Bruneian film picked for Cannes festival

National 1 minute, 42 seconds


A BRUNEIAN short horror film set in Tutong about an old folks tale has been accepted for this year’s Cannes festival.

Shot and produced by Abdul Zainidi, an independent Paris based Bruneian film director, the seven-minute movie tells the tale of a ghost – _Jentingka_i – who comes from the forest to claim badly behaved children.

“The story is based on a tale told to me by my grandmother which struck fear in me as a child and has stuck with me ever since,” said Abdul.

The film, which was shot with a Nikon camera for less than the cost of an iPhone, is a prelude to a previous film directed by Abdul in 2013 titled Teluki.

Teluki was my personal interpretation of the Jentingkai folk tale, which I shot in 2013. With both movies, I really wanted the film to be set in Tutong. As it is my hometown, I want to showcase it to the world,” he said.

The movie will be shown at the Cannes short film corner. It was shot in three days last December, with overall production completed by the New Year.

Abdul said that Bruneians will be able to see the movie uploaded to sites as soon as it has been promoted at festivals.

“The film was narrated by Malai Ezzan, with my actor of _Teluk_i, Fadzlie Izzul Iman, returning to his role and Ishannudin Ishak playing his brother,” he added.

The movie also incorporates stories of children who disappeared in Tutong as well as the mythology of Romulus and Remus, twin brothers raised by a she-wolf and later founded Rome.

“I have always believed in the power of story-telling and utilising local talent to produce a 100 per cent Bruneian films,” he said.

Abdul is now shooting two short films in Paris, one a fairy tale about an orphan and the other about a banker who becomes an actor.

He also plans to re-release Ostritch, another local horror film which has already been released on YouTube, with better sound and better editing.

The Brunei Times