A biopic on Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali will go into production in March 2020, producer Hafiz Datuk Rozlan, the managing director of Tune Productions, announced today (Oct 7).
Titled Hasmah, the film will apparently tell the love story between Dr Siti Hasmah and her husband, Malaysian PM Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. It will touch on her childhood, her young years, the sacrifices she made, and highlight the good and bad experiences she's been through, up to the present.
"We have the blessing of Dr Siti Hasmah," said Hafiz. "She told us to do our best with the production. She is an icon for women all over the world, so we want to produce a film that will inspire viewers and showcase the kind of harmony one can achieve as a family."
Amazingly, there's no script yet, but Dr Siti Hasmah has already mentioned how she would like the movie to end. "She requested for the ending to be set in New York with the graduation of one of her grandchildren, and all the family members are gathered in one place," said Hafiz.
Hasmah doesn't have a director either. But Hafiz said he's thinking of either Erma Fatima, or Osman Ali, or Malaysia-based Indian director Khabir Bhatia, or Indonesian director, Faozan Rizal. "I want this film to be of high quality, and to have that, the director is the most crucial factor," said Hafiz.
"Faozon did Habibie & Ainun (a 2012 film about Indonesian president BJ Habibie and his wife, Hasri Ainun), so I have to take him into consideration. At the same time, someone like Erma can bring a woman's touch to the film. We are considering all our options before making a decision."
Despite not having a script or a director, actress Nad Zainal has already been cast as Dr Siti Hasmah, with Hasnul Rahmat as Dr Mahathir.
"Our utmost concern is the end result," said Nad about the movie. "With the right director, we get a quality production. If a foreigner is picked to helm the production, we will still have a Malaysian to co-direct for a balanced point of view. We might have two directors."
Hasmah is budgeted at around RM7mil, with filming done in Malaysia, Singapore, London, Kobe in Japan, and of course New York.
The announcement the movie was officiated by Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Eddin Syazlee Shith, who said he has always admired how Dr Siti Hasmah supports her husband, personally and professionally. "I am sure the film will further Malaysians' interest in her and get to know her better," he added.