Putri Purnama Sugua's "Rumah Nda Bertanah" brings pride to Malaysia

Heidi Hsia
·1-min read

17 Mar – Despite not winning the Snow Leopard Scholarship at the 6th Asian World Film Festival organised by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), it was a job well done for filmmaker Putri Purnama Sugua, whose short film was previously nominated for the said prize.

The Sabahan filmmaker's work, "Rumah Nda Bertanah" (The House Without a Ground) was recently shortlisted along 11 other works from around the world including three from Iran, two from Lebanon, and one from China.

The Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) alumna's short revolves around the stateless children, which she also showcased in several of her previous works including the 49th Roshd International Film Festival second place for Best Documentary Film winner, "Aku Mau Skola".

The movie, said Putri, was inspired by a true story
The movie, said Putri, was inspired by a true story

The 18-minute short film revolves around Toteng - an 11 year old stateless child who - after working with his mother at a garbage disposal center in Sabah - gains new love for knowledge after finding an old book.

"If given the opportunity, they could contribute so much to the country," said Putri regarding to the stateless children. "They certainly have dreams of going to school. But seeing them forced to work in garbage disposal centres at age 7 to 8 to earn RM3 to RM5 to put food on the table for their families just breaks my heart. I hope to raise awareness about their plight."

In the recently held Asian World Film Festival, which ended on 15 March, the HFPA Snow Leopard Scholarship Programme was awarded to Farhad Delaram from Iran for his short film, "Tattoo", with the second and third place going to China's "Monster Never Know" and Iran's "Exam", respectively.

(Photo Source: Putri Purnama Sugua Facebook)