Team ‘Yasmine’ visits Indonesian schools


AFTER much success at the Bruneian school visits, the team from ‘Yasmine The Movie’ continued their roadshow in Indonesia, which began on July 12 and ended yesterday.

Attending the roadshows in Indonesia were lead actress Liyana Yus and supporting cast members Nadiah Wahid and Roy Sungkono alongside producer, Khairuddin Kamaluddin.

Yasmine will also be released in Jakarta on August 21 in cinemas. With the screenwriter Salman Aristo, and several cast members and coming from Indonesia, Yasmine has generated a lot of attention from the press and media there. For the Indonesian roadshows, Liyana Yus teams up with local silat members to conduct demonstrations in schools.

bru yas3

bru yas2

“The energy of the fans in the schools in Indonesia has been great so far. I am having such an amazing time. I still cannot believe that we have that many fans and followers here in Indonesia,” said Liyana. Nadiah also voiced her thanks for the tremendous welcome at the neighbouring country. “So far Jakarta has been very welcoming. The students have been very enthusiastic in participating in activities during the roadshow. It’s always nice to see them smile,” she said.

bru yas4Salman Aristo is an Indonesian screenwriter and film producer/ director known for his work on ‘Ayat-Ayat Cinta’, ‘Laskar Pelangi’, ‘Garuda di Dadaku’ and ‘Sang Penari’. This led to Aristo receiving numerous successes and has been nominated for three Citra Awards.

In conjunction with His Majesty’s birthday, the Yasmine team were also invited to the Brunei High Commissioner in Indonesia’s residence on the July 14 for a tahlil and thanksgiving prayer.

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The Brunei Times
Saturday, July 19, 2014

Two Indonesian tourists from Jakarta visited 'Yasmine' booth and posed with Liyana Yus and Siti Kamaluddin at the ASEAN Consumers Fair 2014 held in the Internatiobal Convention Centre, Berakas, last June.

Two Indonesian tourists from Jakarta visited ‘Yasmine’ booth and posed with Liyana Yus and Siti Kamaluddin at the ASEAN Consumers Fair 2014 held in the Internatiobal Convention Centre, Berakas, last June.

Brunei movie ‘Yasmine’ to make an appearance at Swiss film festival

Adib Noor

IT’S another milestone for Bruneian feature film ‘Yasmine’ as it has been selected to take part in a Swiss-based film festival from tomorrow until July 12.

The movie, directed by Brunei’s first female director, Siti Kamaluddin, has been invited to be featured under the the New Cinema category of the Asian Section of the Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival 2014 (NIFFF).

Other entries in the same category include Japanese director, Noboru Iguchi —known for his work in Robo-Geisha and The Machine Girl — who will be unveiling his latest work, “Live” alongside one of the film’s lead actresses, Airi Yamamoto.

Representing Yasmine at the festival are its director and action director, Chan Man Ching. Also expected at the 14th edition of the festival is George R R Martin, the creator of the Game of Thrones.

The other Yasmine cast and crew, on the other hand, will be on tour in Indonesia to promote the movie before its general release in the country and the Sultanate on August 21.

Dedicated to fantastic movies, Asian cinema and future images, the NIFFF is a platform for films ranging from renowned directors to budding filmmakers to showcase their art. Participants can compete in any of the following five sections: International, Asian, Best Swiss Short Film, Best European Short Film and Swiss Video Art Competitions.

The Brunei Times
Thursday, July 3, 2014

‘Yasmine’, a Brunei’s film selected for 17th Shanghai Film Festival

film bru1Adib Noor

BRUNEI has caught the eyes of the film world with its much anticipated feature film, Yasmine, and has been selected to be screened at the 17th Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF).

The film, directed by the country’s very first female film director, Siti Kamaluddin, will be showcased at one of the programmes under the film festival, Film Panorama, along with hundreds of movies from different countries and regions.

These movies to be featured in Film Panorama have been chosen for their content, style and themes and have been either highly recommended by the organising committee or are global premieres.

SIFF is one the biggest film festivals in East Asia and has 35 selected star-level cinemas, which were approved to screen films during the Film Panorama, Asia’s biggest and most varied film festival programme. This year’s Shanghai-based festival will be held from June 14 to 22.

Yasmine features an all-star cast from the nation and the region. Local Liyana Yus, who plays the lead character of the movie, is joined by legendary Dato’ M Nasir and Soo Wincci from Malaysia and Indonesia’s Arifin Putra and Reza Rahadian among others.

Set to premier on August 21 in theatres in the Sultanate, Indonesia and Singapore, the movie media campaign is now in full swing with the launch of the “Yasmine Pose” Instagram Competition, where participants can stand a chance to win tickets to the Gala Premier.

