M’sian Filmmaker Wins ‘New Talent Award’ At International Film Festival For Heartbreaking Film About Religion

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Image from Sky Picture (Provided to SAYS)
source: SAYS

Mickey Lai is a Malaysian filmmaker and graduate from Met Film School in London. Coming from a multi-cultural country like ours, she uses her struggles with her identity, religion and family as a framework for her art. The most accurate snapshot of her experiences to-date takes shape in her film, The Cloud Is Still There. 

source: norwichfilmfestival.co.uk

Based on her personal story, Lai weaves a tale centred around her terminally-ill grandfather and her insistence on praying for his health. Since she comes from a family of differing religious beliefs, her method of worship clashes with the rest of her family’s. Conflict arises when she, a Christian, is caught praying by his bedside by her mother, a Taoist.

The film’s complex yet relevant themes captured the heart of audiences and critics alike. Not only was it praised within the Asian cynosure, but Lai has since won the New Talent Award at the National Film Festival For Talented Youth in the United States.

Despite the success, Lai has yet to show her family the film. In an interview with SAYS, she discloses that she’s “too afraid to do so” but that she will eventually, once she’s ready.

The film stars Tan Cheong Bee in the main role, an actress whom Lai praises for being able to embody sadness and other complex emotions via just her eyes, as well as Tang Ling as the mother.

During the audition process, Lai made sure to choose the right talents for the heavyweight roles. She often took the time to sit down with those who were auditioning, to tell them her story, her vision and to get to know the backgrounds of the actors.

The project meant so much to her that she cried several times during script consultations.

Check out the trailer below:

As of now, the film has garnered 2 awards and has since been selected for 3 different film festivals. A huge congratulations to Mickey Lai for her poignant film!

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