Fantasy to the fore
The 23rd Malaysian Film Festival was touched by a bit of Magika.
IT was a night full of surprises when fantasy musical comedy Magika was named best film at the closing of the 23rd Malaysian Film Festival in Shah Alam in Selangor on Sunday.
Produced by KRU Studios, it was the directorial debut of Edry Abdul Halim, the youngest of the singers-turned-entrepreneurs KRU brothers. Magika boasted a star-studded cast such as M. Nasir, Ning Baizura, Maya Karin, Ziana Zain, Aznil Nawawi, Mawi and Diana Danielle.
It took home the prize of RM50,000 and a trophy. When the FFM23 kicked off last Wednesday, Magika had already won six awards for best costume (Dee Hasnan), best original score (Edry Abdul Halim), best child actor (Fimie Don), best original theme (Edry Abdul Halim) and best art direction (Johan Lucas and Anuar Paharudin).
It also earned Edry, best new director for his effort.
In his acceptance speech, flanked by brothers Norman and Yusry, Edry said that he owed his win to his brothers and parents for being there supporting him in his creative endeavours.
“I can fly because I have my brothers Norman and Yusry who are always on my side and I’m very grateful for that.”
However, the biggest surprise came when young director Syamsul Yusof, son of filmmaker Datuk Yusof Haslam, was named the best director with the film Evolusi KL Drift 2.
With his win, Syamsul, 26, beat the crowd favourite Mamat Khalid, whose film Estet showcased the 1Malaysia spirit. Among other contenders for best director category were Ahmad Idham, Farid Kamil and Jason Wong.
Looking visibly shaken, Syamsul, who was in tears, thanked his parents and media friends as he claimed the trophy and cash prize of RM20,000.
“There are many great directors out there, either in the mainstream industry or independent circles who are much better than me. I honestly thought that Mamat Khalid would win this award. Because in my eyes, he’s such a genius and creative person.
“This award will push me to work harder and I hope this will also motivate young and independent directors out there to show off their creativity and ideas to further strengthen the movie industry,” said Syamsul.
The best actor award went to Bront Palare for his excellent performance in Jason Wong’s Belukar.
Bront, 32, said despite being in the industry for seven years, he didn’t feel that he was sidelined (in the previous festivals) despite his substantial acting skills.
“Life starts at 40, right?” he joked before adding that he is still young and has to work even harder in the movie industry. However, he felt sad when his friend actress Sharifah Amani wasn’t even nominated for her role in Yasmin Ahmad’s Muallaf.
Actress Lisa Surihani, 26, despite criticism of so-called inconsistent performances in her movies, finally proved her critics wrong by bagging the best actress award for her role in Lagenda Budak Setan.
“I never expected to win. I was rooting for Mislina Mustafa because I have seen her movie and she was so good! I’m honoured and humbled at the same time (with this award),” said Lisa.
Both took home RM15,000 and a trophy each.
The other winners included Daphne Iking, who bagged the most promising actress award for Belukar, Nurliana Samsuddin (best supporting actress for Adnan Semp-It) and Shaheizy Sam (best supporting actor award for Evolusi KL Drift 2).
The Special Jury award for actor went to veteran Tamam Idris, while Special Jury award for actress went to Datuk Sarimah Ahmad.
Four films also received Special Jury awards – Ice Kacang Puppy Love, Woo Hoo!, Estet and Muallaf.
The late versatile singer-actor Datuk Ahmad Mahmood, who died in 2008, was named the winner of the Seniman Dalam Kenangan (In Memory) award. Held at Shah Alam Convention Centre in Shah Alam, the Best Film: Magika – KRU Studios Best Film Director: Syamsul Yusof ( Evolusi KL Drift 2) Best Actress: Lisa Surihani ( Lagenda Budak Setan) Best Actor: Bront Palare ( Belukar) Best Supporting Actor: Shaheizy Sam ( Evolusi KL Drift 2) Best Supporting Actress: Norliana Samsudin ( Adnan Semp-It) Best New Director: Edry Abdul Halim ( Magika) Best Child Actor: Fimie Don ( Magika) Most Promising Actress: Daphne Iking ( Belukar) Most Promising Actor: Sashi Tharan ( Estet) Best Comedy Film: My Spy (KRU Studios) Best Short Film: Project Genex Best Animated Film: Buas Best Documentary Film: Suatu Ketika – Laskar Senoi Best Original Music Score: Edry Abdul Halim ( Magika) Best Editor: Hisyam Jupri & Syamsul Yusof ( Evolusi KL Drift 2) Best Original Story: Ahadiat Akashah ( Lagenda Budak Setan) Best Screenplay: Jumaatun Azmi ( Haq) Best Cinematography: Raja Mukhriz Raja Ahmad ( Niyang Rapik) Best Theme Song: Edry Abdul Halim ( Magika) Best Sound Effect : Brian Ng ( V3-Samseng Jalanan) Best Art Effect: Johan Lucas & Anuar Paharudin ( Magika) Best Comedy Film: My Spy (KRU Studios) Best Poster: Preston Zaidan Productions ( Belukar) Best Costume: Dee Hasnan ( Magika) Behind The Scene Player: Johari Ibrahim Veteran Actress: Datuk Sarimah Ahmad Veteran Actor: Tamam Idris In Memory: Datuk Ahmad Mahmud Box-Office Movie: Adnan Semp-It Special Jury Awards: Estet, Woo Hoo!, Ice Kacang Puppy Love and Muallaf festival was organised by the Federation of Malaysian Film Association (Gafim) with cooperation by Finas (the National Film Development Corporation Malaysia) and the Information, Communication and Culture Ministry, and was telecast live on TV1 and Astro Prima.
Triumphant: Lisa Surihani is best actress for her role in LagendaBudakSetan, and Bront Palare is best actor for his role in Belukar.
Winners all: (pic from left) Syamsul Yusof (best director for EvolusiKLDrift 2); KRU Studios’ (from left) Edry, Yusry and Norman Abdul Halim (best film for Iking (most promising actress for role in Belukar).
Magika); and Daphne