ANN/THE STRAITS TIMES – The filmmaker from Malaysia, known for her Cannes-winning film Tiger Stripes, has publicly disassociated herself from the edited version that received a limited theatrical release in Malaysia on October 19.
Amanda Nell Eu, who both wrote and directed her debut feature, expressed her disappointment with the alterations made to the film in a statement shared on her Facebook and Instagram accounts.
In May, it became the first Malaysian film to win the grand prize for best feature at the International Critics’ Week, a sidebar event of the Cannes Film Festival that is dedicated to first or second films.
“I do not stand behind the cut that will be shown in local cinemas,” wrote the 37-year-old. “It is not the film that we made and it is not the film that won (the grand prize at Critics’ Week) in Cannes.”
The 95-minute horror-tinged Malay-language work stars Malaysian actress Zafreen Zairizal as a teenage girl whose body undergoes strange changes. It has been selected as Malaysia’s official entry to 2024’s Academy Awards in the Best International Feature category.
It received funding from Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan and Singapore. Among its producers is Singapore-based Akanga Film Asia. In Singapore, Tiger Stripes has received a “passed clean” PG13 classification. It is the opening film of 2023’s Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF), which runs from November 30 to December 10.
On presenting the unaltered version, SGIFF’s programme director Thong Kay Wee said, “We firmly believe in preserving the intended narrative of the film. SGIFF has always been committed to showcasing a diverse range of films that provoke meaningful discussions.”
Tiger Stripes will also open at The Projector in Singapore on December 14. Its general manager Prashant Somosundram confirmed that the version screened will be the same as the one screened at Cannes as well.