Soul Searching

Hazim and Fehrin have been friends since childhood, a friendship that have been cultivated through working together in odd jobs. However, their friendship takes a bad turn when Hazim begins neglecting their partnership and begins to spend more time with Fehrin’s sister. They received a job from a client to disprove the existence of a ghost inside an apartment he is intending to sell. Initially sceptical, the duo goes about their job, but begin to find stronger evidence to the ghost’s existence. However, in many ways their evidence can’t be used to present to the client due to their own mishaps. Forced to stay the night, the duo begins to confront each other about their dislike for one another. When an undeniable haunted incident happens in the apartment, the duo tries to escape but find themselves trapped in the apartment. Seemingly at an end, the duo amends their friendship and accepts each other’s flaws as the ghost looms nearer.

  • Muhammad Farhan Zallani
    Director
  • Faris Kamis
    Writer
  • Faris Kamis
    Producer
  • Jonathan Yong
    Director of Photography
  • Hafiz Zakaria
    Location Sound
  • Hafiz Zakaria
    Post Production
  • Hazim Saini
    Key Cast
  • Muhammad Fehrin
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Short
  • Genres:
    Comedy, Horror
  • Runtime:
    14 minutes 41 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    December 27, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    600 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    Singapore
  • Country of Filming:
    Singapore
  • Language:
    English, Malay
  • Shooting Format:
    Canon C-log
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Black & White
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
Director Biography - Muhammad Farhan Zallani

Over the years, Farhan’s extensive work experience across various industries ranging from, F&B, Automotive, Education, Film/Video and gaming industry, has taught him that creativity wasn’t born from freedom, it comes from restrictions.
Believing that rules are meant to be broken, Farhan always find inspiration from anywhere and that everything happens for a reason and with a purpose. It is finding this purpose that motivates Farhan and compels his storytelling. Pushing characters to find their purpose in the story.
For the past 8 years, Farhan’s achievements is a reflection of his ability to connect to audiences. He was the 3rd best voted film for First Take by The Substation, nominated for the S-League Photo Of The Year when he was a Freelance Sports Photographer, Placed in Top 10 for Stuff Magazine Smartphone Photography Awards, Video Editor for Bingit 2 (Mediacorp Suria TV series) with FlashForwardFilms which won Best Drama Series, Best Drama Directing, Best Drama Writing and Best Drama Editing for Pesta Perdana 2015, Cam operator for a short film, v1k1, that was Nominated for the Remi Award at 44th HOUSTON WORLDFEST INTERNATIONAL.

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Director Statement

Prior to Soul Searching, it has been a really long time since I’ve dabbled into filmmaking. I don’t even remember when my last film was made and since then, I haven’t been anywhere near a film set. Until the day when Faris, shared with me his idea and script for Soul Searching. But it wasn’t only that. He asked if I wanted to direct it. Without any hesitation, I said ‘Yes!’. It’s been such a long time and the itch has started to become unbearable.

But upon reading the script, I begin to realise that the story is a horror comedy. Admittedly, I was a little disappointed as horror isn’t something I’ve ever enjoyed. I really hate watching anything horror related, even if there is a touch of comedy added in it.
However, my need to get back into filmmaking overwhelmed my dislike for horror films. I wanted to return to what I truly enjoyed about filmmaking. Low budget. Single location. A crew and cast of my friends and acquaintances who share the same desire. So I thought, ‘Let’s do it.’

I’ve never experienced any incidents of the supernatural kind. I only hear of personal experiences from my friends, who claim that they have the 3rd eye and are capable of seeing ghost and have experienced plenty of supernatural incidents. I don’t have a 3rd eye. I only have 2. And coupled with my lack of personal horror incidents and my cowardness towards anything supernatural made this film a challenge for me.

However, I do believe that supernatural stuff happens when one is afraid of the unknown and allow their mind to be challenged by stories and incidents that they hear from their friends and families. And that is something I wanted to incorporate into this horror comedy film. Having the two characters continuously at loggerheads because one believes strongly in the unknown while the other just believes that ghosts don’t exist. And from this disagreement, the story unfolds to show that there is an underlying issue that has been challenging their friendship for some time. While being trapped in a haunted house is daunting enough, the story is about how they fight the ghosts of their past actions and confront each other to find it deep within themselves to accept and rekindle their friendship.

The whole film is actually a play on words. Using electric candles as a sign of them rekindling, a voice recorder to communicate with a ghost but only recording what they want to hear and refusing to listen to the other and once faced with what seems to be a real supernatural threat, the two are forced to confront their own demons.

I think my experience in this film has thought me that sometimes we just have to take a breather and relax our mind. We have to learn to focus on one thing at a time, control the complexity that is the brain in our skull and then everything becomes clearer. Even what we deemed as wrongdoings by our friends, we can learn and understand them better.