KFMG Podcast S07 Episode 91: Froukje Tan / Areel Abu Bakar

Posted in Podcasts by - October 16, 2023
KFMG Podcast S07 Episode 91: Froukje Tan / Areel Abu Bakar

We have a directors double bill on this episode of the Kung Fu Movie Guide Podcast, featuring conversations with two filmmakers who have both released independent martial arts movies in 2023.

Froukje Tan is a Dutch filmmaker who specialises in telling family-orientated stories which are accessible to all. Her new film – her first in the directors’ chair for over a decade – combines her knowledge of child development and the martial arts, herself being a long-time practitioner of southern style kung fu. Set in her home city of Rotterdam, Kung Fu Leeuw – or Kung Fu Lion, to give the film its English title – tells the story of two troubled teenage boys who are brought together by their sifu (played by kung fu movie star Lau Kar-yung) to perform the traditional Chinese lion dance. The film received rave reviews following its release in February 2023 in the Netherlands, and it continues to be screened at film festivals around the world, including the Fighting Spirit Film Festival in London, where it received its UK premiere in September. It will also be screened as part of the International Kids Film Festival which runs from 14-30 November across India, the Middle East, South Asia and Southeast Asia. Head to ikff.in for more details. Read more about Froukje Tan on IMDb, and for all the latest news, follow her on Instagram and LinkedIn.

Another martial arts film screened at this year’s Fighting Spirit Film Festival was Walid, a Malaysian action movie focusing on the horrific crime of human trafficking. It is the second directorial effort from filmmaker Areel Abu Bakar, who launched onto the Malaysian martial arts scene in 2019 with his great Silat film, The Deed of Death. The title character of Walid (played by Megat Sharizal) is a kind teacher who transforms into all-out super-killer when one of his pupils – an illiterate immigrant girl – is kidnapped and sold into the child sex trade. Bakar – himself a Silat practitioner – once again calls upon his many training buddies to help deliver punishing, violent action scenes which have been stunning – and surprising – audiences around the world following its world premiere in New York in July 2023. The film is scheduled for a wider online release in December 2023. For more details, follow the film’s social media accounts on Instagram and Facebook, and the YouTube channel for Layar Pictures, the production company behind Walid.

For more details about the 2023 Fighting Spirit Film Festival, visit fightingspiritfilmfestival.com.

Tyrell Williams and Haye Lee in Kung Fu Lion (2023), directed by Froukje Tan.

Aliff Yasraff and Megat Sharizal in Walid (2023), directed by Areel Abu Bakar.

This post was written by
Editor and creator of Kung Fu Movie Guide and the host of the Kung Fu Movie Guide Podcast. I live behind a laptop in London, UK.

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