Experiencing Interruptions?

Love For Layla

Set in Malaysia in the early 2000s, when a young girl’s mother travels abroad for work, she needs to find a way to overcome her longing for her mother and convince her strict grandmother to allow her to call her mother.

  • Nur Munawarah Hussain
  • Nur Munawarah Hussain
  • Aesha Hussein
  • Zara Abadiq
    Key Cast
  • Farahin Amy
    Key Cast
  • Lolyta Poniman
    Key Cast
  • Mohamed Mohsin
    Key Cast
    "Butcher "
  • Sandeep Kumar
    Key Cast
    "Cashier "
  • Karim Emara
    Director of Photography
  • Izza Alyssa
    Art Director
  • Paribesh Sitoula
  • Ahmed Jassim
    Key Grip
  • Marielle Cortel
    Sound Director
  • Editor
    Rui Xin Oh
  • Lujain Assaf
    Casting Manager & 1st AD
  • Regina Hossfeldt
    Marketing Director
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Kasih Sayang Untuk Layla
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Drama, Family
  • Runtime:
    15 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    April 27, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    6,045 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    English, Malay
  • Shooting Format:
    RED Epic
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Northwestern University
  • Northwestern University Media and Research Awards 2021
    Nominated for Best Creative Writing
  • 7th National Youth Film Awards 2021
    Nominated for the Open Youth Category
  • Northwestern University Media and Research Awards 2022
    Best Funded Moving Image
  • SEAxSEA: Southeast Asia x Seattle Film & Literature Festival 2022

    Official Selection
  • Studio20Q Fall Cycle 2020

    Maestro Grant Recipient
Director Biography - Nur Munawarah Hussain

Nur Munawarah (Muna) is a Singaporean filmmaker and photographer who is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in Media Industries and Technology at Northwestern University in Qatar. She obtained a Diploma in Screen Media from Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in Singapore. Since then, she has been active in film sets to develop and challenge herself further as a filmmaker. She thrives to create film and documentaries that hits close to home. Her documentary about her grandmother, Plintik, has won several awards and has screened in film festivals in Japan, Singapore, Indonesia and Vermont. Besides filmmaking, she also has a passion for photography. She has won Gold and Silver awards for Singapore Photographers Award 2019 and represented Singapore in the World Photographic Cup 2020. She also won the 3rd Prize for the Non-Professional Children Portrait Category at the International Photography Competition 2019 held in New York. Her photograph has also won the Grand Prize for Mellow Art Award 2020.

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Director Statement

Kasih Sayang Untuk Layla (Love for Layla) tells the story of Layla, who struggles to convince her strict grandmother to allow her to call her mother who has travelled for work abroad. The story was inspired by my relationship with my grandmother and mother. I grew up being taken care of by my grandmother when I was younger, as my mother travelled back and forth between two countries for work. I was often very shy and timid as a child and my grandmother was also not the type of person who showed her emotions well. There was a night when I was young that I missed my mother more than usual as I did not get to spend enough time with her. I cried in my sleep because of it. My grandmother heard me crying and called my mother for me. That fond memory of the act of love that my grandmother did inspire me to do this film. 

I wanted to show that there are different ways of showing love in the film. There is a common misunderstanding that when parents leave a child under the care of the grandparents often, that they are neglecting their children. Similarly, there is a misinterpretation that when the grandparents are tough on their grandchildren that they are being too strict with them. However, that is not always the case. Sometimes, such things are done because of the love for the family. I would also like to depict the actual sacrifices someone needs to make to provide for the family. I wanted to show the irony and correlation between money and family. In the story, Layla is powerless in her ability to call her mother as she has no money to do so. Similarly, her mother is powerless to stay with her daughter as her job requires her to be away from her family in order to provide for them. Furthermore, I see the bed as a symbol for something that holds the family together as it literally holds all the three women together when they sleep in it. It also portrays the relationship that the characters have at the moment.

Showing love and affection could sometimes involve sacrificing what means the most to you. Hence, I hope Kasih Sayang Untuk Layla (Love for Layla) would allow the viewers to reflect, understand and empathize with not only the characters in the film but also to the families that struggle to make ends meet in real life instead of being quick to judge of their life choices.