FANS did not realise that something was brewing between Syamsul Yusof and Redza Minhat until they saw Syamsul’s tweet.
In the Aug 2 tweet, Syamsul, who won the Best Director award at the 57th Asia Pacific Film Festival, thanked his supporters, Redza and Twitter user @KhairilAnuar, who had criticised the local film industry through their tweets.
Syamsul, 33, said it was not his intention to sound arrogant about his first international win.
He said he just wanted to remind Redza not to undermine or criticise other people’s work, as Redza and @KhairilAnuar had done before.
“Truthfully, I tagged Redza in my tweet to make him understand that no one should feel he is better than the rest,” Syamsul said.
“It is great that he thinks he knows what makes a great film, but, at the same time, respecting other people’s work is also important.
“My principle is simple. Respect all products put out. It may not be your cup of tea, but it may be someone else’s.
“For example, Ahmad Idham’s horror comedy, Hantu Bonceng, might have flaws, but it did well at the box office. That itself deserves some respect.”
He has helmed movies such as KL Gangster, Khurafat and Evolusi KL Drift 2.
Syamsul praised local filmmakers, like Datin Paduka Shuhaimi Baba, who made wonderful films without condemning other directors’ vision or effort.
“How many films has he (Redza) done?
“He has only written screenplays (one of which is for Terbaik Dari Langit), but does he have the right to judge a director’s work if he has not been tested as one?”
Syamsul admitted that he liked films that Redza had starred in, like Pisau Cukur and KIL, but felt sorry that the titles were not successful at the box office.
“Why must he feel bitter when others fare better? I understand that everyone has the right to free speech. If that is the case, I have the right, too, no?”
Syamsul said his tweet was not only intended to defend his films, but those of other filmmakers as well.
Netizens criticised Syamsul for taking his “feud” to social media instead of resolving the issue privately with Redza.
“I have been quiet all this while, but after clinching the award, I was reminded of these critics,” said Syamsul.
“I thought this would be the best way to make my point clear... that the person you have been criticising finally wins an award.”
Syamsul is completing the sequel of Munafik, Munafik 2, which stars Maya Karin. It will hit the cinemas in February.