9 Oct – Shaheizy Sam is elated that Amanda Nell Eu's "Tiger Stripes" has been chosen to represent Malaysia in competing for a place in the Oscar's Best International Film category.
The actor, who also stars in the movie, stated that he wouldn't be too focused on whether or not the movie could win, but that it is an honour to be able to compete alongside other international films.
"For me, it is not impossible [for local filmmakers to succeed internationally]. I know the capabilities of our filmmakers, including the crew of Tiger Stripes. The movie has also won several international festivals," he said.
Sam also expressed hope that more local filmmakers will want to create better-quality movies in the future. "I hope that Tiger Stripes' will be a benchmark for lots of other local movies to do better globally," he added.
"Tiger Stripes" is Amanda Nell Eu's debut feature film, and it will be screened in Malaysian cinemas this October. Amanda graduated from the London Film School with an MA in Filmmaking and is an alumna of BerlinaleTalents and Locarno Filmmakers Academy. Her short film "Lagi Senang Jaga Sekandang Lembu" ("It's Easier to Raise Cattle") (2017) premiered in competition at the Venice International Film Festival.
"Tiger Stripes" was the only Malaysian film to play in Cannes Film Festival this year, and it went on to became the first Malaysian film to win the grand prize at the Cannes International Film Critic Week. It has gone on to gain recognition in other festivals, winning the prestigious H.R. Giger "Narcisse" Award for best feature film atthe Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival (Switzerland) and also a Special Jury Mention at Fantasia International Film Festival (Canada) in July.
The movie follows 12-year-old girl Zaffan who struggles with puberty, discovering that her body morphs in a terrifying way. As she is further provoked by her own community, she soon learns that embracing her true self is the only answer to her freedom. The film stars three new talents; Zafreen Zairizal, Deena Ezral and Piqa, alongside veteran local actors Shaheizy Sam, Jun Lojong and Fatimah Abu Bakar.