The film adaptation of the novel The Garden Of Evening Mists (TGOEM) is scheduled to open in Malaysia in January next year.
But first it will be making its rounds in two film festivals: the 24th Busan International Film Festival (Oct 3 to Oct 12) where it will make its world premiere and the 56th Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival, in November.
In Busan, South Korea, TGOEM is placed under A Window On Asian Cinema category, whereas in Taipei, Taiwan, it has been chosen as the closing film.
This upcoming release is a much-anticipated film not only because it’s directed by award-winning Taiwanese director Tom Shu-Yu Lin and adapted by Scottish Bafta-winning screenwriter Richard Smith, but more so because the book is written by Penang-born author Tan Twan Eng and the story is set in Malaya.
To be more specific, in Cameron Highlands, a little after the end of World War II.
It tells of a female character Teoh Yun Ling (played by Lee Sinje) who seeks solace after experiencing the atrocities of war in the rolling hills of Cameron Highlands. She plans to build a garden in homage of her late sister here, where she also meets a mysterious gardener named Nakamura Aritomo (Hiroshi Abe).
Besides these two main cast members, TGOEM features other international talents too including Sylvia Chang (Love Education), David Oakes (Cold Skin), Julian Sands (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) and John Hannah (The Mummy).
Its international efforts continue as the production team comes from Taiwan, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, India, Australia as well as Britain, and the film is produced by Astro Shaw and HBO Asia with support from the National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (Finas) in association with South Korea’s CJ Entertainment.
In a press release, Datuk Hans Isaac, chairman of Finas said, “We are immensely delighted that The Garden Of Evening Mists will be screened during the Busan International Film Festival and Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival. Over two thirds of the casts and crew of the film comprise of Malaysians.
“This signifies our potentials and capabilities in producing an international film.”