Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Bront Palarae & The Intern
Malaysian actor Bront Palarae has signed deal with a production house in China and will be directing a Mandarin language thriller called The Intern next year for international market. Read the full story here
Headline: In Greener Pastures
By Bissme S
AWARD-WINNING actor Bront Palarae, 39, has just signed a memorandum of understanding under his production house Pixel Play with Kunming Heng Ming Media Co Ltd (KHMM), a film production house based in Yunnan, China. They plan to work together to produce films, television shows and documentaries, with their first project being a Mandarin-language thriller
called The Intern. Bront, whose real name is Nasrul Suhaimin Saiffuddin, will be helming this project.
The story centres on a young graduate who becomes an intern at an advertising agency. On her first day, she is bullied and forced to work alone, late into the night. A blackout occurs and the intern finds herself trapped in the office with all the doors locked.
Slowly, she realises that someone else is inside with her, and that this person means to harm her. She spends the whole
night in terror in the dark, finding ways to keep herself safe.During a recent interview in Kuala Lumpur, Bront shares some details of his new project.
“We are trying to get a famous name to play the intern, as we want to sell the film all over China and internationally,” says Bront, who held auditions for actresses from Hong Kong, China, and Korea.
At the moment, they are in talks with a certain actress, but Bront is keeping mum on any further details until the deal hasbeen signed. Bront, who wrote the first draft for the script, says the film will be set over a period of 24 hours, with over 90% of scenes taking place in an office.
“I am planning to build the office set from scratch, so I can better control the environment when I am shooting the film,” he adds.
This will be Bront’s second time in the director’s chair. His first attempt was for the anthology film Kolumpo in 2013. Over the last
few years, this versatile actor has been spreading his wings across the region, acting in Indonesian films such as Headshot,
My Stupid Boss, and the recent hit horror flick Pengabdi Setan, which has been distributedto more than 30 countries, including
New Zealand, the United States and Australia.
“I still can’t believe that my face will be [on] a big screen in 30 countries,” says Bront, who plays a father to four children in the film.
His performance earned him a nomination for best supporting actor at the Festival Film Tempo 2017 in Jakarta. However, Bront lost out to another Malaysian actor, Chew Kin Wah, who won for his performance in the comedy drama film, Cek Toko Sebelah.
Bront says in jest: “[Chew] won because he is older than me. I am still young and I have many more chances to win.”
But the actor quickly adds: “Frankly speaking, I love him like a brother. He is the one who recommended me for Belukar (for which Bront won the Malaysia Film Festival’s best actor award in 2010).
“[Chew] is a very talented actor who is underappreciated and underutilised. I think [Malaysia is] going to lose him to the
Indonesian film industry. There, he gets better pay and better scripts.”
Bront himself is also more than happy to seek roles further afield. He recently completed shooting a Philippine horror film called Daddy’s Home. That film is directed by award-winning Malaysian filmmaker Bradley Liew, who is based in Manila, and produced by Philippine producer Bianca Balbuena. It will likely open in cinemas here early next year.
However, Bront is still making films in Malaysia. He is starring as a corrupt police officer in the crime film, What Comes Around, which will begin shooting next year under director Zahir Omar. And his Pixel Play is putting the finishing touches on the film
1, 2, Jaga, which has been in production for three years.
The film, which is directed by Namron, deals with the hot-button issues of police corruption and illegal immigration, and stars Rosdeen Suboh, Zahril Adzim, Ameriul Affendi, Vanida Imran, and Azman Hassan.
His production team worked closely with the PDRM (Polis Diraja Malaysia) to get certain police procedures done as authentic as possible for the film.
“Our aim is to discuss the issues of corruption and immigration,” he says.
“Whenever we have problems [in our society], we always take the easy way out and blame immigrants for them.”
He adds: “We are not pointing fingers at any one [person] or any institution. It is a story that needs to be told.”
Bront is famously choosy about his roles and the films he makes. But he always puts his passion first, before money.
“As an actor, I would rather play a normal role in a great film than a great role in a bad film,” he says.
“I had experiences where people tell me that I was great in the film, but the film sucked. I just do not know how to react to that kind of statement.”
But how long can he resist the lure of big buck commercial roles?
Bront mentions his 18-month old daughter Adeena, whom he has with wife Rozi Isma, as a possible turning point.
He says: “I should think of her future, too. I should not let her be a victim of my passion. Eventually, I need to find a balance between
passion and finance.”