I was tagged on Facebook a few days later with another MCYS commercial called Family or as it's more popularly known, Red Shoes. Again, it made me cry. How is it possible that two 3-minute commercials could so easily activate my tear ducts?
Well, if you have not seen them, click on the YouTube vids below and check out for yourself:
I had to find out who was behind these moving commercials, and I did. She is criticially-accalimed Malaysian Director, Yasmin Ahmad. Her films Sepek, Gubra, Mukhsin and Muallaf have travelled to film festivals around the world and garnered numerous international awards. In fact, her TVCs for Petronas in her home country of Malaysia has won her a loyal following of fans.
It was her Petronas TVCs that first caught the attention of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who brought it up to MCYS' attention. According to Richard Tan, Director of Communications & International Relations at MCYS - who was our guest today as well - it was PM Lee who wanted Yasmin onboard.
The pursuit was on. When her advertising company did not pitch for the deal, MCYS sent representatives up to KL to approach her directly. In fact, it came to a point where MCYS told all the PR companies pitching to them that whoever could secure Yasmin would secure the deal. It was Yasmin Ahmad or nothing.
She was given full freedom & leeway to choose and direct her stories. In fact, the Red Shoes story was initially rejected by MCYS because it not only featured a single-parent family, it also featured a girl (main protagonist) who was rebellious. But it was precisely this story everyone rejected that Yasmin picked. And MCYS let her.
Our hour with Yasmin this morning is still buzzing within me. She is wise, intelligent, compassionate and inspiring. There is an aura about her, which I find hard to put in words. And if her creative work is an extension of her, then I can understand why they resonate with so many people.