“I did not expect ‘Jagat’ to win the Best Film Award at the 28th Festival Filem Malaysia because the production of the movie was complicated,” said its director Shanjhey Kumar Perumal.
Tamil language film ‘Jagat’ sprang a sweet surprise when it was named Best Film while its director Shanjhey Kumar Perumal was named the Best New Director at the film festival.
Shanjhey said winning the Best Film Award and Best New Director in a debut movie was beyond my wildest dream and something that every film director would cherish.
“Among the difficulties faced in the production of the movie was lack of finance and choosing the right actors. I therefore had to choose artists who are not Indian actors,” he told Bernama here today.
Shanjhey who had started his venture into the creative industry 10 years ago said he was inspired to film the movie based on what he had gone through when he was young.
“Basically Jagat is a relief for me, when I made Jagat and I explained it to people I felt so relieved. Even one of the policymakers contacted us, to see personally what Jagat was and understand the Indian community in Malaysia so as to set policies for them.
“I was thinking, maybe it is my destiny, for me to tell and document about these people’s lives for the benefit of all,” said the script writer for Tamil movies.
Shanjhey also hoped his movie would be an eye opener for those involved in the local entertainment industry.
“I hope Jagat will pave the way for other filmmakers, minorities especially, to speak about their culture and in their own language, because it is very important for us to do so in this day and age,” he said.
The movie was set in the early 1990’s, a critical period in Malaysian Indian history, the story subtly underlines the plight of the Indian Malaysians, who are forsaken by the estate owners and are forced to move to the cities and survive under harsh circumstances.
The story follows a mischievous 12-year-old boy named Appoy and his relationship with his father, Maniam, and his uncles, former drug-addict Bala and local gangster Dorai.
The film was released last year and considered one of the best Tamil Language movies made in Malaysia. The film became the first non-Malay language film to win the Malaysia Film Festival for best picture.
Against the backdrop of blockbuster movies like Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Pasanga which opened in cinemas at about the same time, Jagat became the first Tamil language Malaysian movie to be screened in cinemas for eight weeks running.
In the film festival held on Sept 3, the movie produced by Skyzen (M) Sdn Bhd beat nine other movies, including Ola Bola and The Kid From The Big Apple.