A resonant tale told through the lens of Malaysian cultural touchstones and an inherent understanding of how some facets of local culture can be built on a fear of the unfamiliar, Amanda Nell Eu’s debut feature film Tiger Stripes has witnessed worldwide acclaim, going so far as to nab the Cannes Critics’ Week Grand Prix prize back in May of this year.
Billed as a horror picture set against a provincial backdrop that many of us will no doubt be familiar with while growing up, the Bildungsroman film narrates the life of 12-year-old girl Zaffan in rural Malaysia as she navigates puberty and inter-classroom social dynamics, in addition to nursing a horrifying secret of her own.
Cannes-winning ‘Tiger Stripes’ to debut in Malaysia
Comprising a cast of both fresh talents (Zafreen Zairizal, DeenaEzral, and Piqa) as well as veteran names (Shaheizy Sam, Jun Lojong and Fatimah Abu Bakarand) in the business, the proverbial stripes earned by Tiger Stripes have been made all the more impressive when one considers the fact that this marks the very first full-length film released by Amanda’s production company, Ghost Grrrl Pictures. As she and her co-founder Foo Fei Ling explain, their company strives to champion female-centric stories from within Southeast Asia and provide representation to typically maligned and misunderstood female archetypes in media.
In less than the span of a calendar year, praise for Tiger Stripes has proven to be almost unanimous. Beyond their Cannes circuit, the film has also nabbed the prestigious H.R. Giger “Narcisse” Award for best feature film at the Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival (Switzerland) and also a Special Jury Mention at the Fantasia International Film Festival (Canada).
With support from the Malaysian Ministry of Communication and Digital via MyCreative and FINAS, the film will be screened in a number of key regions including North America and the United Kingdom. Where the latter is concerned, Tiger Stripes is set to premiere at the British Film Institute London Film Festival as part of the First Feature Competition, with Amanda in attendance under representation by The Gersh Agency.
In Asia, Tiger Stripes is due to be released in Taiwan next month with additional screenings planned in Singapore and South Korea expected by the end of 2023. Where home turf is concerned, Tiger Stripes will see a theatrical release in Malaysia this October.
The movie marks the first time in Cannes history that a female Malaysian filmmaker has been invited to showcase her work at the event.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. What is the Malaysian film at Cannes?
– Tiger Stripes is the most recent Malaysian film chosen to screen at the Cannes Film Festival in 2023.
2. Who is the first female Malaysian filmmaker at Cannes?
– Amanda Nell Eu is the first female Malaysian filmmaker to showcase at Cannes.
3. Who are the cast of Tiger Stripes?
– Tiger Stripes features three new talents, Zafreen Zairizal, DeenaEzral, and Piqa, alongside veteran local actors Shaheizy Sam, Jun Lojong and Fatimah Abu Bakar.