Yasmin Ahmad's A National Treasure
KUALA LUMPUR, July 26 – Yasmin Ahmad left a legacy of her works in the film and advertisement arenas, thriving on the themes of love, family ties and comedy against the backdrop of multiracial Malaysia. Born in Bukit Treh, Muar, Johor on July 1 1958, Yasmin, who graduated in psychology from Newcastle University, United Kingdom, had won local and international creativity awards.
She began her career as a copywriter with Ogilvy & Mather before joining Leo Burnnett as joint creative director in 1993 and rose to become its creative executive director until her death. She was married to Abdullah Tan Yew Leong.
Her creativity could be seen in many Petronas’ commercials and evoked emotion of the viewers, especially during the Aidilfitri celebration which would certainly be missed by viewers this year.
In the film industry, Yasmin, however, drew much controversy in view of her openness and boldness in analysing social issues. She has been targeted by critics since her first movie, “Rabun” was screened in 2003 followed by “Sepet” (2004), “Gubra” (2006), “Mukhsin” (2006), “Muallaf” (2008) and Talentime (2009).
But she also earned rave reviews for “Sepet” which won the Best Film Award and the Best Original Screenplay Award at the Malaysian Film Festival 2005. “Sepet” also bagged several international awards, namely the Asian Film Award at the Tokyo International Film Festival 2005, the Grand Prix Award at the Creteil International Women’s Film Festival in the same year. “Gubra” won the Best Screenplay award at the Malaysian Film Festival 2006. “Muhsin” won the Generation kplus – Best Feature Film and the Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk Grand Prix award at the Berlin International Film Festival. “Mukhsin” also won the Best Asean Film at the Cinemanila International Film Festival 2007. “Muallaf” won the Asian Film Award – Special Mention at the Tokyo International Film Festival 2008.
While leaving indelible marks at home, Yasmin’s movies gained international recognition as they were shown in Berlin, San Francisco, Singapore and at the Cannes Film Festival. – Bernama