Indonesian actor Reza Rahadian will star in Brunei’s first international film “Yasmine the Final Fist,” which will be released in Brunei, Malaysia and Indonesia next year.
The star of “Habibie & Ainun” will play the role of Fahri, a stern, single father who pours his efforts into raising his daughter Yasmine, played by up-and-coming Brunei actress Liyana Yus. Production is set to commence on Sunday in Brunei Darussalam.
This will be Reza’s first international film and his first action flick.
The actor will be performing traditional martial arts and will be speaking in Melayu, Brunei’s national language. His co-star Yus said that Reza had already nailed the language after several rehearsals.
“One of the things that made me decide to join the cast is because I will be a part of Brunei’s first international project,” Reza explained at a press conference in Bandar Seri Begawan on Friday.
In another first, the movie will be directed by Brunei’s first female director, Siti Kamaluddin.
The film will be produced by Khairuddin Kamaluddin and Bjarne Wong from Origin Films, a production house based in Bandar Seri Begawan that mainly work on documentaries, music videos and TV commercials. Siti said the budget for the movie was 6 million Malaysian ringgit ($1.9 million).
“I was working in the Malaysian TV industry and always dreamed about making a movie here,” she said.
Siti, who has already directed two feature-length films that were produced in Malaysia, said Brunei had never made their own feature-length film because of logistics.
The film will also feature a handful of Indonesian actors including Agus Kuncoro (“Gending Sriwijaya”), Arifin Putra (“Macabre”), TV actor Roy Sungkono, model Mentari de Marelle and up-and-coming singer and actress Maharasyi Hanza.
The script was written by Indonesian screenwriter Salman Aristo (“Laskar Pelangi”). This is Salman’s first time writing for a foreign film production. The three-time Citra nominee said Siti came to him with a synopsis before they started working on the script in March 2012.
“It is a universal story of a single dad and his daughter that takes place in Brunei,” he said. “For me, it is a very unique gig, because it does not only aim for local [Bruneian] viewers.”
During the script development, Salman worked closely with Siti and action director Chan Man Ching — the stunt coordinator and choreographer for all three installments of Jackie Chan’s “Rush Hour.”