By NURBAITI HANIM and ZALINAH NOORDIN
KUALA LUMPUR: Award-winning film director Yasmin Ahmad (pic) has died from massive bleeding in the brain at the Damansara Specialist Hospital.
She died at 11.25pm yesterday. She had undergone surgery following her collapse at the TV3 headquarters Seri Pentas on Thursday.
The 51-year-old movie maker was famed for her advertisements and films capturing the essence of racial harmony in Malaysia.
Relatives, loved ones and a large group of luminaries from the local movie and television scene gathered at the hospital the moment they heard about her death.
Among the first to arrive were veteran actress Fatimah Abu Bakar - a close friend of Yasmin - and Media Prima International CEO Datuk Seri Farid Ridzuan.
Although distraught, those present paid tribute to the award-winning director.
"We would come cross a few great people in our time on earth. Yasmin was one of them.
"She wasn't an easy person to live or work with, but that was only because she was so talented.
"She had a big heart and vision that we usually don't understand. That was why people misunderstood her. But she never intended any malice," said Fatimah.
She added Yasmin's films had always been about love and forgiveness because that was the way her parents brought her up.
Fatimah's daughter, Sharifah Amani, who acted in Yasmin's films, was too distraught as she stood by at her mother's side.
She refused to talk to the press.
Fatimah and Farid acted as the spokespersons for Yasmin's family to announce her death and details of her funeral.
TV host Aznil Nawawi, said he had always admired Yasmin?s work although he never had a chance to work with her.
"She possessed the knack on how to capture the essence of Malaysia through her movies and commercials.
"I last saw her when she was promoting her movie Talentime at the Radio Era office," he added.
Suria FM chief executive officer Engku Imran Engku Zainal Abidin described Yasmin's death as a great loss - not only to the entertainment and movie industry, but to the nation as a whole.
"Her movies are watched by all races because they can all relate to the messages conveyed.
"We have lost a great, intelligent and creative director," he added.
Yasmin will be buried after Zohor prayers today, although at press time the location of the burial has yet to be determined.
Fatimah said Yasmin's body would be taken to the SS19 Mosque in Subang Jaya for prayers.