Festivals are very storied in multi-cultural, multi-ethnic Malaysia. Our compilation of five short film ads celebrates Hari Raya Puasa, at the end of a 30-day fasting period observed by Muslims. This year, it falls on 28 July. It’s also called the Eid, Lebaran, Aidilfitri or Idul Fitri.
Branded storytelling is a staple in pre-festive celebrations in Malaysia. These commissioned stories typically reinforce family and communal values, perseverance, reunion, and reconciliation.
We scoured the Internet for the five best Raya (Malay for ‘celebration’) stories below!
5 HEARTWARMING FILMS FOR IDUL FITRI BY PETRONAS, NISSAN, BERNAS & MAXIS
#1 – ‘ATUK’ (GRANDFATHER) by NISSAN (2014)
Being in a car is a big part of Malaysian life, whether we like it or not — in the car, driving one, or being stuck in one. If a car, like walls, had eyes, it would record the hours, days, and moments spent with friends and families.
In ‘Atuk’, the family patriarch sneaks away unnoticed after his family returns home on the eve of Raya. A nostalgic drive around a picturesque village brings back memories about friends and family, and about the future.
His family panics when they discover his disappearance. His grandson, Man, is dispatched to locate him!
#2 – “ADA WiFi TAK?” (“IS THERE WiFi?”) by MAXIS (2013)
This is actually an untitled commercial! But but we’ve named it for what it is: “Is there WiFi” has become a standard greeting! (In more polite company, “Hello” would come first, of course.)
In this Maxis ad, two cousins meet at their family home, and this standard ‘greeting’ is used. It’s a playful story but necessary reminder about what being connected really means.
#3 – ‘THE JOURNEY” by BERNAS (2012)
This is a story less told: 1) about the children who don’t homes, and 2) long journeys on public transportation in Malaysia.
Two orphans, Ahmed and Fizi, sneak out from their boarding school before Raya. The real world is quite foreign to them, but they encounter generosity and kind souls in their journey home.
A very heartening story about friendship and perseverance. And a very moving ending about what home means to them.
#4 – ‘JAHIT’ (‘STITCHING’) by PETRONAS (2013)
Aishah, a single mother, ekes out a living as a tailor, and her teenage daughter Awin helps her out at the shop. The pre-festive season sees a deluge of business, as it is customary to wear new clothes during Raya.
Aishah struggles to keep ahead of her orders before the big day, as she doesn’t want to disappoint her customers. Her hard work pays off. A heartwarming film about sacrifice, diligence and perseverance.
#5 – ‘KE PANGKUAN BONDA’ by PETRONAS (2014)
We have two ads from Petronas, simply because the national oil and gas company has a tradition of producing commercials that Malaysians look forward to, for every festive season.
(Another reason is because #4 (Jahit) and this ad ‘Ke Pangkuan Bonda’ (Returning to Mum’s ‘home’ or ‘bosom’) is directed by Quek Shio Chuan, whose films have premiered on Viddsee.)
The track ‘Suasana Hari Raya’ is one of the most popular Raya music, and the scenes depicted are of traditional Malay villages. There are no subtitles to this song, but the tone and visuals tell the story as it is: a spirited and simple tale about Raya told through the eyes of a young girl and as she grows up to be a woman.
Reservoir Productions & Petronas has more about how they shot this.
Viddsee wishes all our Muslim friends Selamat Hari Raya (“Happy Eid!”), and as it’s a time to seek forgiveness: Maaf Zahir & Batin!
(It’s also a time to reconcile and renew relationships — so write back to us if you have any comments!)