Prolific director U-Wei opens up about wife’s passing

  • Movies
  • Friday, 29 Jul 2016

U-Wei aims for a Nov 29 release date for his long-awaited film Hanyut. Photo: The Star/Rohaizat Md Darus

Director U-Wei Haji Saari says he is aiming for a Nov 29 nationwide release for his long-awaited film Hanyut.

U-Wei spent 10 years developing the film’s script before going into production in 2010. The movie is said to cost RM18mil. Based on the novel Almayer’s Folly by Joseph Conrad, Hanyut tells the story of a Dutch trader and his quest to find gold in Malaya. It stars Sofia Jane, Diana Danielle, Adi Putra, Australian actor Peter O’Brien and Indonesian actor Alex Komang.

U-Wei completed the film in 2012 and was initially due for release in December the following year. U-Wei delayed the film’s release to secure marketing funds from Finas. During a press conference in 2014, he revealed that he had requested for an additional RM2mil.

“I think I’ve got some funds now (for marketing the movie). It’s not the amount I wanted, but safe to say, we’re able to release the film on Nov 29,” he said at the press preview of the movie, Dukun Doktor Dani. When asked if the funds are from Finas, he replied “not really”.

Earlier this year, the director was met with tragedy when his wife Diana Gail died from a drowning in California. He opened up about his loss: “I do not question ajal (death). I just feel sad about how it happened. She was swimming ... It was an accident. That’s the only thing that affected my children and I.” U-Wei and Gail’s children are named Lebih, 27 and Bantu, 18.

Sofea Jane in a scene from Hanyut.
Sofea Jane in a scene from Hanyut.

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