Bandar Seri Begawan - The biggest challenge for the young inspiring actress, Liyana Yus, who plays the main role in the upcoming Bruneian film, "Yasmine - The Final Fist" was to master the aspects of the self-defence art of Silat.
With no background in martial arts, the 20-year-old new actress from Brunei told members of the media that practising Silat five days a week for nearly a year was a "very challenging process". Liyana is also up for the challenge to do her own stunts, if permitted, while filming the action/drama film.
She had won over the producers and directors' hearts with her natural beauty and athleticism and was selected from hundreds of applicants - both experienced and amateur - for the lead role of Yasmine.
Also a challenge for the cast especially from Indonesia and Malaysia was learning the Bruneian dialect (Brunei Malay) as the film will be in Bahasa Melayu. Indonesian actors, Reza Rahadian and Agus Kuncoro, said that learning the Bruneian Malay dialect is the biggest challenge for them as both agree that the dialect is "very hard" to master.
"I feel that the Malay dialect here (Brunei) is very soft and very delicate. I have been practising everyday with the Bruneian cast and I think I need more time to master it," said Agus.
The action/drama film will bring audience in the life of Yasmine. She meets the man of her dreams, Adi, who is played by Malaysian actor Aryl Falak, who is a Silat hero in the film. However, 'hooks up' with Dewi (to be played by Mentari De Marelle), Yasmine's lifetime rival.
Tired of her school and tied up in an underdog Silat club, Yasmine decides to take matters onto her own hands and start leading the team. She is joined by her best friend Nurul played by Nabila Huda, the eldest child of Malaysia's rock legend Amy from the rock band Search.
At first, Yasmine's "secret activities" are well hidden, when her father, Fahri (to be played by Jakarta born actor, Reza Rahadian), gradually find out. He decides to once and for all, save Yasmine for what he believes to be her downfall. His character is very stern but he loves his daughter very much. This is reflected throughout the film as he carries out the role as a single parent to his daughter.
Other character in the movie is Agus Kuncoro, who plays Jamal, a Silat teacher, but was crippled from years back. He trains Yasmine, All (Roy Sungkono) and Nadia until they succeed to the finals of the interschool Silat competition.
Also in the cast is Dian P Ramlee, the adoptive child of the late Tan Sri P Ramlee and Saloma. She plays the role as Yasmine's grandmother who provides her with comfort and support at times she needs it most.
Special guest appearances in the film include Dato' M Nasir as a fallen Silat warrior, Arifin Putra as Fahri's colleague, Halim Maharasyi as Dewi's silat team member, Carmen Soo as Yasmine's mother, Miss World Malaysia Soo Wincci, Comedian-actress Miau Miau and Bruneian musician Jazz Hayat.
Bjarne Wong, Hong Kong premier ffim producer who worked in several productions with Jackie Chan such as Ploce Story II, Super Cop and Who Am I, will also join the team in the film.
Meanwhile, action director Chan Man Ching will also be collaborating with his 30 years of experience as a prominent name in the stunt world for this film. He was a stunt coordinator and choreographer working in films such as the Rush Hour trilogy.
The screenwriter for the Yasmine film is by Salman Aristo from Indonesia who has written screen plays in Indonesia including Ayat Ayat Cinta, Laskar Pelangi and Sang Penari.
The film will be directed by Bruneian first female director, Siti Kamaluddin who has had numerous experiences onscreen and behind the scenes. She will be joined by Din Kamaluddin of Origins Films as the aspiring young local producer.
"Yasmine - The Final Fist" will be produced and directed by Origin Films Sdn Bhd, a film production based in Brunei with a background in documentaries, music videos, TV commercials and various multimedia projects.
--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin