` Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) `

Cinematheque hosts Q&A with Singaporean filmmaker Sanif Olek

Multiethnic Singapore livens up the month with one of their two films for ASEAN Film Awareness Month celebrating the country’s music and cuisine. Sanif Olek’s My Beloved Dearest (original title: Sayang Disayang) brings a different taste of caregiving and love in a picture and debuts this third week of March 2016. Having won awards in various film festivals, the film was also Singapore’s official entry for Best Foreign 87th Academy Awards of 2015.

The film is the story of an old Singaporean man named Pak Harun and his Indonesian domestic helper named Murni, who survived a tsunami. As Harun harangues Murni she struggles to keep her job as a domestic helper and attempts to win Harun’s kind affection by cooking a traditional dish, sambal goreng, just like Harun’s wife used to make. Notable for being Singapore’s first feature film in the Malay language since its independence, the musical film is director Sanif Olek’s first feature, which struggled to gain funding since its creation in 2009, completed in 2013, and went on to gain international acclaim.

A multi-awarded veteran media practitioner working since 1998, Olek has only worked in television and created short films up until creating My Beloved Dearest. Seeing the lack of Malay-centric films in Singapore, Olek was inspired to a full-length work focused on the Malaysian culture and in the Malaysian language, despite the naysayers. More than featuring Malay songs, gamelan music, and Nusantara cuisine, the film was made with the director’s intention to cultivate a local cinema that can show strongly alongside other more recognized Asian film industries—stories that are universal, but that retain his culture’s unique perspective.

Sanif Olek will be present at the screening of My Beloved Dearest on March 20, 2016 (Sunday) at 1:00pm. The Q&A session with the director will be held afterwards. Films screened during the ASEAN Film Awareness month are free-of-charge.


Film Development Council of the Philippines