We have to say, it's been a great year for locally-produced movies at international film festivals.
Earlier this month, local documentary 'M For Malaysia' was picked to be screened at the prestigious Busan Film Festival 2019.
And now, another local movie is set to join the documentary at the film festival.
The film adaptation of the critically-acclaimed novel 'The Garden of Evening Mists', will be making its world premiere at the 24th Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) under the ‘A Window on Asian Cinema’ category next month.
To make it a double celebration, the movie has also been selected as the ‘Closing Film’ at the 56th Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival in November.
Written by Malaysian Tan Twang Eng, the original novel won several international awards, with the author even being the first Malaysian to win the coveted 'Man Asian Literary Prize'.
The movie version, meanwhile, is presented by Astro Shaw and HBO Asia, with support from the National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (FINAS), in association with CJ Entertainment.
The film has an international production team from Taiwan, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, India, Australia and UK working to bring together this celebrated novel to the silver screen.
This global production is helmed by award-winning Taiwanese director Tom Shu-Yu Lin and adapted by Scottish BAFTA-winning screenwriter Richard Smith.
It also boasts a star-studded international cast including Sinje Lee ('The Eye'), Hiroshi Abe ('After The Storm'), Sylvia Chang ('Love Education'), David Oakes ('Cold Skin'), Julian Sands ('The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo') and John Hannah ('The Mummy').
The film tells the story of Teoh Yun Ling (played by Sinje Lee) who, embittered from atrocities of World War II in Malaya, seeks solace in the rolling hills of Cameron Highlands.
There, in her quest to build a garden in homage of her late sister, she embarks on a forbidden love affair with the mysterious gardener, Nakamura Aritomo (played by Hiroshi Abe).
Astro Director Of Content Agnes Rozario said that the company's belief in Malaysian story telling led them to initiate the production of this film adapted from Penang-born author Tan Twan Eng’s wonderful book.
"We feel validated and so proud to be recognised by our peers with the film’s global premiere at the prestigious Busan International Film Festival and to close for the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival," she said.
HBO Asia CEO Jonathan Spink said that the organisation is thrilled that the feature film it partnered with Astro Shaw will screen at both the Busan International Film Festival and the Golden Horse Film Festival.
"HBO Asia is not only committed to bringing quality and award-winning Asian Original series but feature films to our audiences across 23 territories in Asia and beyond,” he said.
'The Garden of Evening Mists' is slated to debut in Malaysian cinemas starting January 2020.