Local film Bunohan, which has made a name for itself internationally, finally wins on home ground.
THE critically-acclaimed lived up to its star billing when it was named Best Film at the 25th Malaysian Film Festival (FFM25) last weekend at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre.
If anything, last Saturday night belonged to the cast and crew of Bunohan as the film won eight awards out of the 13 it was nominated for.
The awards night kicked off positively for Bunohan when the first award – for Best Original Story – went to its filmmaker Dain Iskandar Said.
Bunohan further received four awards: Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Sound Editing. Faizal Hussien, the film’s star, received the Best Actor award for his role as a hired assassin named Ilham.
Dain, who accepted most of the awards, tried to hold back tears as he received his Best Director trophy. In his speech, he mentioned what a long journey it had been for him to get to this point.
For him, his Best Director win, as well as Bunohan’s Best Film win, was indeed “sweet revenge”.
“It has been a long journey for Bunohan. It took us four years to see the movie in the cinemas and we have travelled quite a bit abroad but still at the end, to be recognised here in the country is the ultimate experience one could ever have.
“When I made the movie, it was about us and our culture and it was meant for our consumption. No matter how far I went and how much recognition the movie has accumulated overseas, nothing can beat the feeling of getting an acknowledgment in my own country,” said Dain.
It was a bittersweet experience for Faizal, too. After being involved in the local movie industry for more than 30 years, Faizal, 45, was grateful for the award.
“Thank God that Eman Manan isn’t competing tonight! Otherwise he would bag home this award for sure!” said Faizal who considers the multiple award-winning actor Eman as his fiercest rival in business.
“I’m also grateful to Dain for his
“I’m so grateful for this award and I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the late Yasmin Ahmad,” said Syafie in tears.
The Best Actress award went to Maya Karin for her role in Ombak Rindu. However, Maya is currently in Britain and was not able to accept her award. Ombak Rindu also won the Box Office Award.
Among the other winners for the night were Most Promising Director (Syafiq Yusof for the movie SAM), Most Promising Actor (Izzue Islam, 29 Februari), Most Promising Actress (Jojo Goh, 29 Februari) and Best Cinematography for Haris Hue Abdullah ( Songlap).
The movie Petaling Street Warriors was named Best Non-Malay Film while Datuk Aziz Sattar and Mariani Ismail received the Lifetime Achievement Award for their contributions to the film industry.
Also, Lai Meng and Mano Maniam won Special Jury Awards for their contributions to television.
The local Tamil movie Vajram ( Weapon), directed by M. Subash, also won the Special Jury Award. Local visual effects house Rhythm & Hues won the Special Jury Award for its work in director Ang Lee’s Oscar-winning film Life Of Pi.
Finas also awarded Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim with the Anugerah Pembela Seni Dan Budaya.
Although most of winners in this year’s festival were truly deserving of their accolades, the awards show itself was uneventful. Hosted by Fahrin Ahmad and Erra Fazira, the 120-minute long show on Saturday left much to be desired. Considering that this year marked the 25th anniversary of the festival, the gala night was simply unimpressive. And for some reason, it also looked amateurish.
The nominees, especially Bunohan and Songlap, , were top-notch works of art that was produced in our very own country, yet the awards night just didn’t reflect the same kind of stature.
Granted, those who turned up that night were dressed to the nines, but the whole affair itself was draggy and the list of performances could have been much better.
FFM25 had earlier promised to be different, unique and special.
Themed “Celebrating The Silver, trust and believe in me to play Ilham. Initially the (movie’s) investors wanted someone else to play Ilham but Dain refused to budge and insisted that I played the role. There were so many things that we went through while filming the movie. I had to learn to master the Kelantanese dialect. There were even times when we had to film at a place famous for crocodiles!
“Thank God they (crocodiles) left us in peace!” Faizal joked.
Meanwhile, another critically-acclaimed film, Songlap, also won a fair bit of awards that night. Syafie Naswip and Normah Damanhuri from the movie picked up the Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress awards respectively.
For veteran actress Normah, winning the award was really special as it was her first ever victory – in the Malaysian Film Festival, at least – in her three-decade long career.
“It took me 30 years to win an award at the Malaysian Film Festival. It means so much and I hope this award will motivate all of us to continue to work hard. Be sincere and honest in your craft.
“I’m so touched and grateful at the same time. I didn’t really expect to win but I’m so glad I did!” said an emotional Normah, 59, who played an ageing prostitute in Songlap.
For the young and talented Syafie, this was his second win in the best supporting actor category. In FFM 2009, he won the same award for his part in the late Yasmin Ahmad’s
Here is the full list of winners at the FFM25: Best Film: Best Director:
Best Actor: Best Actress:
Actor: Best Supporting
Naswip ( Songlap)
Best New Actor:
Februari) Damanhuri ( Songlap)
Izzue Islam ( 29
Best New Actress:
Best Child Actor:
Tee Jing Chen ( Hantu Gangster)
Jojo Goh ( 29
Best Original Story:
Said ( Bunohan)
Dain Iskandar Said
Best Sound Effects:
Raja Ahmad Shaidaley/Imaginex Studios ( Bunohan)
Wong Hui Lynn
Best Original Score: Best Non-Malay Film:
( Bunohan) Coveting The Gold”, we were told that audiences would be taken on a journey of the film industry’s excellence from the 1980s till the present day, as well as given a look at what the future holds.
While hosts Erra and Fahrin did give the audience a bit of history lesson every now and then by listing out FFM’s past winners, most of the time the visuals that appeared on screen didn’t tally with what was being described!
As for the “entertainment”, established singers such as Ella, Ziana Zain and Rahim Maarof did give their best but somehow they just didn’t manage to perk up the flat atmosphere.
Personally though, the lively show from M. Subash and a group of dancers performing a song taken from Vajram was the highlight of the night. With the energetic dance moves and colourful outfits, it sort of lifted the mood in the hall.
Also worth mentioning are the rock performances by SYJ ( Orang Timur), followed by the song Teratai by Khir Rahman, Pekin Ibrahim, Que Haidar and Sofi Jikan, who shared the stage at the end of the awards. It was an awesome show, but perhaps a little too late to brighten things up. Hasnan Yaacob
Petaling Street Warriors (Juita Entertainment)
Ninja Vs Pirate
Best Short Film:
Best New Director:
Best Theme Song:
Best Visual Art:
( Bunohan) Bunohan
Dain Iskandar Said
Abdullah ( Songlap)
Februari) (The One Academy)
Seefood Faizal Hussein (
Bunohan) Maya Karin ( Ombak
Tan Yan Wei
Ombak Rindu Rahman) (Norzaidi Abdul
Dain Iskandar Said
The man and his trophies: director dain Iskandar Said with his trophies - Best director, Best Original Story, Best Visual art and Best Screenplay - for his movie, Bunohan. The movie was also named Best Film at 25th Malaysian Film Festival (FFM25) at...