Exclusive Interview with Remi M Sali and Chef Sarah Ariffin
Siti Zulaikha Binte Zainudin, The UrbanWire
20 Jan 2021
Not My Mother’s Baking is a rare film that presents the faultlines in inter-ethnic and inter-faith Singapore in a point-blank yet light-hearted way. We have the opportunity to interview director Remi M Sali, a Ngee Ann Poly graduate and Chef Sarah Ariffin, who plays the female lead in the film. Here’s what they have to say about the controversial portrayals in their film.
Eye-opening. That was the first word that came to mind when I was leaving the theatre after watching local film Not My Mother’s Baking. More than just a romance comedy and culinary drama, this local film explores the complex interracial and interfaith relations that are ever so present and not so talked about in Singapore.
Common Mistakes: Do not blindly reject the term 'babi' (pig)
Nurul Ain Razali, Berita Minggu
17 Jan 2021
"BABI! Babi! Babi!" That was one of the dialogues of the narrator of a romantic comedy film screening recently by Studio59 Concepts, Not My Mother's Baking. The 112-minute film tells the story of an extraordinary encounter between the son of a roasted pork rice seller, Edwin, and a Muslim pastry chef, Sarah. Personally, the film can be a trigger for honest, open and relaxed discussions on religious and racial issues. However, this column will discuss in particular the word 'babi' following the hilarious dialogue from the language perspective and its relationship with the community.
Sekiranya korang ternampak trailer filem Not My Mother’s Baking ni, pasti korang dapat agak bahawa filem ini pasal another kisah cinta antara Melayu dan Cina yang dilarang dek perbezaan budaya dan agama, tapi akhirnya dapat dileraikan. Tapi, apa yang membuat perjalanan cinta watak Sarah dan Edwin lebih menarik adalah personaliti keluarga masing-masing yang menambahkan flavour kepada kisah cinta ala Romeo dan Juliet ini.
Roast Pork Hawker's Son Marries a Malay Girl , New Local Film with Daring Dialogue 叉烧肉摊贩儿子娶马来女孩 , 本地新片对白敢敢讲
李亦筠, Lianhe Zaobao 联合早报
12 Dec 2020
Is it a headache for the son of a roast pork hawker to fall in love with a Malay girl? The local movie Not My Mother's Baking tells such a story, director Remi M Sali dares to accept the challenge. In an interview with Lianhe Zaobao 联合早报, he candidly said that the film explores the cultural and religious beliefs of different races. The plot and bold dialogue in the film made the cast and crew nervous for him.
‘Not My Mother’s Baking’ to be released in Taiwanese theatres 《不是我妈妈的烘焙》有机会台湾戏院上映
李亦筠, Lianhe Wanbao 联合晚报
10 Dec 2020
Local movie Not My Mother's Baking caught the favour of Taiwanese distributor Cineplex Development Co. and is slated for a theatrical release there. The Taiwanese film distribution company has previously picked up Eric Khoo's 'My Magic' and Yeo Siew Hua’s Golden Horse award-winning film 'A Land Imagined'.
Film Review: Understanding and Familial Love Triumphs Over Social Taboos in Romantic Comedy ‘Not My Mother’s Baking’
Matthaeus Choo, Sinema
9 Dec 2020
Local romantic comedy Not My Mother’s Baking reimagines Romeo and Juliet for modern Singapore. The film is bold in its challenge of religious, cultural and racial sensitivities in the country, holding the accolades for being the first Singaporean film to feature a Malay lead speaking English for most of the film, and for being the first film in the world to showcase the Islamic conversion of a man led by a woman religious leader.
Not My Mother’s Baking — New local film surrounding Singapore’s food culture
9 Dec 2020
I believe I am not alone in my love for cinema. In particular, movies about food. There is nothing that gets my cravings going more than seeing a dish on the big screen—think ramen from Tampopo (1985), or ratatouille from, well, Ratatouille (2007). Imagine my excitement when Not My Mother’s Baking (2020), Studio59 Concept’s latest work, was announced in September of 2019. Over a year later, I am pleased to report that the film is finally hitting the cinemas.