The Brunei Times
Sunday, June 8, 2014

Local actress Liyana Yus plays the lead in Brunei's first feature film, Yasmine, which is set for general release on August 21 at theatres across Brunei, Indonesia and Singapore. Photo: Courtesy of Origin Films Sdn Bhd

Local actress Liyana Yus plays the lead in Brunei’s first feature film, Yasmine, which is set for general release on August 21 at theatres across Brunei, Indonesia and Singapore. Photo: Courtesy of Origin Films Sdn Bhd

Brunei’s ‘Yasmine’ official movie trailer now available

bru film yas postAdib Noor

ORIGIN Films has launched the official international trailer for the upcoming feature film, Yasmine.

The trailer will give both local and international movie goers a glimpse of what the first international feature film from Brunei has to offer.

The inaugural showing of the action packed two-minute trailer played at Times Cineplex at Times Square shopping centre, Berakas.

bru film yas scenePresent during the launching event were invited members of the media as well as Siti Kamaludin, Brunei’s first female film director and her dedicated team from Origin Films.

With the launch the official trailer can now be seen in cinemas nationwide and on the film’s official website,

Yasmine has been screened as an entry In the Hong Kong international Film and TV Market last March and Le Marche’ du Film’s Festival de Cannes earlier this month. It also has caught the attention of international media with articles featured in international magazines such as the Monocle from Britain, as well as articles in The Guardian and The Hollywood Reporter to name a few.

To find out more, visit its official website or follow their development via Twitter @yasminethemovieofficial, its Instagram, @yasminethemovie and its youtube channel,

The much anticipated international feature film directed by Brunei’s very own Siti Kamaludin is set for general release on August 21, 2014 and will be shown in theatres in Brunei, Indonesia and Singapore.

The Brunei Times
Saturday, May 31, 2014

Brunei’s first female film director, Siti Kamaludin (5th R)and her dedicated team from Origin Films during the official launch of YASMINE, Brunei's first International Feature Film. Photo: BT/Adib Noor

Brunei’s first female film director, Siti Kamaludin (5th R)and her dedicated team from Origin Films during the official launch of YASMINE, Brunei’s first International Feature Film. Photo: BT/Adib Noor

Hamka’s novel “Di Bawah Lindungan Ka’bah’ will be performed in Malaysia

Hamka lindungan kabahAntara

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID – Hamka’s masterpiece novel Di Bawah Lindungan Ka’bah (Under the Protection of the Ka’bah) will be adapted in the stage theater performance from 9 to May 18 at Istana Budaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The theater producer, Siti Rohayah Attan said this is the first novel by renowned Indonesian Muslim cleric was adapted for the theater .

Young Hamka.

Young Hamka.

“We are proud that the heir of Hamka or the real name Haji Abdul Malik Karim Amrullah gives credence to the Malaysian production to perform the work of the great man of the archipelago,” she said .

“This novel, the oldest works of Hamka, tells about young Minang couple’s life struggles from different social backgrounds . ”

Mohd Tahir Rosminah, the theater director, said that it will display well-known performers such as Adi Putra, Nasha Aziz, Omar Fizo, Dafi, Zahid, and other artists .

The stage theater is produced by CTRA Production and Palace of Culture in collaboration with Yayasan Amanah Malaysia Prime, and sponsored by Felda Global Ventures and Fareeda .

Tickets for theater performances are sold at prices between 35 and 255 Malaysian Ringgit (Rp123.000 – Rp900.000 ).

Republika OL
Wed, 23 April 2014

Halalywood: enter the Islamic entertainment industry

halalyOmar Shahid

We’ve all heard of Hollywood and Bollywood. Some of you may have even heard of Lollywood (the Pakistani version) and Nollywood (the Nigerian version). But what about Halalywood? No? Well, as of 2014, you probably will. American actor and comedian Omar Regan, who has appeared in films such as Rush Hour 2, has set out to create a halal-certified film industry for Muslims.

“There are 1 billion Muslims around the world and there is nobody catering for us and our stories. So I left Hollywood and I’m going Halalywood!” Regan says in a video encouraging people to donate to his Kickstarter project.

“Here is our mission: we are going to provide halal entertainment, that’s entertainment we [Muslims] can relate to. Secondly, we want to re-educate the masses about Muslims and Islam. Thirdly, it will provide a platform for young Muslim writers, actors and directors, where they can go and get their stories made and they won’t be turned away,” he says.

Omar Regan

Omar Regan

Regan is set to release his first movie American Sharia, a comedy/action film about rogue government officials using Islamophobia to maintain power, later this year. However, the up and coming Islamic Film Industry is just one of the many new and emerging scenes being created.

