"Sumolah" cast and crew wraps up at a party.

Writer: Pairamaporn Buranakol

30 Nov - Planet Hollywood , Kuala Lumpur, lived up to its name as a star-studded joint, with the presence of local celebrities attending the official Wrap Party for Afdlin Shauki's upcoming movie, "Sumolah!" at Planet Hollywood Kuala Lumpur.

A collaboration with co-writers Michihiro and Tomoko Kubota and Christina Orow, "Sumolah!" is a movie about a Malay man who, desperate, hungry and jobless, ends up working for a sushi restaurant and participating in a local amateur sumo wrestling competition.

Scheduled for a local release sometime in February 2007, followed by distribution in neighbouring countries such as Thailand, Singapore and Japan, "Sumolah!" stars Afdlin Shauki, Erra Fazira, Awie, Patrick Teoh, Radhi Khalid, Gavin Yap and features Gurmit Singh of the famed "Phua Chu Kang" series from Singapore and Inthira Charoenpura of Thailand's horror flick "Nang-Nak". The cost of making the movie reached up to RM 3 million.

Some of the cast members were a little late in arriving due to the heavy downpour, which resulted in a traffic snarl in some parts of Kuala Lumpur, but the event managed to kick off eventually, with Afdlin Shauki as the emcee for the night.

Other members of the cast, such as Awie, Gurmit Singh, Gavin Yap, Terry Gallyout and Radhi Kalid were present; but more noticeable was the absence of Patrick Teoh, who plays the character of Honda in the film. Also missing was Inthira Charoenpura , the Thai actress who plays Teoh's daughter, Siti, in "Sumolah!".

Afdlin Shauki warming up the audience as the emcee for the event. Gurmit Singh talking to the audience as Afdlin Shauki looks on. Gurmit Singh showing his sumo moves.

According to Afdlin, Patrick was attending the opening night of Harith Iskandar's stand up comedy "Man On Stage", and Inthira was busy filming in Thailand. "She couldn't make it tonight because of a shooting for a new film (in Thailand)," Afdlin said.

During dinner, Gurmit Singh happily obliged the photographers' requests for a quick photo shoot, and struck several 'sumo-like' poses to the flash of the cameras. The Singaporean funnyman kept the audience laughing with him recounting his experiences in filming the movie.

"When I got to Japan, the first thing I did was, I kiss the floor!" Gurmit related. "To me it was another home I never knew about," he added, referring to his part-Japanese ancestry.

Gurmit also said that he had always enjoyed working with Afdlin, and admitted, "I was so honoured to work with Afdlin (again), that I would have done this movie, "Sumolah!", for free!"

Awie also took to the stage and told the audience in Malay, "I don't have any Japanese blood, but I've had people tell me I look like a Japanese." He went on to thank the rest of the cast and crew, and especially Afdlin for the opportunity given.

The writers of "Sumolah!". Afdlin Shauki signing the "Sumolah!" poster.

Members of the cast, crew and the press, as well as the sponsors for "Sumolah!" who attended the event were each given a small bottle containing part of the dohyo (sumo wrestling ring) as a souvenir. The dohyo was built in Lim Kok Wing University Campus specifically for the movie. Later on, the audience were treated to a preview of the trailer for "Sumolah!", before the press advanced on to the Q & A session with the stars.

Apart from the cast and crew of "Sumolah!", also present were local celebrities Vanidah Imran from "The Red Kebaya" and her husband, Rashidi Ishak "Cinta". Rashidi's co-star from "Cinta", Sharifah Amani, was seen with her mother, Fatimah Abu Bakar, also starring in "Cinta". Datin Tiara Jacquelina also caused a bit of a stir when she arrived, looking as glamorous as always.

Find out what "Sumolah!" director and star Afdlin Shauki has to say on his latest film in an exclusive interview with Cinema Online by clicking here

Vanidah Imran ("The Red Kebaya") and husband Rashidi Ishak ("Cinta"). Sharifah Amani and Fatimah Abu Bakar.
Datin Tiara Jacquelina The main cast of "Sumolah!".

"Sumolah!" will stomp its way into cinemas nationwide February 2007.

Cinema Online, 02 December 2006