In a recent media event, Malaysian film production company Astro Shaw, together with its partner HBO Asia, announced that filming has started for the movie adaptation of Tan Twan Eng’s 2012 award-winning novel The Garden of Evening Mists.
The film is set in two timelines: the early 1980s wherein the protagonist Teoh Yun Ling (played by Taiwanese actress-director-producer Sylvia Chang) takes stock of her life due to the onset of aphasia; and the 1950s wherein the younger Yun Ling (played by Malaysian actress Lee Sinje) deals with survivor’s guilt after the war and enters a relationship with Japanese gardener Nakamura Aritomo (played by Japanese actor Hiroshi Abe) who helps her build a garden in memory of her sister Yun Hong (played by Serene Lim) who died while they were at an interment camp. British actors David Oakes (The White Queen, Victoria), Julian Sands (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and John Hannah (Four Weddings and A Funeral and The Mummy trilogy) also join the cast.
Najwa Abu Bakar, Head of Astro Shaw said “The film will feature a stellar international cast and crew, including Malaysian talents in key acting and production roles. Over two-thirds of the cast and crew are made up of Malaysians, signalling Astro’s commitment to nurturing local talents for international exposure. We are also privileged to work with talents of diverse backgrounds from Taiwan, Japan, India and Australia to showcase Malaysia’s unique voice through Tan Twan Eng’s award winning novel, TGOEM. The lyrical and beautiful story captivates its readers with the mesmerising beauty of Malaya after World War II, and we are confident that the vivid adaptation will resonate among Asian audiences and beyond, due to many similarities in shared culture, language and history.”
Jessica Kam, Senior Vice President, HBO Asia Original Productions, HBO Asia said, “HBO Asia is committed to ramping up its slate of original productions which includes both TV series as well as high quality films. We are thrilled to partner with Astro Shaw to produce this extraordinary feature film with a Malaysian soul by world class film professionals, and to showcase it to our audience on our digital, linear and on-demand platforms across 23 territories in Asia and beyond.”
The movie, currently being filmed in various locations in Malaysia including the scenic landscapes of Cameron Highland’s famed tea plantations, is slated to have a theatrical world premiere in 2019.
Image and movie details provided by HBO in a recent press release.
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