Reacting to the world they see around them, a new generation of young, modern Muslims are carving out new ways to entertain themselves – yet remain loyal to their faith. This new generation is showing that Islam and entertainment can go hand in hand. Along the way, they are shattering stereotypes about what it means to be Muslim in today’s world.

Of course, many of these emerging subcultures have been criticised by conservative Muslims as “unIslamic” for swerving away from traditional and accepted forms of entertainment. One such example is the Islamic Music Industry: launched ten years ago and although growing in approval by many Muslims, it is still attacked because of the use of musical instruments, which some see as haram.

Awakening Records, a UK-based publishing house and record label founded in 2000, saw that Muslims were craving an alternative to the mainstream music industry. Instead of the sexually explicit, violent and misogynistic lyrics in many mainstream songs, Awakening decided to provide a modern, faith-driven alternative.

Their first signing was the British-Azeri singer Sami Yusuf, who in 2003 shot to stardom with his debut album Al Mu’allim. Yusuf’s success was so extraordinary and sudden, it caught Awakening by surprise – he was soon labelled “Islam’s biggest rockstar” by Time magazine in 2006.

But after a famous fallout with Awakening in 2008, Yusuf, 33, later left the record label. Today, he is still among the most popular Islamic musicians in the world as he continues to produce Muslim-friendly music. Yusuf’s departure, however, gave rise to another star. Maher Zain, 32, coming from the mainstream music scene and working with the likes of Lady Gaga, had a change of heart in 2007. He fully embraced his Islamic faith and soon signed to Awakening.

Today, with two multi-platinum albums under his belt, along with Yusuf he has catapulted Islamic music into millions of Muslim houses worldwide.

As Islamic music continues to grow, it is slowly being introduced to non-Muslims, too. Yusuf has self-coined a genre called Spiritique, which he says is more spiritual than religious and hopes for it to transcend race and religion. Similarly, Saif Adam, an increasingly popular UK-born Muslim artist, aims to produce music for Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

Many Muslims are also flocking to music that is often termed “conscious hip-hop”, or political hip-hop. While this type of music is not Islamic per se, the fight against oppression and the promotion of social justice is at its core. This genre is also used as a medium to support and bring attention to certain causes, whether Palestine or Syria. This, again, is seen as a better alternative to “the mainstream”.

Comedy, like music, also has the ability to transcend religion. In the US, the American-Palestinian Muslim comedian Yousef Erakat, who launched the YouTube channel FouseyTube in 2011, has well over 150 million views for his comedy sketches. His videos range from light-hearted religious content such as funny things Muslims do while praying, to playing pranks on the public, to tackling serious social issues like homelessness and bullying Meanwhile in the UK, 28-year-old Humza Arshad’s YouTube series Diary of a Badman, which began in 2010, has also made him into something of an Internet celebrity. Arshad’s videos satirise British Asian culture by chronicling a fictionalised version of himself and his relationships with friends and family.

However, one of the most interesting subcultures to have emerged recently is the makeup and hijab fashionista trend. A cursory glance on YouTube typing in the words “hijab tutorial” will expose a whole new world where many young Muslim women will go to learn how to wear different styles of hijabs, apply make up and wear fashion accessories. One of the most popular names in this scene is YazTheSpaz – a hijab, fashion and makeup stylist – who is also set to appear in American Sharia.

Last year, we also saw female Islamic fashion reach new heights – whether it was the Indonesia Islamic Fashion Fair or the Hijab Fashion Week in London. While this April, Aquila Style will host the Pearl Daisy Asia Tour 2014, which will celebrate the best in fashion and arts.

And who could forget Mipsterz? The video, released late last year to a barrage of controversy, showed a group of young Muslim women on skateboards, in high heels, wearing the hijab to the beat of Jay Z’s Somewhere in America. However, not all the feedback was negative. Noor, one of the women featured in the video, said she received positive feedback from people who once thought the hijab was “oppressive” and “disempowering”.

But what are behind these trends? And why are Muslims now reasserting their faith in new, innovative and creative ways?

The obvious is the advent and widespread use of social media, which has made these forms of entertainment possible. Then there’s 9/11 and the constant media coverage that ensued – impacting the way Muslims are perceived and perceive themselves. Many young Muslims across the world, growing up in a profoundly different time to their parents, are interpreting and exerting their religion in new ways. This perhaps explains why it’s young Muslims who are spearheading most of these trends. You could even say a young Muslim revolt is taking shape.

As many societies seemingly turn away from religious values, Muslims are doing all they can to provide their co-religionists with their own niche – one that is cool, modern and, for the most part, Islam-friendly.

Omar Shahid is a freelance journalist specialising in religious affairs. He has written for The Times, Guardian, Independent and the New Statesman. Follow him on his blog or Twitter @omar_shahid

Aquila Style
Thu, April 3, 2014