Jess Teong, the woman behind the touching film, The Kid From The Big Apple, sparked off her career in the entertainment industry by nabbing the title of Malaysia’s first female Cover Girl of the year back in 1990. It was then that opportunities started flooding in for her and Jess went on to secure multiple titles such as a model, actress, singer, beauty ambassador, film producer, scriptwriter and, finally, a director.
The Kid From The Big Apple was Jess’ first experience being a director but that did not deter her from soaring for the skies. The resilient woman went on to grab numerous awards such as Best Writing during the 2015 Macau International Movie Festival and the Special Jury Award in last year’s Festival Filem Malaysia.
No longer a newbie, Jess is all geared up for the release of her upcoming sequel, The Kid From The Big Apple 2: Before We Forget, which is set to be released nationwide on November 16, followed by other countries such as Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
However, Jess explains that, “I am still learning as I go. I’m blessed to have many talented and sincere people who have helped me along the way. Although I’m still new to putting on the director’s hat, I believe that as long as one has the passion and a humble heart to learn willingly, success will not be far behind.”
The first film was highly acclaimed internationally but the director states that she did not allow herself to see it as a benchmark to reach for her sequel. Jess humbly states that the only important thing is that she is able to deliver a profound message of love within the family institute through the film – to serve as a reminder to the society the importance of love in our lives.
The Kid From The Big Apple 2: Before We Forget will see child actress Sarah Tan, playing the role of Sarah, executing more sentimental scenes; cultivating her own personal emotions into the mix. Meanwhile, fans will also get to see their favourite characters such as Ah Bao (Jason Tan) and Chun Gen (Ti Lung) returning to the big screens, alongside Debbie Goh who takes over the role of Sarah’s mother, Sophia Lin.