Roots, Flowers and Fruits

A young girl struggles to prepare a presentation about her family tree for the upcoming meet-the-parents, as a supernatural entity begins to take notice.

  • Rifyal Giffari
    Director
  • Rifyal Giffari
    Writer
  • Nicolette Lin Xuanyi
    Writer
  • Angelina Marilyn Bok
    Producer
    Uncle Goose Waits For A Phone Call, So We Won't Forget, In Between These Pages, The Preacher, MOTHER
  • Mishall Kiara
    Key Cast
    "Laila"
  • Hana Rosli
    Key Cast
    "Wewe Gombel"
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Bawang-Bawang Nenek Moyang
  • Project Type:
    Short
  • Genres:
    Supernatural, Drama
  • Runtime:
    15 minutes 30 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 19, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    18,562 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    Singapore
  • Country of Filming:
    Singapore
  • Language:
    English, Malay
  • Aspect Ratio:
    2:1
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
  • 32nd Singapore International Film Festival 2021
    Singapore
    Official Selection
  • 41st Molins Film Festival 2022
    Barcelona
    Spain
    November 4, 2022
    GLOBUS
Director Biography - Rifyal Giffari

Rifyal Giffari is a Singaporean writer and director.

He graduated from Nanyang Technological University's School of Art, Design and Media with a First Class Bachelor's in Digital Filmmaking. He is also an alumni of the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival's Fantastic Film School, the ASEAN-Korea Film Leaders Incubator (FLY) programme by the Busan Film Commission as well as the Singapore International Film Festival Youth Jury and Critics Programme.

He is currently developing his first feature film 'The Beast from the Trees', which was selected for the IT Project Market as part of the Network of Asian Fantastic Films in 2019.

His work focuses on dynamic, visual storytelling that champions naturalistic and memorable performances and narratives.

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Director Statement

I believe that family is the origin of all joy and true horror in our lives. I also believe every deficiency we have in our personal or social behaviour comes from moments in our childhood. And in an archetypal, pointed, fabulist way, I love to explore the idea of overcoming those fears and issues. My constant issue has been with my family from my parents to my sisters.

I am not part of my family in any meaningful way as an adult. I recall most nights as a child wishing I was kidnapped, taken away so that my family would be happier on their own. But what I really wanted was to be accepted, to find my own family. It had as much about running away from something, as it was finding something for myself.

As such as a child I spoke to dark corners, monsters, demons (but not God because that was who my parents spoke to and I have stopped speaking to Him) because I felt nobody, especially the adults were ever listening to me. I whispered into the darkness and I made promises with ghosts in the middle of the night and ever since, they have been my closest companions. And as such, in this story, the darkness and monsters to save the child.

Monsters are symbols of great power, and are living, breathing metaphors and is deeply revealing of us. The Wewe Gombel becomes family not simply because it is a metaphor for motherly love but in its own spectral, liminal existence and cultural niche mirrors the position of being an outcast as well.

This story is about outcasts finding one another.