Film Review: Not My Mother’s Baking (2020) by Remi M Sali
Joanna Kończak, Asian Movie Pulse
7 Dec 2020
“Not My Mother’s Baking” by Remi M Sali, similarly to “Konpaku” (2019), the debut feature of this Singapore-based director, explores the territory of intercultural and interfaith relations. However, while “Konpaku” was using the elements of horror, this time the mood is entirely different. We get a rom-com combined with a light-weighted family drama and… lots of mouth-watering delicacies. Remi M Sali made use of his experience gained during working on TV culinary shows like “Cinta Kek” or “Delicatessen” to implement some tasty content and a thread of video productions dedicated to foodies and gormandizers.
Talk about 'halal love' behind the clash of ideologies through movie
Hanim Saleh, Berita Minggu
6 Dec 2020
During his childhood, film director Remi M Sali felt as a Malay-Muslim, he is "purer" than the Chinese - as "Malays do not eat pork, and do not touch dogs." In fact, he admitted that he was angry with a school friend who put a piece of non-halal dumpling into his plate. Who would have thought, that past experience inspired the production of his latest film, which addresses the halal and non-halal aspects of living in harmony between races, both in relationships, lifestyle and food.
Not My Mother’s Baking (不是我妈妈的烘焙, Remi M. Sali, 2020)
Hayley Scanlon, Windows on World
2 Dec 2020
True love conquers all in Remi M Sali’s warmhearted Singaporean rom-com Not My Mother’s Baking (不是我妈妈的烘焙). Spinning a Romeo and Juliet romance between an aspiring Malay Muslim cook and the heir to a roast pork hawker stall, Not My Mother’s Baking is as much about cross-cultural connection as it is about two young people finding their own directions and the strength to pursue them free of parental expectation as they figure out what it is that will really make them happy.
Just in case you were wondering what the film title means, it’s a millennial daughter spiting her celebrity mother’s bakery-driven fame by starting a YouTube channel named as such, featuring her own baking exploits. Pretty cool isn’t it? This ‘family values’ vehicle packs a few instances of rebellion and impropriety to keep the film crunchy without being too haram.
What to Look Forward to in 'Not My Mother's Baking' Interracial Romantic Comedy
Raewyn Koh, TheHomeGround.Asia
19 Nov 2020
Director Remi M Sali and Executive Producer Ho Pak Kin of Studio59 Concepts share their vision for their movie with TheHomeGround.Asia ahead of its World Premiere at the 31st Singapore International Film Festival.
Not Your Typical Love Story: 'Not My Mother's Baking' Tackles Race and Religion too
Raewyn Koh, TheHomeGround Asia
10 Nov 2020
At first glance, Not My Mother’s Baking, seems like your typical romance flick of star-crossed lovers set in modern day Singapore. That is until you start unpeeling the layers to this film by Studio59 Concepts, their second full-length feature and their first film to be showcased at the 31st Singapore International Film Festival.
For this year’s Singapore Panorama, we doubled the short film programme to provide a richer experience of local films. The diverse showcase ranges from works with wider appeal to those of hybrid and unconventional forms. Together, they present a crossection of the state of independent filmmaking in Singapore. Through their varied portayals, they capture a slice of eclectic Singapore that we hope will spark discussion and reflection.
Tasty Cinema: Join us for a Festival feast – on and off screen!
14th Five Flavours Asian Film Festival
23 Oct 2020
The culinary section of the 14th Five Flavours is a sense-stimulating survey of film delicacies from across Asia. And if the steaming-hot soups, dishes sprinkled with colorful seasonings, and glossy chocolate-glazed cakes make your mouth water, you can join us for a home feast accompanying the screenings!
Works by Singapore film-makers showing at international festivals
John Lui, The Straits Times
22 Oct 2020
Food, religion and culture clashes occur in the romantic comedy Not My Mother's Baking, which relates what happens when the daughter of a Malay-Muslim celebrity chef falls in love with the son of a Chinese roast pork seller.
