M'sian Film Wins Grand Prize At 2023 Cannes International Critics' Week

The jury president called the Malaysian-made film "irreverent and uncompromising".

Cover image via Screen Daily & Red Bee Media

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The International Critics' Week of the 2023 Cannes Film Festival has revealed its winners of seven categories, and a Malaysian feature film has taken the top prize

Tiger Stripes, by Malaysian director Amanda Nell Eu, has won the Grand Prize of the 62nd Semaine de la Critique, a section of the award festival that is dedicated to discovering first and second-feature films by filmmakers from around the world.

Besides the honour and recognition, Eu also took home EUR10,000 (RM49,400) in cash.

According to Screen Daily, International Critics' Week jury president Audrey Diwan said that the Malaysian-made film was "irreverent and uncompromising".

"(It) does not try to please, it is content to fully assume its seductive singularity. It was the first film of the selection that we saw. It has passed the test of time," she said.

Image via Screen Daily

Here is the list of winners of the Cannes 62nd International Critics' Week, according to AwardsWatch:

Grand Prize: Tiger Stripes by Amanda Nell Eu

French Touch Prize of the Jury: Il pleut dans la maison (It's Raining In The House) by Paloma Sermon-Daï

Leitz Cine Discovery Prize for Short Film: Boléro by Nans Laborde-Jourdàa

Louis Roederer Foundation Rising Star Award: Jovan Ginić for Lost Country by Vladimir Perišić

Gan Foundation Award for Distribution: French distributor Pyramide Films for ان شاء الله ولد (Inshallah A Boy) by Amjad Al Rasheed

Canal + Award for Short Film: Boléro by Nans Laborde-Jourdàa

SACD Award: Iris Kaltenbäck, writer of Le Ravissement (The Rapture)

Image via Cannes France

Produced under Eu's production company Ghost Grrrl Pictures, Tiger Stripes is described as a "Malay-language arthouse horror film"

According to its abstract, the film centres around a 12-year-old girl from a small rural community in Malaysia who discovers a terrifying secret about her body.

She is ostracised by her community, but fights back and learns that in order to be free, she must embrace the body she once feared to emerge as a proud, strong woman.

The debut film stars newcomers Zafreen Zairizal, Deena Ezral, and Piqa, as well as established actors Shaheizy Sam and Fatimah Abu Bakar.

The film is also still in competition for the Camera d'Or (Golden Camera) award at the Cannes Film Festival's closing ceremony on Saturday, 27 May

The Camera d'Or (Golden Camera) prize is said to only be second to the most prestigious award given at Cannes — the Palme d'Or (Golden Palm) for the best film — and is presented to the best first feature film that was selected during any one of Cannes' events, namely the Official Selection, Directors' Fortnight, or International Critics' Week.

Tiger Stripes is the fourth Malaysian feature film that has ever contested at Cannes, with the first three being Kaki Bakar (1995) by U-Wei Haji Shaari, Karaoke (2009) by Chris Chong, and The Tiger Factory (2010) by Woo Ming Jin.

It has not yet been announced when the movie will screen in Malaysian cinemas.

Watch the official trailer for Tiger Stripes here:

37-year-old Eu is the first female director from Malaysia to have a film featured in Cannes:

Here are other talented Malaysian directors and filmmakers who have won awards overseas:

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