FILMMAKER Amanda Eu’s Lebih Senang Jaga Sekandang Lembu will be competing in the upcoming Orizzonti Short Films Competition at the 74th Venice International Film Festival, which runs from Aug 30 to Sept 9 at Lido, Venice, in Italy.
The Kuala Lumpur-based Eu could not contain her excitement when she learnt about the good news via e-mail.
In fact, Eu, who was out with her friends at the time, had to read her e-mail 10 times over in order to convince herself of the news.
“I was jumping up and down when it finally sank in. I just couldn’t believe it at first,” said Eu, 32, in Bangsar recently.
The hardest thing after that was to keep the news a secret until the official announcement was made by the festival’s director.
“It was difficult to just go on about with my life as usual while keeping it to myself,” said Eu, who also wrote the story for the film.
“Now, I can finally tell the world that I’m going to Venice!” she added.
Eu will be flying to the picturesque Italian city later this month.
Last year, Eu took part in the Astro Shortcuts Workshop, a short film funding scheme initiated by Astro Shaw, where her script was among the top three winners.
She received a RM40,000 grant and was given six months to complete her project.
Eu, who studied at the London Film School in the United Kingdom, took only three days to shoot the film.
Set in a remote Malaysian village, the 18-minute coming-of-age film stars Sharifah Aryana Syed Zainal Rashid and Sofia Sabri. It tells of two teenagers, one of them a pontianak, who strikes an uncanny friendship in their remote village. When one of them discovers the other’s dark secret, changes soon take place.
A drama about friendship and finding strength during a dark time, Eu said part of the story was based on her personal experience.
“My memories of growing up as a teenager helped shape the story in the film. All of us have been through many ups and downs in life. It’s all about seeing those challenges in a positive light and making the best of it,” she said.
Lebih Senang Jaga Sekandang Lembu will be screened at the festival in Malay, with English subtitles.
“I hope the international audience will enjoy the movie as much as I enjoyed making it,” said Eu, who had previously directed two other shorties, Pasak and Seesaw.
Produced by Astro Shaw, the film will be competing against 13 other selected works from around the world, including France, Australia, Brazil and Thailand.