This persistence of vision is also apparent in a number of self-funded independent films. Most intriguing of all is Konpaku (Soul) by Remi M Sali, a young filmmaker who began with short films in 1995 (after Sandi Tan). Still with his filmmaking partner, Dzulkifli Sungit, who helms cinematography, Sali’s film is an in-your-face politically incorrect film about the Malay minority in Singapore.
Bagi Encik Remi M Sali dari Studio 59 Concepts, meskipun sudah berkecimpung dalam industri ini selama 20 tahun, beliau berkongsi beberapa cabaran yang dihadapi para pembuat filem di sini. Antaranya adalah untuk meningkatkan lagi jumlah penonton melalui tayangan aliran utama. Filem terbaru Encik Remi misalnya, ditonton oleh para penduduk di Brunei melalui tayangan terhad dan di sini pula, hanya boleh ditayangkan secara privet. Ini meskipun filem 'Konpaku' arahannya itu dicalonkan bagi Pesta Filem Timur Jauh di Itali baru-baru ini. "Saya rasa lebih banyak sokongan yang perlu daripada syarikat pengedar sebabnya tidak banyak pihak pengedar yang minat mempromosikan filem Melayu kita. Sebabnya ia boleh dikatakan menjejaskan keuntungan. Mereka kata 'Filem Melayu, siapa yang akan tonton? Boleh dimainkan untuk masyarakat Melayu saja? Bagaimana cara pemasarannya?'."
Konpaku interview: director Remi M Sali and producer Pak Kin Ho
Joyce Siu, easternkicks.com
15 May 2019
Low-budget horror explores the contradictions of religion and sex from the perspective of a Muslim-Malay … In director Remi M Sali’s film Haqim (Junaidi M Sali), the awkward Muslim-Malay main character meets the seductive Midori (Lizzie V), also a Japanese succubus spirit, and he is consumed by their ensuing relationship. Midori takes control of Haqim and puts his family and friends in danger. Eventually, Haqim’s mother resolves to exorcism to save her son.
I heard that the idea for the movie is based on a real experience, can you elaborate on that? (Remi, director): Yes it is an experience which me and my family had, a relative of us got possessed. The exorcism totally blew my mind. I needed to capture some of those moments on screen, as that is the best way I have to express myself.
Truth is always stranger than fiction and Remi M Sali’s Konpaku is thrilling in its bid to get you frighteningly close to the social reality of being Malay in $ingapore. Not only that, Konpaku refuses the established genre of the Malay pontianak (female vampire) films that have permeated our horrified dreams since 1957. Instead, the film brings you to millennial $ingapore where history isn’t baggage but only a state-sponsored enterprise. Here, young Malays enter the global village and fall in love. And it’s just your luck if you end up with a foreign ghost.
Udine Far East Film Festival Confirms Lineup for 21st Edition
Hayley Scanlon, Windows on Worlds
11 Apr 2019
The Udine Far East Film Festival returns for its 21st edition on April 26! As usual, the festival has brought together some of the most highly anticipated East Asian cinema releases with 76 films included in this year’s programme including a retrospective strand dedicated to classic Korean cinema and sidebar on Korean indie comedy. This year’s guests of honour are veteran Hong Kong star Anthony Wong who will be receiving the festival’s Golden Mulberry Award, and Chinese superstar Yao Chen. .......... Singapore: Konpaku – A young man upset after his girlfriend leaves him ends up in a relationship with the sensuous Midori but is disturbed when strange things start happening to those close to him.
The film is a rare example of modern Singapore Malay cinema in two other ways. One is the liberal use of everyday spoken Malay, which is considered coarse and uncouth. Perhaps for this and the raunchy scenes, the censors rated Konpaku NC16 (No Children under 16). The other is the obsessive (and honestly quite hilarious) dialogue when Haqim keeps trying to persuade Midori to convert to Islam to sanction their marriage. To get married, all Midori needs to do is embrace Islam by pretence, not by practice. Even when Haqim is delirious, he never loses sight that she must convert. This obsessive emphasis anchors the film in the ordinary world of Singapore Malays. (Oh well, anything for a succulent Japanese succubus I suppose.)
