Taken from theSun. Written by Bissme S.
PETALING JAYA (July 26, 2009) : Close to 200 people turned up
to pay their respects at the funeral of talented filmmaker Yasmin Ahmad,
who passed away at 11.25pm on Saturday.
The multi-racial crowd, many of them in tears,
at the funeral this morning was testament to
Yasmin's ability to reach across ethnic
and cultural boundaries in both her films
and the television commercials she created for Petronas.
The prayers took place at about 10am at
Masjid Abu Bakar As Siddiq at Section 19/7A, Subang Jaya
before her body was taken to the Muslim burial ground at USJ22.
Dotted among the crowd of family and friends
were celebrities and politicians, including
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon,
Air Asia CEO Datuk Tony Fernandez,
8TV CEO Ahmad Idzam Omar,
singer Jaclyn Victor, film director Suhaimi Baba
and actor Rosyam Nor.
Yasmin, who collapsed after suffering a stroke
and undergoing surgery for cerebral hemorrhage on Thursday,
had been creative force in the advertising and film industry,
having won awards and accolades both locally and internationally.
Her interracial love story Sepet (2004) was accorded
the Best Film Award and the Best Original Screenplay Award
at the Malaysian Film Festival 2005.
It also bagged the Asian Film Award at the
Tokyo International Film Festival 2005,
and the Grand Prix Award at the
Creteil International Women's Film Festival in the same year.
Her other films included Gubra (2006),
Mukhsin (2006), Muallaf (2008) and Talentime (2009).
The 51-year-old Muar-born Yasmin, who was married to Abdullah Tan Yew Leong,
began her career as a copywriter with Ogilvy & Mather
before joining Leo Burnnett, where she rose to become its creative executive director.
Yasmin's sudden death leaves a void in the local filmmaking industry,
and her legacy will be long remembered.
Award-winning actress Azean Irdawaty,
who worked with Yasmin on Talentime,
told theSun she was in Singapore when she heard about Yasmin’s death.
She rushed back just in time for the funeral.
“I am glad that I managed to see and kiss Yasmin for the last time,” said Azean,
who, in her rush to make it to the mosque, ended up leaving her luggage at the airport.
Azean, who has been diagnosed with breast cancer,
remembered an incident during the press conference for Talentime,
when the actress said she did not mind if the movie was to be her last.
"It is ironic that it ended up being Yasmin's last film instead,"
she told the Sun in a phone interview.
Fellow director Othman Hafsham, when met at the funeral,
was effusive in his praise for Yasmin.
“She is a director who speaks her mind and her films reflect this,” he said.
“Only in this country was her movies considered controversial.
But in international film festivals, they all accept her movies.
Indeed she has became a role model for many aspiring director out there,” he said.
Actress Ida Nerina who is currently recovering from a bad fall,
sent a text message to theSun to share her thoughts on Yasmin .
“Yasmin's passing is tragic loss to the us, the selfish living,” she said.
“Yasmin Ahmad was more than just a talented creative director.
She was a loving daughter, wife, mother, sister and a teacher
to many of us who are fortunate to have had her to sweep us off our feet.
“Yasmin was fiercely patriotic and a true Malaysian.
I think she has taught many of us to trust our gut when being creative.
But truth be known the most important lesson Yasmin Ahmad
taught me was humility,” she added.
Independent filmmaker and author Amir Muhammad
was also similarly affected by Yasmin's death.
In an SMS, he said: "I still haven't fully processed this yet.
So I can only say I will miss her terribly but her courage and her compassion
will be felt for a very long time among an audience that will only get bigger."