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Betok

Directed by: Sherman Ong
Writing Credits: Sherman Ong
Producer: Bee Thiam Tan
Production Company: 13 Little Pictures, Paddy Pictures
Format: HD (transfer to 35mm)
Genre: Drama
Estimated Running Time: 90 mins
Status: Development
Looking for: Pre-sales, Funds

Introduction

Ah Ping kills pigs for a living at an abattoir in a small town in Malaysia. Everyday he would head to his favourite chicken rice stall for lunch and to meet his sweetheart Suhaila Mei Ma. The stall is opened by Suhaila’s father, Farid Shah Ma. Suhaila and her elder sister, Subaidah would take turns to help their dad serve the customers while their youngest brother Sazali who is mentally retarded serves the drinks.

Ping and Suhaila have been courting for 3 years. Unknown to them, Subaidah is also secretly in love with Ping. One day, Ah Ping plucks up his courage and asks Suhaila’s dad for her hand in marriage. Her Dad warms up to the idea of having an extra pair of hands to help him. Ah Ping next step is to break the news of his marriage and conversion to Islam to his own family. On his last day at work at the abattoir, his workmates decide to throw a stag party for Ah Ping at a karaoke bar. They get Ah Ping drunk for one last time and decide to dump him in Suhaila’s room. In a strange twist of fate, Ah Ping wakes up in bed the next morning next to Subaidah.

What follows is Ah Ping’s journey into a loveless marriage to save Suhaila’s family from embarrassment, while the person he truly loves is stuck in an excruciating circumstance. Ah Ping, Suhaila and Subaidah rebel against their fate to tragic outcomes.

Director’s biography

Sherman Ong is a filmmaker, photographer, visual artist and educator. Winner of the 2010 ICON de Martell Cordon Bleu Photography Award, his works straddle fiction and documentary and have been presented at the Institute of Contemporary Arts London, Centre Pompidou Paris, Martin-Gropius-Bau Berlin, Musee du Quai Branly Paris, Mori Art Museum Tokyo, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, as well as the Biennales of Venice and Singapore.  His films have been in official selection and competition in the international film festivals of Hong Kong, Seoul, Singapore, Tokyo, Rotterdam and Montreal. A founding member of 13 Little Pictures, a film collective based in Singapore, he is currently developing his fourth feature film, BETOK (Hong Kong Asia Film Financing 2010, Hubert Bals Fund award).