Seven Malaysian short filmmakers talk about their journey and inspirations behind their poignant creations showcased at Kre8tif! –

Seven Malaysian short filmmakers talk about their journey and inspirations behind their poignant creations showcased at Kre8tif! -

Aiming to attract all stakeholders and position Malaysia as a regional hub for digital content, Kre8tif! provided a platform to amazing filmmakers whose shorts were screened during the event. 

At Kre8tif!, the attendees got the chance to witness the following films:

Pillar of Strength by Aie Ibrahim

Walinong Sari by Eugene Foo

Kuihpocalypse by Han F

The Muralz by Jeremy Lee

The One That Got Away by Jared Lee

Footprints In The Forest by JuhaidahJoemin and Sandra Khoo 

Framed Memories by Mclelun Lee 

Animation Xpress got an opportunity to speak to these filmmakers and know more about them, their aspirations and about their work.

Aie Ibrahim who has 28 years of experience in the animation industry showcased a film titled Pillar of Strength. Through his film, Ibrahim wanted to “promote the native people of Borneo”.  His relationship with his family mixed with fantasy shaped the movie’s storyline.

The Pillar of Strength is a narrative storytelling about a child from the Iban tribe in the Borneo archipelago who gets strength from the spiritual energy delivered through the God of War who comes from heaven as a dignified god and considered to be an intermediary between human life, animals and nature has helped this child who helped him identify his origin and take responsibility as a child of the Iban tribe who is an example to his community.

The short Kuihpocalypse explores the themes of culture and friendship between Jamiatul and Sarah. Malaysians’ love for food is often a unifying trait. Han F who works as a scriptwriter and producer at the R&D Studio spoke about her immense love for food and how she watched a lot of Kung Fu movies while growing up.

“I also drew a lot from my personal experiences and combined them with my interests to tell my story,” Han shared.

Known for sci-fi drama titled Influencer which premiered at Tokyo Short Shorts Film Festival, Grim Film’s founder Jared Lee brought the short film One That Got Away told through mixed medium formats. Evoking powerful emotions, it tells Mira’s heartfelt story as she overcomes the loss of a loved one, and her journey in finding closure, told through a creative lens.

One That Got Away

Introducing his friend Nick Davis who did the music, Lee shared, “I talked about the music even before I had the concept in mind.” He shared how he keeps “going back to the theme of regret” in his 12 years of writing experience. Lee also recently won the ‘Best Animated Film award’ with Horologist at the USA Film Festival, San Diego Comic-Con and Atlantic Bridge Film Fest.

Circle Studio Malaysia art director Eugene Foo, who was previously a lecturer at University Tunku Abdul Rahman under the Faculty of Creative Industries, showcased his work Walinong Sari. It is a story of sacrifice and love which he made with a bunch of students during the pandemic. Foo made use of shadow puppets amalgamating them with a lot of contemporary paintings

“I think there is a great lack of Princess Tales coming from South-East Asia. Our tales are not like the Western ones where there is a happy-ending and they find their prince charming. The style combination was also very eclectic and unique for us to translate into animation,” Foo shared.

It is a tale of Princess Walinong Sari, the finest warrior of her generation and heir to the Inderapura kingdom. When she came of age, many suitors sought her hand in marriage, but she vowed to only marry one who could beat her in combat, to no avail. Her father however, worrying for the future of Inderapura accepted a proposal from Melaka’s royal Bendahara much to the dismay of his daughter.

Talking about the next film, we have the 3D animated film The Muralz by Jeremy Lee who holds an impressive 17-year track record in the world of animation. Compassion, growth and selflessness among the people that he witnessed during the COVID-19 pandemic inspired his story. “I wanted to spread a message about these, especially the front liners who sacrificed and contributed for the society. The Muralz sends a universal message of love care and solidarity.”

The Muralz

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Penang Street lay quiet and empty. As murals came to life, Azam, a dedicated food delivery rider, was accompanied by his very own creations: the Three Murals – Pahlawan Nasi Lemak, Rojak Man and Kapten Cendol. These animated characters followed Azam on his rounds, aiding him in delivering food to locals and helping those in need, thus making a positive impact on the community.

For JuhaidahJoemin, the director and producer of Footprints In The Forest, the story is very close to her heart as she grew up in the forest in Malaysia. She had lost her last Rhinoceros in 2019. “Not just as the creator but as a land keeper it is my responsibility to tell the world what is going on and how to preserve nature.”

Footprints In The Forest, co-directed by Sandra Khoo is a tale of adventure, defying insurmountable odds, courage, and above all, hope. It is the remarkable story of Iman, a symbol of resilience in the face of unimaginable adversity. The film made one year ago has travelled to almost 17 festivals and won 10 awards.

Mclelun Lee’s Framed Memories is about strict parenthood. The film depicts the relationship between a father and his attempt to reconnect with his estranged son, reminiscing about the past when the boy was an avid painter.

However, the son’s poor academic performance led to the father confiscating his paintings and disciplining him, straining their bond. Sadly, the old man passes away before they can reconcile. Later, the son discovers that his father had preserved his childhood paintings, leading him to realise that family relationships are often more complex than they appear.

“The film carries a simple message of love,” Lee shared.

These bold, imaginative stories told through short animation films by award-winning Malaysian talents will now be showcased on big screens at selected Golden Screen Cinemas (GSC) locations from 5 to 25 October 2023 during the first ever Malaysia Animation Film Festival (MAFF) organised GSC in collaboration with Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC).

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