You Mean The World To Me is a story about Sunny, a film director who returns to his hometown of Penang to shoot an autobiographical story about his family.
In trying to tell his family’s story, Sunny confronts and relives the past, which inadvertently opens old wounds, but in the end, teaches him that true love is about sacrifice.
While the plot may not sound groundbreaking, here are 5 reasons why this movie is going to be good and why you should be excited about it:
#1 The Journey To The Silver Screen and Significance of the scene at the Local Cinema
You Mean The World To Me was initially meant to be produced as a motion picture. Instead, it found its way into the theatre scene, where it became a successful stage play and caught the attention of film investors.
Finally, after 7 years from the time it was first written, You Mean The World To Me is set to make its debut on May 4th.
#2 For The Creative Talents Behind It
The script for You Mean The World To Me was written by award-winning producer/director Saw Teong Hin. In case you’ve been living under a rock all this time, he directed the film, Puteri Gunung Ledang.
As if that wasn’t enough, the movie also received the creative touch of award-winning cinematographer Christopher Doyle, who had previously worked with renowned Hong Kong director, Wong Kar-wai.
#3 The Penang Landscape
You Mean The World To Me was shot entirely in Penang, featuring notable locations such as the United Hokkien Cemetery in Paya Terubong, Eden Restaurant on Hutton Lane, China House (the longest café in Penang), Pykett Methodist Primary School on Westland Road, and Love Lane.
The spoken language of the film is Penang Hokkien.
Fun fact 1: A Penang Hokkien coach was brought on set to instruct non-native speakers on the quirks and characteristics of the dialect.
Fun fact 2: Singapore’s Media Development Authority initially wanted to fund the production of You Mean The World To Me under the condition that the film had to be in Mandarin. Feeling that the Hokkien dialect is key to the personality of the film, Saw turned down the offer.
#4 For Its Cast
You Mean The World To Me features a lineup of talented actors. Among them are:
Frederick Lee as Sunny
The actor/model is well-known in Malaysia, having been on award-winning drama series such as Age of Glory and The Iron Lady. Lee was nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the 2010 Golden Awards Malaysia, as well as Best Actor at the 2010 Asian Television Awards for his role in Glowing Embers.
Neo Swee Lin as Mother
Neo is no stranger to Malaysians, having played Ah Ma in the hit sitcom Phua Chu Kang, for which she won Best Comedy Actress at the 2000 Asian Television Awards. Neo has also been in several Hollywoord productions namely Anna and the King, and The Blue Mansion.
Yeo Yann Yann as Ah Hoon
Mentored by the late doyen of Singaporean theatre, Kuo Pao Kun, Yeo has garnered international acclaim after her strong portrayal of a housewife in the Cannes winner Ilo Ilo. For that film, she was nominated for various awards and won Best Supporting Actress at the 2013 Golden Horse Film Festival.
Chelsia Ng as Young Vivian
Aside from being a Penang native, Ng was previously in the stage version of You Mean The World To Me. The singer-songwriter started her career with her role as a hair-salon assistant in the popular local sitcom Kopitiam and then later went on to appear in the drama series Homecoming, Tin Gei Bin, and the 2005 film Salon, for which she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress at the Festival Filem Malaysia.
#5 For The Crew’s Dedication and Perseverance
Penang’s first cinema, the Majestic Theatre, is featured in the opening scene of the film, but on the first day of filming, the building was flooded. Cleanup took the crew six hours before they could resume filming!
Talk about a rough start, but you must admire their dedication and perseverance.
The trailer has us counting down the days until the release of the film! Catch You Mean The World To Me in cinemas on the 4th of May!