Director, editor, and colourist – Harinthiran Manoharan has donned several hats in his latest short film aptly titled - Tapau.

Being among upcoming/successful young filmmakers, Harin has emerged as the Champion of the Ulagam Short Film Contest 2023. With hardwork, dedication, and the right approach, anyone is possible to be a successful filmmaker and Harin is among one of them.

Regarding ‘Tapau’ - while it was not based on a true story, but the message it carries about the beautiful bond we share as a united nation is undeniably true. With hardwork, dedication, and the right approach, anyone can turn their filmmaking dreams into reality.

Harin has stated that his first foray into narrative storytelling as a director presented a significant challenge. However, it was a collaborative effort, with each team member dedicating themselves to the script's best interests. While the storyline may seem straightforward, the process of translating it from paper to execution had its complexities, which we successfully navigated thanks to our dedicated team.

A post shared by Harin (@harin_mackie)

There’s no denying that juggling these three roles was no walk in the park.

As someone from a post-production background, directing was an entirely new experience. This endeavour wouldn't have been possible without the commitment of my team members, who took charge of their respective roles to ensure the success of ‘Tapau.’

“Multitasking was manageable due to my passion for editing and colour grading, which remain constant in my career. When the idea for ‘Tapau’ emerged, it was only fitting to develop and execute it among like-minded industry friends.

As the saying goes, "Don't limit your challenges, challenge your limits." With the right team, exemplified by my co-screenwriter and director Renuka Balasubramaniam, we overcame all obstacles together.”

Tapau, we are curious to understand what inspired the director to have the title...

The choice of the title ‘Tapau’ stemmed from a dinner conversation with Keru, one of the actors, at my usual Nasi Kandar restaurant. We discussed Astro Ulagam's short film contest and instantly gravitated toward the topic of food. Given that the restaurant's name was ‘Tapau’ - it became the backbone of our storyline, symbolising "take away" or "parcel."

Regarding the creative process, while Astro Ulagam provided the theme, the brainstorming naturally began with the idea of how a foreigner would savour a plate of Nasi Kandar. The notion of using the restaurant's name as a plot twist emerged instantly. However, the scripting process spanned weeks, encompassing screenplay development, dialogue crafting, and treatment refinement.

A post shared by Harin (@harin_mackie)

Through ‘Tapau,’ the captain of the ship has intended to showcase the unity within a neighbourhood and the opportunities for learning not only new languages but also experiencing the diverse array of local Malaysian cuisines. We hold a deep appreciation for the unique beauty of Malaysia and want to convey our love for our country through this film.

Directing a short film and assembling a diverse cast and crew is no small feat, and success in such endeavors is seldom achievable without a solid support system.

Asking to whom would you like to shower your heartfelt thanks?

“We extend our sincere gratitude to Astro Ulagam for orchestrating this prestigious competition, which catalyzes contestants to realize their full potential and foster collective achievement. It is with immense satisfaction that we, Renuka Balasubramaniam and I, seized this golden opportunity, and it has indeed transformed our aspiration of working in a telemovie into a tangible reality, not just for us but for the entire team,” Harin.
With unwavering faith and dedication, we pledge to continuously elevate our craft, aiming for excellence with each endeavour.

On the other hand, we extend our heartfelt thanks to all our well-wishers and collaborative partners, including Soundniverse Studio (Jeson & Dustin), Greenbox Studio (Vicky), Kerusi Pictures (Keru), and Sriga Restaurant (Aaron Maya). Our gratitude also extends to individuals who have been instrumental in our journey, such as Saran Narayanan, Satyen, Shivaani, Alan, Navee, Havee, Desaran, Kuha, Hasan, Vishran, and Farah.

Our deepest appreciation goes out to our cherished family and friends for their unwavering love and support.
To K-town Clan and Roshan Jamrock, your exceptional support has been nothing short of inspirational. Your incredible song 'Local Legend' infused our short film with an enchanting magic that elevated the entire production. Indeed, we are profoundly grateful for your generous permission and the motivation you provided, propelling us to reach the finish line with renewed strength.

Harinthiran; A special message from us to you.

Keep blazing a trail, Harinthiran, for you are not only an inspiration but a mentor to those who follow in your footsteps. Your work has not only inspired but also served as a guiding light for aspiring individuals within the industry. Indeed, there’s no denying that your future endeavours undoubtedly hold great promise, and we look forward to celebrating your ongoing achievements.