Uppsalla Festival Honours LFS Alumna’s ‘painfully realistic story.’

LFS alumna Amanda Nell Eu’s film LAGI SENANG JAGA SEKANDANG LEMBU has received a special mention at this year’s Uppsala International Short Film Festival in Sweden.

The organisers announced, “We would like to give two special mentions to films that are paradigmatic for what the festival programme aimed to present, both in terms of genre and geography. One goes to a phantasmagorical but painfully realistic story of two girls growing up in a changing world where values and their interpretations are increasingly fluid, leading the protagonists to many possible wrong paths. It is LAGI SENANG JAGA SEKANDANG LEMBU by Amanda Nell Eu from Malaysia.”

'Lagi Senang Jaga Sekandang Lembu' is an old Malaysian saying referring to the difficulties of raising a daughter, meaning ‘it’s easier to raise cattle’. The film tells the story of two teenage outcasts who form an uncanny friendship in their remote village, and was inspired by the South East Asian Myth of the Pontianak – female vampiric ghosts, said to be the spirits of women who died while pregnant. According to the director, “The Pontianak is a mythical female ghost seeking revenge for the loss of her child and her own life during childbirth. She comes from a place of abuse, dying when she carries life inside her, and she finds strength out of it. She is raw, primal, carnal and sexual, and she is beautiful and has luscious, long black hair. She will seduce you, draw you in and you will feel her wrath. The two teenage girls in my film are both Pontianaks in their own ways. Every woman is a Pontianak in her own way.”

Nell Eu graduated from London Film School in 2012, having previously gained a BA in Graphic Design from Central Saint Martins. LAGI SENANG JAGA SEKANDANG LEMBU was the first ever film by a female Malaysian director to debut at the Venice Film Festival earlier this year. Having spent many years growing up in the UK, Nell Eu completed her graduation film, Pasak, in her home country and now lives and works there, developing her first feature film, working part-time as a university lecturer and freelancing on various film and theatre projects. She is interested in telling stories from a woman’s point of view and her films often revolve around female protagonists of all ages.

Watch the trailer for LAGI SENANG JAGA SEKANDANG LEMBU here: https://vimeo.com/224153124

Festival Information

Founded in 1982, Uppsala International Short Film Festival has become Sweden’s premier arena for short film. Every year the festival shows more than 300 short films in five different sections exploring the diversity and richness of the short film – from new film to retrospective programmes, from fiction film, documentaries and experimental film to animations. The 36th Uppsala International Short Film Festival took place from the 23-29 October 2017. Uppsala International Short Film Festival is recognised by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which means that winning the international or national competition at the festival makes a film eligible for nomination for an Oscar. Screening at the festival also qualifies Swedish short films for Guldbagge nominations and British short films for BAFTA nominations.