Ho Yuhang’s feature film ‘Raindogs’ has been admitted for competition at the Venice International Film Festival. It will be competing in the ‘Horizon’ award, a category featuring the best emerging filmmakers in the world today. And yes, I am in it.

And so it was I got a call from Lorna Tee, Andy Lau’s publicity manager.

“Will you come to Venice with us in September?”, she asked.

Andy Lau’s company funded Yuhang’s movie and Lorna is in charge of all the fun stuff. She is also an old friend.

“Er…”, I coughed a bit and thought about my promotional commitments for the new album. As it is, I get a nose bleed just thinking more than a day ahead. Sigh. Surely I can’t afford to leave town just as the album is freshly out?

“There’ll be a red carpet walk”, meowed the Tee.

“Oh”, I managed to not sound too keen and drippy. Instead, I took a deep drag of the ciggie and did my best James Dean – which was quite an accomplishment given my tongue was on the floor and my left trouser leg was wet. I felt dizzy.

Please excuse my lack of composure, but we’re talking about one of the Big 3 film festivals in the world here. And we’ll be competing against rather famous names. Like Ethan Hawke’s new film, for instance. On top of that, we’ll be walking on the freaking red carpet. Jesus. Bah. The media circus can wait. Of course I’ll bloody go. Just anyone try to stop me.

Still, when Yuhang first got the news about Venice a week before, he texted me to tell me the good news. “Can’t believe how far we’ve come”, he beeped. The man was right. We used to drink tea in rat-infested back lanes of Jalan Alor dreaming of things like this. And now it is real. Anyway. Shrug. Another one of our indie films is gonna travel the world. And this time, all the way to the pinnacle. This is something Malaysians should be immensely proud of. You see, Lorna didn’t buy it. Yuhang’s uncle wasn’t the judge. And I sure ain’t sleeping with the nomination committee. Oh no, we didn’t do any of that. We got there solely by merit instead. Smirk. So, if I hear another sneering excuse decrying the lack of world class talents in Malaysia, I swear I’d vomit. Pathetic. Anyway, it ain’t cool to be seen to be too floored by things like this. So I’ll stop now. But you should know that this is an unbelievable achievement.

God, I need to wee now.