Jackie Chan’s visit adds sizzle to Sarawak’s Aiffa 2015

By Patricia Hului
@pattbpseeds

 

Chan waving to his fans who showed up at the Old Courthouse on April 11.

Jackie Chan waving to his fans who showed up at the Old Courthouse on April 11.

 

WHEN NEWS BROKE OUT that Jackie Chan was coming to Kuching as a guest-of-honour at the Asean International Film Festival and Awards (Aiffa) 2015, local social media went crazy.

Many expressed their excitement to see the action star up close and personal in Borneo. Close to a hundred fans gathered at Kuching International Airport on the evening of April 10 following Aiffa’s announcement of his expected arrival in the hopes of catching the Rush Hour star.

Unfortunately, it wouldn’t be until the morning of April 11 at 1.30am when Chan would arrive at KIA to a packed itinerary that same afternoon.

 

Fans gathered at Kuching International Airport (KIA) on Apr 10 at 8.30 hoping to catch a glimpse of Jackie Chan but he only arrived later at midnight.

Fans gathered at Kuching International Airport (KIA) on Apr 10 at 8.30pm hoping to catch a glimpse of Jackie Chan but he only arrived later at midnight.

 

It was reported that Chan had paid a courtesy call to Head of State Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud at the Astana before going on to meet the fans at the Old Courthouse at 4.30pm.

“I love you Sarawak! Thank you, thank you!” he said to the hundreds of screaming fans gathered there after the brief press conference where he shared his thoughts working in the film industry.

Chan, who just celebrated his 61st birthday on April 7, has been in the film industry for 54 years since his first movie role at seven. At 18, he was the youngest martial arts director in Asia. At 22 years old, he became a director. He is also a writer and a producer.

 

Chan said during a press conference that he sees Sarawak as a suitable place for filming a love story.

Chan said during a press conference that he sees Sarawak as a suitable place for filming a love story.

 

Looking into the future, Chan shared he would like to continue his career as he liked to speak or convey his messages through his movies.

“In Hollywood, no way you can do that. In Hollywood, you only can make Rush Hour, Rush Hour 2, Rush Hour 3. In Asia I can make a movie that I like to make. Today, I am not making movies for money,” he said, citing his latest movie ‘Dragon Blade’, which talks about peace, harmony and unity.

He also shared his experience filming in Malaysia and that he had to be very careful to make any films in the country.

“When I did ‘Super Cop’, I almost destroyed the whole of downtown. (There were) traffic jams every single day. I was hanging up from helicopter around downtown in Kuala Lumpur,” he recalled.

 

Some fans holding a banner while waiting to catch a glimpse of Chan.

Some fans holding a banner while waiting to catch a glimpse of Chan.

 

The multi-talented artist also complimented Sarawak as a beautiful place.

Chan stated, “I think when I come (to Sarawak) I only do a love story. Otherwise, it will be car-chasing, boat-chasing, explosion, fighting…”

He also revealed that he had cancelled two trips to Dubai and South Korea in order to make it to Kuching on the state government’s invitation.

When asked what his advice for those in the creative field of filmmaking in Malaysia, this was what Chan had to say:

 

 

During Aiffa 2015 gala night, Chan was awarded Aiffa’s latest award – the Asean Inspiration Award – from Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem.

In his acceptance speech, Chan joked that he would continue ‘hurting’ himself to make more action movies.
After leaving Kuching, Chan thanked his Malaysian fans through his official Facebook page.

“I was so happy when I arrived because I saw so many passionate fans welcoming me,” he stated.

 

Chan (right) receiving Aiffa's newest category, the Asean Inspiration Award from Adenan (center) as  Tourism Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg looked on.

Chan (right) receiving Aiffa’s newest category, the Asean Inspiration Award from Adenan (center) as Tourism Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg looked on.

 

But according to Chan, the happiest thing of his Kuching trip was meeting his old friend Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh who was his co-star in 1992 Hong Kong action film ‘Police 3: Super Cop’.

Yeoh, who was also in town for Aiffa 2015 handed the AIFFA Lifetime Achievement Award 2015 to Nora Aunor from the Philippines during the gala night.

 

Chan delivering his acceptance speech after receiving Aiffa's Asean Inspiration Award.

Chan delivering his acceptance speech after receiving Aiffa’s Asean Inspiration Award.

Hundreds of fans gathered outside of Kuching old courthouse to see Chan.

Hundreds of fans gathered outside of Kuching old courthouse to see Chan earlier in the day.

 

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