Private Project

Silent Day script

Two young, half Indonesian sisters, raised in the US – Jaya(chandra), a skate and snowboard star with a troubled history of tight terrors, self harm and tranquiliser addiction, fresh out of rehab and Meredith, an Instagram influencer and vlogger haunted by the suicide of a rival she ridiculed on line - decide to learn more about their mother’s culture, beginning with experiencing Nyepi, the Slient Day festival in Bali, during which no noise, electricity, cellphones, internet or traffic are allowed for 36 hours.

They are invited to a temple blessing ceremony by their uncle Komang, a Pachalang (religious prefect) at which he himself breaks one of the cardinal rules by losing his focus and becoming possessed by an evil spirt, leading him to react excessively the next day to violations of the Nyepi code of silence and contemplation by others staying at the girls' hotel. The residents apologise to the incensed Komang and carry out an improvised ceremony of atonement. When Chinese guest Mr Li is subsequently discovered beheaded, the others find themselves trapped in the house, isolated by the possessed and murderous Komang whose occupying spirit turns out to be the terrifying Rangda, legendary Queen of the Leyak, baby eater and almost invincible sorceress. Only summoning her nemesis, Barong, the King of the Spirits can save them but how do they do that?

  • Michael A McDougall
    Runner, The Bottom Turn
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  • Five Continents International Film Festival - Runner
    February 1, 2018
    Best short film, best actress, audience award, special mention story
  • Five Continents International Film Festival - The Bottom Turn
    September 1, 2019
    Best young actress, best sound theme
  • Berlin Flash Film Festival - Capt Stolly
    June 1, 2019
    Outstanding Achievement Award
  • Sport Film Festival - Runner
    Palermo, Italy
    December 8, 2018
    Best Foreign Film
  • New York Cinematography Awards
    New York
    September 1, 2019
    Semi-finalist, pending
  • Beverly Hills Comedy Awards - Just a Second
    April 1, 2019
    Semi finalist
Writer Biography - Michael A McDougall

Director, Mike McDougall has funded his films to date with work as a helicopter pilot, and has also flown for humanitarian programmes connected to the civil war in Sudan, tsunami in Sumatra, earthquake in Pakistan and reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan. His films to date are mostly funded from money earned flying in the Middle East and Nigeria.

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Writer Statement

I'm fascinated by the legends of Indonesia and Bali in particular and after meeting local actors Cinta Hansel and Taina Izquierdo during The Bottom Turn, we asked them about any local scary stories that could make a good supernaturnal thriller. They suggested Rangda and Barong who form the basis of the story and the symbols of the eternal battle of good versus evil.