‘Tiger Stripes’ film roars triumphantly as the first Malaysian film to win Cannes Critics’ Week

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Malay-language arthouse horror film Tiger Stripes has made a groundbreaking achievement by becoming the inaugural Malaysian movie to secure the top honor for best feature at Cannes’ Critics’ Week, a prestigious section of the Cannes Film Festival that showcases debut or sophomore films.

Directed by Amanda Nell Eu, a Malaysian filmmaker making her directorial debut, the film triumphed at the 62nd edition of Cannes’ Critics’ Week, earning the grand prize of €10,000 (RM49,400).

Tiger Stripes is also currently in contention for the esteemed Camera d’Or award, bestowed upon the best first feature film from the Official Selection, Directors’ Fortnight, or International Critics’ Week categories at Cannes.

Audrey Diwan, the president of the 2023 Critics’ Week jury, described Tiger Stripes as “Irreverent and uncompromising,” noting its refusal to conform and its captivating distinctiveness.

She conveyed to Screen Daily, “It was the first film of the selection that we saw. It has passed the test of time.”

Produced under Eu’s own production company, Ghost Grrrl Pictures, Tiger Stripes revolves around a 12-year-old girl struggling to comprehend the changes her body undergoes during puberty.

The film features a cast of talented newcomers such as Zafreen Zairizal, Deena Ezral, and Piqa, alongside established actors Shaheizy Sam and Fatimah Abu Bakar.

Eu, aged 37, has the distinction of being the first female director from Malaysia to present a film at the Cannes Film Festival.

Tiger Stripes holds the distinction of being only the fourth Malaysian feature film showcased at Cannes, following U-Wei Saari’s Kaki Bakar in 1995, Karaoke by Chris Chong Chan Fui in 2009, and Woo Ming Jin’s The Tiger Factory in 2010.