Tiger Stripes, directed by Amanda Nell Eu and produced by Foo Fei Ling, has been granted the honour as the grand prize winner for best feature at Cannes Critics’ Week, becoming the first Malaysian film to earn that accolade. It’s a huge accomplishment since the last Malaysian film shown there was 13 years ago.
The Malaysian horror film centres around Zafreen Zairizal’s Zaffan, a 12-year-old girl who struggles to navigate the beginnings of puberty while also being driven by her physical changes and estrangement from her own community, which eventually leads to her discovering her own sense of fulfilment.
Tiger Stripes secured €10,000 at Cannes
Tiger Stripes was chosen from among seven other films competing for the award. As the Grand Prize winner, Amanda will receive €10,000 (approximately RM 50,000) in prize money for her accomplishment.
A film five years in the making
Tiger Stripes consumed Amanda’s life for five years, and she feels it illustrates equally for the future of Malaysian cinema, demonstrating that local films have what it takes to thrive on the global stage, as well as Asian cinema in general.
Involvement from different countries
Amanda is upbeat about the idea of collaborations between both local and global studios. Malaysian actors and staff members from up to eight countries were part of the Tiger Stripes film. She believes that her victory will help to strengthen global connections and demonstrate the value of such collaborations.
A movie that relates to all
In an interview with Variety, Amanda stated, “Folktales and fairy tales are a big inspiration point for this film.” In Southeast Asia, we have a number of these horror-folk stories and fairy tales that talk a lot about patriarchal authority,” she continued. ”The way I address adults in the film is very much from the perspective of a child. Teachers were not seen as ‘human’ when I was a child. You see them as the authorities.”