Most intriguing of all is Konpaku (Soul) by Remi M Sali, a young filmmaker who began with short films in 1995 (after Sandi Tan). Still with his filmmaking partner, Dzulkifli Sungit, a cinematographer, Sali’s film is an in-your-face politically incorrect film about the Malay minority in Singapore. Based on a real-life Islamic exorcism, the film is a love story between a man and a female spirit. You can call it an update of the Pontianak (female vampire) films from the 1950s, as Konpaku engages the social phenomenon of mixed-race marriages today. In this case, the female spirit happens to be Japanese, and she happens to be a very raunchy spirit (and if you ever wanted to know, iku iku in Japanese means “I’m coming”). Unlike other Singapore horror films, Konpaku wears its cultural badge proudly. Can you imagine that much of the dialogue is a debate with the ghost about marriage and the necessity for Islamic conversion?
FOOISM: Looking Back – The Singapore Film Scene in 2018
Juan Foo, Sinema
2 Jan 2019
Something that went under the radar of festival films and fanfare is a film called Konpaku – directed by filmmaker Remi Sali. Writer-director Remi, to those who know, should also be considered a returning pioneer, for he directed a feature screen adaptation of The Necessary Stage play Off Centre way back in the 1990s. Konpaku or ‘soul’ in Japanese is a modern heartland creep on spiritual harassment and is market ready for a new cinema run in 2019.
'AKSI!' uji kebolehan pelajar S'pura, Brunei dalam penerbitan filem
26 Oct 2018
Segala penat lelah dan juga proses di sebalik menghasilkan filem akan dipaparkan dalam program realiti terbaru 'AKSI!' terbitan saluran televisyen Suria dari Singapura dan Radio Televisyen Brunei (RTB). .............................. Mujur, para peserta turut menerima bimbingan khas daripada tiga mentor berpengalaman iaitu Remi M Sali dan Raihan Halim dari Singapura serta Harlif Mohamad dari Brunei.
A joint collaboration between RTB and Mediacorp Singapore, AKSI involves youth aged 17-24 from both countries, in the production of creative short videos in various genres. .............................. The Red Team comprises Haji Md Afiq bin Haji Ghani from Brunei as producer, Wan Murni Wan Iskandar from Singapore as director, Md Zulkifli bin Md Salleh as scriptwriter and Remi M Sali as their mentor.
Strengthening Brunei-Singapore Relations Through A New Joint Production, AKSI! (or Action!)
Ministry of Communications & Information
7 Sep 2018
Brunei and Singapore continue to strengthen media cooperation through a new joint production, AKSI! (or Action!), between broadcasters Mediacorp and Radio Televisyen Brunei (RTB). AKSI! engages high school and tertiary students from both countries in the creative challenge of video making. .............................. The Singapore mentors and jury members involved in AKSI! include M Raihan Halim, Remi M Sali, Sanif Olek and Eric Ong.
Saya amat gumbira apabila Ole-ole Temasya kembali buat musim kedua! Saya mengikuti Mastura Ahmad dan Seri Wahyuni Jaes di Instagram dan kerap melihat gambar-gambar percutian mereka! Saya benar-benar tidak sabar ingin menonton Ole-ole Temasya 2! .............................. Saya amat suka rancangan ini kerana ia mengajak penonton melihat pesta ataupun sambutan yang luar biasa di luar negara. Pada masa yang sama, Mastura dan Seri juga memberitahu kita informasi yang relevan dan padat. Bukan itu sahaja, mereka tidak memerlukan dua abang sado (aka sex appeal) untuk naikkan jumlah tontonan kerana mereka tahu mereka tidak perlu pertolongan! Secara peribadi, rancangan ini tops semua siri Zoom combined.