30 Oct – Recipient of the 26th Malaysia Film Festival (FFM26) Most Promising Director Ellie Suriaty says her directorial debut "Penanggal" was actually not about ghosts.
"It is a spiritual film, not a ghost film," states the actress-turned-director. "I do not want to talk about ghosts, I want to talk about God."
"Penanggal" is a 2013 movie which tells the story of Murni (Ummi Nazeera) who is raised by her grandmother, Mak Ajeng (Nomrah Damanhuri). Mak Ajeng practices black magic and on her death bed, she hands all her dark powers down to Murni. Murni is unwillingly turned into a 'penanggal', a mythical creature that appears human until its head detaches from the body and flies around with all its insides still dangling from the neck down.
When interviewed after her win at last night's pre-FFM26 event, Ellie Suriaty stated that she only used the ghost 'penanggal' for commercial value, but the true message in the film is about one's dedication of love to God. People who have no faith in God and dabble in the dark arts will lead to them living a sinful life, "it is only with God's guidance can they live a purposeful and meaningful life".
"Penanggal" is nominated in 15 categories in this year's Malaysia Film Festival.
The awards for five of the categories were presented at last night's officiating ceremony and the film walked away with two wins, including the award for Best Art Design.
Ellie Suriaty hopes her film will do well in the remaining 10 categories, which will be presented at the main ceremony at Tunku Puan Chik Auditorium, Tuanku Muhammad Broadcasting Complex, Seremban, Negeri Sembilan this weekend on 1 November 2014.