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Kantoi Short Film in Freedom Film Fest 2018

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Director, Adam Zainal

The film Kantoi, which explores the taboo of teen pregnancy in Malaysia, recently gained a tremendous amount of attention online and will be making its appearance in Freedom Film Fest this 3rd of October. Such a controversial topic in a traditional film industry is unlikely. You could assume that 22 year-old director Adam Zainal is a rebellious provocateur to tackle these issues in such a major media scale. However, that isn’t necessarily the case. What showed up to our interview at a little cafe in Taman Tun is a charismatic boy who has love for character developments and addressing serious issues in Malaysia, but with his parents’ approval.

Kantoi is loosely based on a true story about one of his best friends, which turned out to be a last-minute idea for his final year project in MMU, Faculty of Cinematic Arts, Johor. Adam consulted his mother on ideas for his project to which she pushed him for some self-reflection on his goals. Reflecting on his initial goals for his film school, he remembered that he wants to make a comedy without having it to be your obvious slapstick cliché. Growing up to a certain expectation of comedy in Malaysia, Adam felt that it’s time that the genre addresses bigger issues in a light-hearted way.

Adam casted completely new faces through random situations; from online rant submissions (Mawar Remy), last-minute castings (Aishah Andri) to simply eavesdropping a stranger (Hannan Kamaruddin) passionately bitching in a restaurant. He finds inexperienced actors/actresses have a natural progression in character development as they explore unfamiliar ways of expressing their emotions in front of a camera.

The film delves into the negative social effects of teen pregnancy in a country that lacks proper sex education. What should be a serious topic is explored through light humour and real life conversations you would expect from teenagers, the natural dialogues a key element that Adam emphasizes for good script writing. This high school teen film wrapped up in a dreamlike vibrant aesthetic makes it hard to resist.

Kantoi is a story of Alia (Mawar Remy) recklessly doing a pregnancy test at school when her best friend Raihan (Hannan Kamaruddin) walks in the toilet. The plot thickens when Alia implicates that the pregnancy test is someone else’s.


Kantoi will be screened on October 3rd, 1.30 at Freedom Film Fest for RM10 followed by a forum discussing on the dilemmas surrounding unplanned teenage pregnancy.


From left to right: Aishah Andri (as Sabrina), Nur Shahidah Abdullah (as Nazatul) and Hannan Kamaruddin (as Raihan)

From left to right: Hoya Yijie (cinematographer), Arya Ilyasa (writer), Hannan Kamaruddin (as Raihan), Adam Zainal (director), Mary Grace Liew (makeup & wardrobe), Aishah Andri (as Sabrina) and Joyce Kong (production deisgner)


you can purchase your tickets here

click here to watch more of Kantoi

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its 2018..people should be able to have scrolling description texts in their bios