30 Aug – Former Miss Astro Chinese International Pageant finalist Jojo Goh takes her fame one step further by playing the female lead in Edry Abdul Halim's latest directorial feature "29 Februari", for which she has to learn a Malay dialect.
"Even though my character Lily is a local Chinese girl, I don't want to speak Bahasa Melayu with Chinese accent. I want to speak our national language with the proper Malay words and accent, so that the audience will not feel awkward when they listen to my interactions with Remi Ishak's character Budi," said the "Summer Brothers" star.
Known for her spontaneous style in television hosting and brilliant acting in local Chinese drama for years, Goh admitted that she was overwhelmed by the filming process for the historical feature, as she mostly acted in Chinese-speaking productions before joining the cast of Malaysia's first ever stereoscopic 3D film.
She remarked, "After getting the script, I have to familiarise with the Malay intonations in a very short period. Honestly, it was really stressful for me because acting in a Malay piece is a new experience for me. I needed some time to adapt."
When asked why they have chosen to film "29 Februari" in stereoscopic 3D, director Edry's brother, Norman, responded, "We normally watch movies in 35mm format and 2D. 2D has given us a clearer picture on the big screen but watching a movie with 3D glasses will experience the graphics and objects in a whole new way. It lets us be somewhat in the film."
Edry said that the production team had taken a lot of effort and a long time to do research on the country's historical events for the story.
"We have a list of all the historical events that happened in Malaysia. We spent a long time choosing what to use for our film. Eventually, we picked out those that were more significant to the people, such as the British era, Japanese Occupation, Independence Day and so on," said Edry.
"29 Februari" tells the story of Budi, a man who is born on the leap day of 29 February, resulting in him only ageing a year in every four years. While tis unique condition leads him to face various hardships in his life, such as the death of loved ones due to his long life, it also enables Budi to witness the development of his country and experience some of Malaysia's important historical events.
The film was shot in 40 days at various locales such as Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Taiping, and stars local actor Remy Ishak as Budi, while Jojo Goh plays his love interest Lily. The other stars of "29 Februari" include Izzue Islam, Fizz Fairuz, Riz Amin, Chew Kin Wah and Teng Ti Chan.
"29 Februari" will be released in 3D, 2D and 35mm formats at cinemas nationwide on 30 August. The film will also see release in Singapore on 6 September and Brunei soon.