, there are more than 200 members. But those who are really active are only just a handful. Just to name a few are those in the SMFS' facebook officers.

The active members of SMFS hopes to make a feature film together. When i'm not sure yet. Currently, I myself am doing a short film under the Sinema Incubator Programme called 'Genggam'. It will feature an action drama thriller on our malay martial arts, Silat. Shahrezza (click for trailer) also in under the Incubator Programme under feature film category called "Perkataan Cinta" the word love. We will help each other in our projects and hopefully gather more active members to make our dreams come true which is, to have our own Malay Film Industry back once again.

J: Who are the more prominent Malay filmmakers in today's scene in Singapore?

I: There are not many of us malay filmmakers around but we will try to identify more. So far, to me the only prominent one is only 1. Sanif Olek. The rest are either one time off or just trying something new and got lucky. The up coming ones are, Shahrezza who made "Consequences:Brotherhood" and Suffian Zain who made "Tak Dong Cheng". They are really passionate in what they are doing.

Isnor left me with a piece of trivia : All the Malay groups who took part in the 48hr Film Project are the active members in SMFS.

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