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Wednesday, 13 March 2013

#IkalMayang – a series of 15 empowering stories made by non-traditional women directors that premiered on 8 March for International Women’s Day.

The project, co-produced by Garang Pictures and Big EyEs Entertainment, will showcase 15 stories made by non-traditional women directors.

Hello there! Movie MANIac recently had a wonderful opportunity to attend not just one but 15 amazing short films directed by amazing Malaysian women! Here's my take on each of the story.

The talented bunch!

Amazing womens! Amazing stories!

The Toast – by Susan Lankester
It’s about a friendship formed between a little girl and am not sure if it was her maid or someone who lived with her (because by the time I entered the cinema, the story have already begun). They grew up together and closer and one day the girls decided to go for a picnic which ended in a tragedy as the girl’s friend was raped while trying to save her. Her friend went to dark place after the incident and decided to take her own life. The girl grew older feeling guilty for not being able to save her. Years passed by till she finally comes into term and present a Toast for her friend for saving her life.
If Only – by Carmen Soo
This story tells the tale of two best friends who share everything in their life. Now in their twilight years, one of them is facing marital problem so she confides to her best friend. Her friend in return tries to convince her that things will get better. This prompts the one with problem to reveal about the real love of her life who she wished was married to now. The best friend hears the truth and finally tells her side of the story. Once they figure out what went on, they wonder If Only…things happened the other way…

Looks Fool – by Nanu Baharudin
I can soooooo relate to this story because I’m cute (READ: ugly but adorable!)…it’s about how people get fooled by others by the way they look. We often say don’t judge the book by the cover but that’s not often the case when it come to real life. We do judge someone by the way they look and often get fooled in the end.
Jerat Suami – by Dira Abu Zahar
This is a funny but true take into how women ‘jerat’ their husband. We get to hear confession from some ladies and a guy on how they trap or get trapped by their respective partners. It’s scary to think to what extend some women would go just to get married. I just hope I won’t have to do the same. Heck I don’t think I dare to do any of it!

Inspektor Mastura – by Elaine Daly
I remember wanting to become a policewoman during my primary school days. I don’t know why I wanted to become one and don’t know why I didn’t become one so watching these brought back memories of those days. This tale is about Inspektor Mastura who had a reason why she wanted to become an officer. She and her mother was abused while she was younger prompting her stand up against man. This unfortunately affects her adult life. She keeps missing the good guys while standing up against the bad ones. How long will she keep this up?....Only Inspektor Mastura can answer…

1-800-BABY – by Sofea Jane
When I saw the credit with Sofea Jane’s name as the Director, I was like…please tell me she is on the hall. I’ve been nuts about her since I saw her in Wanita Isteri Dan…(to my delight she was in the audience but unfortunately I missed a chance to snap a picture with her, knowing me, maybe it was a good thing because I think I might have pengsan’ed if I was that close to her!) Anyways, Sofea touched the story about teenage pregnancy and how much it distresses the mother of the child having to separate from a new born so the baby can get a better life. Despite working at a shelter and taking care of other unwanted child, the mother always wonders about her child and wish she will get a chance to meet her child one day…

Pantang – by Vanidah Imran
Being an Indian or an Asian for that matter. We know all what kind of ‘confinement’ a new mother have to go thru once she gives birth. From wrapping the body to get back into shape, to eating all kind of ‘jamu’ to clear the body and God knows other scary but necessary procedures. Vanidah brilliantly captures those moments in this film. It depicts how one wrong simple step can lead to post pregnancy depression. We all need somebody to help us get thru sometimes…

Nawar – by Aida Fitri Buyong
We all fall for a bad apple one time or the other. It’s up to us to throw away the bad ones and choose the right one. It’s not easy but with guidance from those who love us, we might just get lucky. No matter how much you fancy someone, if they don’t respect you or those around you, slam the door in their face and walk away. Far far away…would make it a lot better if you have a cow (as in a real moo moo lembu) to scare and chase that lil’ rascal away!
Love Story – by Shamaine Othman
If you think directing a short film is difficult, try acting in it as well and you know how much more susah it is. Luckily, this multi-talented chick is so good at multi-tasking it looks so effortless! I laughed my lungs out at this story of a hopeless romantic girl who never seem to get a second date due to something (Go figure!). She tries to solve the problem by practicing what she watches in romantic movies. She uses cheesy lines, act all weird and awkward when she finally gets a chance to go on date with a ‘dude’ from work who she had fancied for soooooo long. Funny circumstances follow suit but the ending will make you go Awwwwww……real cutesy story this one!

Terjun – by Fauziah Nawi
You know you are in for a treat when you see Fauziah Nawi’s name as the Director. It’s a dark story which actually touches your soul. More often than not we take pity on the disabled person but overlook the person who had to take care of them. What happens if the care taker just can’t bear the burden anymore? What if they tried their best yet the best is just not good enough? Not everybody can be strong all the time…those who fail…well…it’s not advisable but it happens sometimes.   

All About Deflowering – by Mislina Mustaffa
Nothing fancy, nothing out of the ordinary except the amazing determination of a woman overcoming her defects to survive in the world. I seriously don’t know how to describe this one…you just gotta see it for yourself and come up with your interpretation. What happens if the flower doesn't bloom? When was the last time you REALLY smelled the roses?

Berat Sebelah – by Melissa Saila
Oh My God! I don’t even know where to begin about this shocking revelation. I never knew there was such a thing called Body Dysmorphic Disorder – BDD. Try searching for it the web and the result will freak you out! I was freaked out just watching a perfectly formed women hating part of her body so much. She goes to the extreme till it makes you cringe when you watch what she does to herself. But then…God didn’t make everyone perfect, it’s up to us to define what is perfect to us. Thumbs up for bringing such strong struggle into the spotlight!

Odah – by Junaidah M Nor
Hehehe…here’s a statement, just because a girl wants to cut her hair short (yours truly included!) doesn’t mean that she is a lesbian. I always have and always will face this question whenever I want to cut my hair short. It’s just rambut pendek lar. Apa masalah korang ni? Just because a girl wants to look different do not give you the right to judge her other likings. Understand? Ada faham? Bongok!

 She – by Ida Nerina
What makes a perfect woman? If she is outgoing and friendly, she is labeled as a slut. If she is self-conscious, she is labeled vain. We put so many labels on our women’s. It’s about time we burn these stupid things and let a woman be whoever SHE wants to be.
Hawa - Sharifah Amani
Adoi…this one was a knife to my heart and bullet to my head film man! 15 minutes of my life story playing right in front of my eyes! I related more to this story than the rest. I was/am in the same situation before/now and just wondering how my circumstances will turn out in the future. Let me say it again…ADOIIIIII!!! SAKIT SIOOOOOT! SIGH…  

Overall I applaud all this amazing women’s who directed, acted, produced, wrote and what not such incredible films. It’s a marvelous start to our future. You don’t need CGI or bank breaking budget or 3-4 hours long movies to send across your message. All you need is one heck of a talent! Bravo ladies!

Here’s ‘The Toast’ to all ‘Odah’, ‘Nawar’, ‘Inspektor Mastura’ and ‘Hawa’ who ‘Pantang’ dicabar. ‘If Only’ the world is not ‘Berat Sebelah’ and realize ‘Looks Fool’, we don’t need to ‘Jerat Suami’ or ‘Terjun’. It should be ‘All About Deflowering’ the ‘1-800-Baby’ myth so the ‘She’ in each of us can have her own perfect ‘Love Story’!     

Follow Ikal Mayang on Twitter (@Ikal_mayang) and the WOMEN:girls FB page for what’s next with the project.

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