‘MUNAFIK’ A BLESS­ING FOR DI­REC­TOR

Film­maker Syam­sul Yu­sof is ec­static over his first in­ter­na­tional win at the Asia Pa­cific Film Fes­ti­val re­cently. DEN­NIS CHUA has the story

New Straits Times - - Entertainment -

MUNAFIK, the 2016 spir­i­tual and hor­ror combo movie by film­maker Syam­sul Yu­sof has brought him a lot of luck. Last Sun­day, it gave the 33year-old di­rec­tor his first in­ter­na­tional award — Best Di­rec­tor — at the 57th Asia Pa­cific Film Fes­ti­val (APFF) in Ph­nom Penh, Cam­bo­dia.

Syam­sul, who could not at­tend the event, got the news from his father, pro­ducer Datuk Yu­sof Haslam, who was in­formed of it by the Na­tional Film Devel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (Fi­nas).

Fi­nas’ rep­re­sen­ta­tives re­ceived the award on be­half of Syam­sul.

“I was un­able to go to Ph­nom Penh due to work on the se­quel of Munafik.

“I did not ex­pect Munafik to be nom­i­nated for the awards in Cam­bo­dia. It was Fi­nas’ de­ci­sion to nom­i­nate Munafik as Malaysia’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive there, and I can’t thank them enough for that,” he told the New Straits Times yes­ter­day.

De­scrib­ing the win as a ma­jor mile­stone in his 12-year film­mak­ing and act­ing ca­reer, Syam­sul ded­i­cated his win to his 3-mon­thold son, Syaikhul Is­lam.

“It is a bless­ing. I feel hum­bled by this vic­tory.”

Syam­sul’s win is the sec­ond for Malaysia. The late Yas­min Ah­mad won Best Di­rec­tor award for Mual­laf at the 54th APFF in Taipei, Tai­wan, in 2010.

Malaysia also scored in the Best Ac­tor and Best Ac­tress cat­e­gories. In 1957, Tan Sri P. Ram­lee won Best Ac­tor for Anakku Sazali in the fourth FFAP. In 2004, Maya Karin won Best Ac­tress for Pon­tianak Harum Sun­dal Malam in the 49th FFAP while Puan Sri Tiara Jac­quelina won Best Ac­tress for Pu­teri Gu­nung Ledang in the 50th FFAP the fol­low­ing year.

“Win­ning in the FFAP is an in­cen­tive for me to work harder and pro­duce bet­ter films.

“Any award that comes to me is a recog­ni­tion for my per­se­ver­ance and cre­ativ­ity, and a bench­mark for the film in­dus­try,” said Syam­sul, ad­ding that he was hon­oured to be fol­low­ing P. Ram­lee’s foot­steps with this FFAP win.

Munafik is the high­est gross­ing Malaysian film, with RM19 mil­lion in col­lec­tions at the box of­fice.

It won Best Film at last year’s Malaysian Film Fes­ti­val, and earned Syam­sul the Best Di­rec­tor award.

Its se­quel, Munafik 2, will be re­leased in March next year, and stars Syam­sul, Maya Karin and Mawi.

Syam­sul is busy film­ing the mu­sic video for Senorita, the theme song of his younger brother Syafiq Yu­sof’s new ac­tion com­edy Abang Long Fadil 2. The film will be re­leased on Aug 24.

“Senorita is a catchy pop duet. I’m col­lab­o­rat­ing with ac­tors Datuk AC Mizal and Shuib, and Zizan Razak, who plays the ti­tle char­ac­ter,” he said, ad­ding that the mu­sic video is will be re­leased on Aug 8.

Syam­sul Yu­sof

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