Yasmin Ahmad the Storyteller Leaves Legacy of Film

Malaysian film director Yasmin Ahmad has died at the age of 51 after suffering a stroke. Yasmin is known for her roles as award-winning film director, writer and script writer and executive creative director at Leo Burnett Kuala Lumpur. Yasmin began her career in advertising as a copywriter at Ogilvy & Mather. In 1993 she moved to Leo Burnett as joint creative director with Ali Mohammed and eventually rising to executive creative director at Leo Burnett Kuala Lumpur.

Yasmin Ahmad

The new season of UK football on Sky Sports and Sky Terrestrial networks has been kicked off with “Start of Season”, a TV advert designed to pick up the emotions felt by football fans everywhere.

Yasmin’s first feature film was Rabun (My Failing Eyesight) in 2002. She continued with Sepet (2004), Gubra (2006), Mukhsin (2007), Muallaf (The Convert) (2008), and Talentime (2009). Her current project was “Go, Thaddeus!”, a film about an 17 year old triathlete who died of heart failure the day before competing at the S.E.A. Games where he was expected to win a gold medal. Yasmin’s films were recognized internationally but did not always get the same reception from the Malaysian government. Yasmin was also known for her social commentary on racism expressed in commercials for Petronas and Think Family.

Yasmin was a regular blogger, interacting with her fans and sharing her tastes, opinions and concerns at Yasmin the Storyteller and Yasmin the Filmmaker. She described herself in her Blogger profile with the following words. “I am optimistic and sentimental to the point of being annoying, especially to people who think that being cynical and cold is cool. Everyday, I thank Allah for everyday things like the ability to breathe, the ability to love, the ability to laugh, and the ability to eat and drink.

Yasmin is quoted (Adoimagazine) as saying, “I hate borders and I hate those arbitrary divisions between people. I simply want to make films about humanity. Ever since I was young, I was always concerned about humanity, not in a Mother-Theresa-kind of way, but was interested in the day-to-day-interactions between people. I find that in our pursuit to achieve success, we sometimes forget some basic human qualities, like kindness and compassion. I always try to inject those feelings that I have into any film I make, whether it is an advertising film or a movie. For me, film is the opportunity to remind human beings to be human again.””

Star Interview

Yasmin talks with journalist Joshua Foong on July 21, explaining her opinions on a Malaysia which transcended differences in colour and ethnic background.

Click on the image below to play the video.

Talentime (2009)

Talentime (2009) features Melur, a Malay-mixed girl and an Indian male student, Mahesh, competing in a talent quest at their school.

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Sepet (2004) is a romantic comedy drama film set in Ipoh, telling the story of a love that blooms between Ah Loong, a Chinese boy and Orked, a Malay girl.

Click on the image below to play the video.


Muallaf (2008) tells the story of Brian Goh, a Catholic man and two Muslim young women, Rohani and Rohana, each working through the personal impact of abuse in the name of religion.

Click on the image below to play the video.


A young girl talks about the way her father has made her feel special with red shoes.

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Have You Flown Air Asia Lately?

Isaac, a young Malay, writes home to his parents about the hostesses he’s met on his flight with Air Asia.

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See also the Think Family Funeral and Petronas Colour Blind children campaign (Including Tan Hong Ming in Love).