By Raihan Hadi
This year we celebrated a second consecutive Deepavali amidst the ongoing pandemic. Sure a lot of businesses have opened up and things are seemingly getting better, but the losses of the past year continue to be that grey cloud over a lot of our heads.
Deepavali, the festival of lights, is meant to bring a breath of fresh air to our lives, and this year in particular, I believe we all needed an extra bit of uplifting.
To that end, the various popular brands of the country along with the creative powerhouses produced several heart warming Deepavali themed short films.
I’m sure you will love these tear jerking stories as much as I have.
Maybank MYStories – “Guiding Light”
Guiding Light is the story of Pallavi Tarun Mohan, a restaurateur with a big heart. Pallavi and her family are generous people who work hard in any way they can to help those in need. Her restaurant “Palluz” caters to both paying and non-paying customers, and with the intention of feeding people her family has been doing this for a while.
Unfortunately like many others, Pallavi faced the wrath of the pandemic and faced numerous struggles due to which poles had shifted and she became the one desperately in need of help. This film is all about how Pallavi and her family got through life’s hardships and how Maybank played a part alongside her.
RHB Group – The Inner Light
Based on the true story of the inspiring Dr Nisha Thayananthan, a doctor who pursued a different path to achieving her dreams.
In the film, we see Dr. Nisha at present and in her flashbacks as a teenager, becoming inspired on Deepavali by the work of her humanitarian mother who is seen donating her favourite saree to charity.
Though upset by it initially, seeing how happy another girl was by her donation, she achieved inner light and dedicated her life to serving people as a doctor.
With “The Inner Light”, RHB Group and FCB Malaysia pay homage to the medical professionals that have been tirelessly working on the frontlines during the pandemic.
PETRONAS – Akka
PETRONAS ushered in this year’s Deepavali celebration with the release of its fully animated webfilm Akka, a tale that presents the message of embracing love and finding light during these trying times.
This loose adaptation of the ancient Indian epic of Ramayana draws parallels between the experiences Malaysians are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic with the battle against darkness. It urges us to have faith and own our power in this journey towards recovery.
In the webfilm, the main character Dheeya goes on a journey of self-discovery. Along the way, she learns valuable life lessons and that love is also an act of responsibility. Dheeya also learns to turn her anger and frustrations into love and acceptance.
TNB – Seed-Sational Deepavali
This film tells the story of Samy, an avid grower and the green thumb of the neighbourhood who is overprotective of his little patch.
Because of his fresh, healthy plants and herbs, his neighbours would often help themselves to these, for their own cooking.
Bothered by their shenanigans, Samy sets up a barricade as a way to ward off his neighbours.
Unfortunately, a violent storm then destroys his barricaded little patch, leaving him heartbroken.
Through “Seed-Sational Deepavali” TNB shows how the light of good deeds can bring everyone closer together and brighten Deepavali celebrations during these trying times.
Maxis – The Most Influential Influencer
The film follows the mishaps of Arvind, an aspiring social media influencer, who just can’t seem to get his videos right.
Between being jobless for a year, the negative comments he receives online and the growing tension with his Amma, Arvind has a breakdown.
With Amma’s wisdom on personal growth, her love and the proper recipe to make laddu, Arvind finds strength and inspiration in ways he least expects, and the light that brings them closer together during Deepavali.
Etiqa – Clay Pot, Golden Pot
On the eve of Deepavali, we see a tension growing between Devi and her mother-in-law.
Devi just can’t get anything right in the eyes of her mother-in-law, and the bitterness pushes them apart when the family sits to create a beautiful alpana.
Clay Pot, Golden Pot is the story of how a mother-in-law learns to become a mother to her daughter-in-law, and how their friendship eventually brings peace to their home on Deepavali.
Digi Telecommunications – The Inspiration
Inspired by everyday people who go the extra mile, Digi released its Deepavali short film aptly titled “The Inspiration”, telling us the story of a middle-aged teacher, who puts in the extra efforts to learn new skills in pursuit of creating a better learning experience for his students.
Despite the challenges faced in picking up new skills, he perseveres and in turn, is appreciated and admired by his students and his wife for his determination.
“The Inspiration” teaches us that, regardless of our age, when we ignite a light inside of us, we will surely inspire those around us.
Astro – Be The Light
Despite being a short ad, Be The Light sends a powerful message to all of us through Dr. Kugan, who despite his best intentions, is misjudged and treated with suspicion by people he tries to help out on the way to his clinic.
We are part of a world where it’s impossible to tell the intentions of others we pass by on the walk of life, but we can only change that by keeping our intentions pure at all times and helping people out to the best of our capabilities, thus being the light that brightens the lives of those around us and inspires them to do the same.
Taylor’s University – The Thief
Perhaps the most touching short film of this Deepavali, The Thief is a story of kindness, respect and encouragement, and the results of combining the three.
Raju attempts to steal a cell phone from a store and gets caught by the store’s owner. Hearing his story about how he cannot afford a cell phone to carry on with his online classes, the store owner, later referred to as ‘Uncle’, conditionally offers one to Raju and allows him to study at the shop.
Seeing his dedication to his studies and listening to the hardships that the youth face in the country, eventually turning into criminals, Uncle gives Raju a laptop to study better.
Years later, Raju is seen as a successful entrepreneur being awarded for establishing a youth learning center, and he thanks Uncle’s kindness as the most important contributing factor towards his success.
Tune Talk – Ray of Light
This one’s the last, but definitely one that provokes us to think about how we can use our reach on social media to help out even a stranger in the most unexpected of ways.
Pandemic or not, we will always find people who are going through tough times due to pure bad luck. With a touch of kindness, and a call for help from our friends, we can always become that ray of light that someone desperately needs.
Here’s to another year of victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance!
This piece is the Cover Story for MARKETING Weekender Issue 310
Submissions Deadline: 15 November 2021
Announcement of Finalists: 29 December 2021
Judging & Presentations: 25 & 26 January 2022
Winners Announcement: 22 February 2022
Download the entry kit here.
Submit your entry here.
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