New Mandala readers in the Canberra area may want to meet one of Malaysia’s best movie director, and watch his latest movie free.

U-Wei Bin Haji Saari will be in Canberra to introduce the Australian premiere of Hanyut: Almayer’s Folly. The film will open the 2013 Regional Intersections Festival of new Southeast Asian cinema on Thursday 5 September at 7pm in Arc Cinema.

On Friday 6 September at 12.30pm, U-Wei will discuss his films and his career, the challenges and successes, and what the future holds for Malaysian film-makers.

Director U-Wei Bin Haji Saari led the Malaysian cinema new wave of the 1990s, with films such as his 1993 first feature
Woman, Wife and Whore (Perempuan, Isteri dan …) and his 1995The Arsonist (Kaki bakar) – the first Malaysian film invited into official competition at Cannes Film Festival.

Through his film making career, U-Wei has shown an interest in adapting western literary sources to Malay settings, including the work of William Faulkner and James M Cain.

U-Wei’s new feature, Hanyut: Almayer’s Folly, continues this interest, in its adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s first novel Almayer’s Folly. U-Wei’s version is a breakthrough in giving Conrad’s fiction a Southeast Asian focus on the screen. It especially emphasises Malaysian characters who were originally minor figures in Conrad’s novel, such as Almayer’s wife Mem; played by leading Malaysian actress (and a regular in U-Wei’s films) Sofia Jane.

Even though this is a ‘Malaysian’ …Almayer’s Folly, U-Wei has still created a fascinatingly international film. Many Australians took a role in the production, including actors Peter O’Brien and Chris Haywood, producer Julia Fraser, editor Kate James and production designer Sam Hobbs.

Friday, 6 September 12.30pm – 1:30pm Board Room, National Film and Sound Archive (please come to the NFSA’s Liversidge St. entrance for admission).

Free admission. All welcome.

U-Wei Bin Haji Saari’s visit is supported by the School of Culture, History & Language at the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific, with thanks to the ANU Island Southeast Asia Center and Mainland Southeast Asia Center.

Presented by the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia in association with the Australian National University. Presented with the support of the School of Culture, History & Language, ANU College of Asia and the Pacific, with thanks to the ANU Island Southeast Asia Center and ANU Mainland Southeast Asia Center.

For more detail about this and the Regional Intersections season, please see:http://www.nfsa.gov.au/arc