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Couple's short film 'A Stray Hero' in international film fest

To their surprise, they found out their documentary had been shortlisted together with 85 others worldwide and will be screened from April 19-20 at Cinema Victoria, Cluj-Napoca in Romania. -The Star/ANN
Eileen Ng

Tue, Apr 02, 2013
The Star/Asia News Network

PETALING JAYA - A short amateur film by a husband-and-wife duo about Pak Mie and his wife who rescue stray animals has been shortlisted for screening at an international film festival, making Malaysia the only representative from the ASEAN region.

Hisyam Salleh and Rahmah Ghazali's eight-minute documentary titled A Stray Hero, which recently went viral online (it has notched 105,000 views on video-sharing website Vimeo), captured the attention of Cluj Shorts International Film Festival organisers who invited the duo to submit their film in February.

To their surprise, they found out their documentary had been shortlisted together with 85 others worldwide and will be screened from April 19-20 at Cinema Victoria, Cluj-Napoca in Romania.

The shortlisted documentaries were among the 400 short films submitted to the film festival.

"We were informed through e-mail on Sunday night about this. We couldn't believe it. We didn't expect to go this far. We are happy to represent Malaysia," said Hisyam, 29, a freelance video journalist.

Their documentary is about former contractor Pak Mie or Muhd Azmi Ismail and his wife, who dedicated their lives to rescuing stray dogs and cats in Alor Setar, Kedah despite being Muslims.

The couple have rescued over 600 animals and sleep in their car parked outside their makeshift shelter to ensure the safety of the animals.

The heartwarming film had touched the hearts of Malaysians, with many rallying around Pak Mie to raise funds for his shelter.

Among those who had helped were one of The Star's radio station Red FM, which organised a Teh Tarik Party recently and Pet Project Malaysia.

Hisyam said they spent RM3,000(S$1200) to make the documentary and was thankful their efforts were recognised internationally.

"We made two trips to Kedah to follow Pak Mie as he went about his daily routine as well as interviewing other people.

"We spent three days there in November last year and another four days in January," hetold The Star in an interview.

Rahmah, who is a journalist, said they would not be attending the festival due to budget constraints.

However, the couple are not resting on their laurels, and are already planning their next project.

"We will focus on Malaysian unsung heroes," Rahmah said.

 
 
 
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