Malaysian film 'Tiger Stripes' wins top prize at Cannes Critic's Week

Tiger Stripes centres around a 12-year-old girl who can’t make sense of what is happening with her body as puberty hits. — Photo: Ghost Grrrl Pictures

Malay-language arthouse horror film Tiger Stripes made history by becoming the first Malaysian film to win the grand prize for best feature at the Cannes' Critics' Week, a sidebar for the prestigious Cannes Film Festival that is dedicated to first or second films.

The debut effort by Malaysian director Amanda Nell Eu won the €10,000 (RM49,400) grand prize of the 62nd edition of Cannes’ Critics Week.

The film is also still in competition for the Camera d’Or prize, which is an award for the best first feature film presented in one of the Cannes’ selections (Official Selection, Directors’ Fortnight, or International Critics’ Week).

According to a report by Screen Daily, Critics’ Week’s 2023 jury president Audrey Diwan said that the Tiger Stripes 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 told Screen Daily.

Produced under Eu's production company Ghost Grrrl Pictures, Tiger Stripes centres around a 12-year-old girl who can’t make sense of what is happening with her body as puberty hits. The film stars newcomers Zafreen Zairizal, Deena Ezral and Piqa, as well as established actors Shaheizy Sam and Fatimah Abu Bakar.

The 37-year-old Eu is the first female director from Malaysia to have a film featured in Cannes, and Tiger Stripes is also only the fourth Malaysian feature film at Cannes, and the first since since 2010.

Only three other Malaysian films have been chosen for Cannes previously – U-Wei Saari’s Kaki Bakar in 1995, 2009's Karaoke by Chris Chong Chan Fui, and Woo Ming Jin’s The Tiger Factory in 2010.

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