“The Cloud is Still There”, directed by Micky Lai Loke Yee, has garnered multiple awards and has been chosen for showcase by various film festivals.
Following a young Christian woman’s struggle with clashing religious beliefs, the main character, Xiao Le (played by Tan Cheong Bee) faces a dilemma regarding her family’s Taoist rituals. In a bid to save her grandfather’s soul, she prays by his bedside in secret.
Her mother (played by Tang Ling) catches her doing so and she is devastated. Both quarrel until the grandfather passes away. Xiao Le may have made things worst in her attempt to save her family.
Lai is a Master of Fine Arts graduate from the MetFilm School of London and revelaed to SAYS in an interview that she based “the Cloud is Still There” off of her own experiences.
Lai grew up as a Christian in her Taoist and conservative family.
“I remembered I cried so badly during the script consultation with Tan Seng Kiat (director of Shuttle Life, 2017) right after I came back from the UK, as he was trying to help sharpen my script by questioning and digging for something really deep from my heart, in order to understand the story and those characters better.”
“In a nutshell, I hope that The Cloud Is Still There will resonate with audiences’ memories of dealing with the grief of their dearest, and that they could see the precious gift beyond the grave.”
She also added on how she believes that the eyes are significant aspects when delivering a performance.
“I always believe that eyes are powerful and they don’t know how to lie in film.”
Lai thinks that actress Tan’s eyes are “very powerful in delivering her character’s emotional state.”
Lai thought long and hard hen looking for cast members, especially for the role of the mother and eventually found one of her liking as they were in Lai’s words “so authentic and it exposed the pains that we as the audiences try to hide”.
The 19-minute film has since won awards for Best Performance Award at the 2020 SeaShorts Film Festival and the Best ASEAN Short Film & Best Student Short Film at the Asian Cinematography AWARDS July 2020.
It has also been selected for the 2020 Busan International Film Festival, 2020 Norwich Film Festival and the 14th National Film Festival for Talented Youth in Seattle.