Malaysia names black-and-white drama ‘Prebet Sapu’ official Oscars 2022 submission

Muzammer Rahman’s directorial debut centres on a man who illegally moonlights as a ride-hailing service driver

Malaysia has named the drama Prebet Sapu (Hail, Driver) the country’s official submission to the 2022 Oscars.

The feature was selected by the National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (Finas) for consideration in the Best International Feature Film category at the 94th Academy Awards. The committee made the announcement on Wednesday (November 3).

Directed by Muzammer Rahman, Prebet Sapu follows a young man who moonlights as a driver on a ride-hailing service, despite failing to get a driver’s license due to his colourblindness. His adventures on the road later lead him into a relationship with an escort.

Advertisement

Filmed entirely in black-and-white, Prebet Sapu is notable for its stark and lo-fi depiction of Kuala Lumpur. Muzammer Rahman’s directorial debut, it stars actors Amerul Affendi and Lim Mei Fen in its lead roles. Watch its trailer below.

In a statement issued to Bernama, Finas said it landed on Prebet Sapu after “a detailed evaluation process” based on internal criteria, along with “competition rules set by the organisers”.

Rahman said the impetus for the film came from a moment in his life when he realised he wouldn’t qualify to drive for ride-hailing services due to the age of his own vehicle.

“This made me realise that even in this globalised world, where many people have benefited, others (such as myself) have been left behind,” he told The Interview.

Lim stars as a Chinese escort named Bella, a character that Rahman was interested in developing for the film alongside its main lead.

Advertisement

“After further listening to the stories of others, I became more aware of the views of marginalised ethnic minorities,” he explained. “I became most interested in the story of a Chinese girl who, although born in Malaysia, had nowhere to go.”

Prebet Sapu premiered at various film festivals around the world this year. Meanwhile, the film will make its local premiere in Malaysia on December 16.

The 94th Academy Awards is scheduled for March 27 in Los Angeles, California. Last week, Singapore named its own submission to the Best International Feature Film category, the Mandarin-language murder mystery Precious Is The Night.

Advertisement
Advertisement