Sunday January 6, 2013
New journey begins
CRAZY, SEXY, HONESTLY By IDA NERINA
A clash of the minds or hearts may not necessarily be a bad thing. In fact, it may actually pave the way for a wonderful new path together.
FIRST piece on the first weekend of a new year. My first thoughts as I woke up on Jan 1 was actually about firsts of sorts. First words, first revelations, first fights, first loves and first steps towards the breaking of bad patterns. No, I’m not speaking of resolutions really. I stopped making those when I was in school. Well, stopped saying them out loud anyways.
I try not to make resolutions out loud as that only serves to upset oneself when one does not keep them. I think the silent ones we make in hopes of improving ourselves and the lives of others dear to us are the ones we should always try to adhere to, and they should not be limited to ones made on New Year’s Day.
For example, I try to be mindful of other people’s feelings in delicate situations, but in heated moments, perhaps the one I’m most mindful of protecting and standing up for would be myself. And I’ve been told I apparently only see things in one way – mine. And I want others to see things my way only. Truth is, this I KNOW to be quite inaccurate. I was an actor. It was my job to see all sides of a story and to be able to put myself in other people’s shoes. Growing up, I also learnt that putting my opinions or feelings forth and on the table doesn’t mean I’m shoving them down other people’s throats. It may take a little time for me to see but I generally do see other sides when they are carefully and clearly explained, even if I might not necessarily agree. And I’m actually really fine with agreeing to disagree if eyes don’t meet. It doesn’t mean you care less for another’s opinion when you don’t see eye to eye, it just means you have your own opinions that make you, you. And realising that if someone truly loves you, there can be no way they would want to cause you harm or pain.
Going back to firsts – 2012 was so fabulously filled with firsts for me. I directed my first full on awards show, the 9th Boh Cameronian Arts Awards – which marked the return of Kakiseni.
I produced my first drama. Well, I kinda just “contracted” it out to husband and wife team Melissa Saila and Megat Fauzi’s film company. They did all the hard work for Malang Yang Berbau (directly translated as A Smelly Misfortune, which is a play on the Malay saying malang tak berbau). It was actually pretty damn good ... maybe we just shoulda realised “Malang tu memang tak berbau bila menimpa” (misfortune has no scent when it strikes) cos there were a few small hiccoughs we faced that had nothing to do with the actual production.
Most importantly in 2012, I rekindled my first love. That is to say, a genuine love of being creative, verbal discourse and exchanges of deconstructing subjects, a sharing of ideas, fears, hopes and dreams. Yes, even at this somewhat late stage in life, I think we should always keep feeding and nurturing ourselves with new insights and keep that sense of wonderment and somewhat naive outlook on life. I see too many jaded people around the world who seem to forget there really are so many sides to two-dimensional stories. I, myself, had almost forgotten this wonderful art of conversation, and what a loss that would’ve been.
Another first to kick off our brand new year: I’d like to share with you something I’ve been working on for the past couple of months which we kicked off properly yesterday with the sounds of lights being turned on and cameras rolling – Kakiseni’s WOMEN:Girls is the project’s grand dame, Garang Pictures and Big Eyes Entertainment are the arms, and Ikal Mayang is the name. International Women’s Day 2013 on March 8 is our aim.
Why name the project Ikal Mayang, you may wonder. Well, we wanted something to do with women for obvious reasons. Names like Skirt Shorts or Skirt Pendek, Skirt Panjang were thrown around – too English, too long. Then I remembered how it’s always said that a woman’s crowning glory is her hair. And “ikal mayang” in Malay means long, wavy, black (or dark) hair. Very sensuous. Very womanly. Very Malaysian and definitely Asian. The first of its kind here. Or anywhere even, perhaps.
And so, for the first time in my career, I am creative director of 15 short films. All written, directed and produced by women. Trust that crazy Ngai Yuen (ie, Low Ngai Yuen, head of Kakiseni, women’s rights activist, and producer and director) to dip me in at the deep end. Again. Gotta love someone who has so much faith and places so much trust in you.
I dare say that it may have something to do with the fact that I CAN see others’ stories and am open to other sides of what may be otherwise perceived as a bland four-sided box. I believe that when you work with like-minded people who excel in their own fields, keep an open mind to everyone’s ideas, and let it be a mash of crazy collaborations, the chances are you will have a pretty incredible explosion of creativity. And Yuen and I seem to really work well together. So, thank you, Yuen.
I’m sooo excited about the whole thing! We all are – and with social media being the fastest way to spread news, it was really hard for all of us to contain the girls’ excitement until such time. But snippets of information were leaked and hints of production photos were Instagrammed. But now, with you, I share officially for the first time this wonderful project and tell you that the grapevine was correct.
We’ll be seeing the likes of Fauziah Nawi, Sofia Jane, Melissa Saila, Vanidah Imran, Nanu Baharudin, Mislina Mustafa, Sharifah Amani, Elaine Daly, Carmen Soo, Susan Lankester, Aida Fitri Buyong, Dira Abu Zahar, Shamaine Othman, Junad Md Nor involved. And writers like Fay Khoo, Rachael Malai Ali, Christina Orow, Nik Jasmine Hew and Soefira Jaafar have also put their pens to paper for some of the pieces. Yes, some of the biggest household names in the local arts and entertainment world will be telling their stories in 11 minutes. I think we’ve got quite a wide range of tales to share with you, so keep the first week of March in mind. I’ll be sure to remind you.
I know You, of all, would know that “sometimes happiness is just a matter of forgiving and accepting”. That a clash of the minds or hearts may not necessarily be a bad thing, but may actually pave the way for a wonderful new path together. So I, too, begin this new year with gratefulness for truths and lovely hopes of many adventures, collaborations and a great journey in many aspects including my own short film. Yes, although wearing two hats may not be a first for me, I’m the 15th director of Ikal Mayang about to direct my first short film, She. Bring it on 2013! Wooohoooo!
■ Having put it off for far too long, Ida Nerina has finally surrendered to diversifying herself creatively. She continues to be grateful for life’s small mercies. And short people. You can follow her innocuous ramblings on fakebook and other rampant psycho babbling with that blue bird, as she seems to have become a twit with a camera – and deft with her fingers too.