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1st Malaysian Golden Global Awards Crowns Winners

Winning filmmakers from all around Asia bag top prizes at illustrious event.

 

While the rest of the world still recovers from the freakish announcement of the Oscar for Best Picture during last month’s 89th Academy Awards in Hollywood, here in Malaysia, thankfully, all winners announced during the 1st edition of the Malaysian Golden Global Awards (MGGA) went to their rightful recipients to cap off a breakthrough Malaysian International Film Festival (MIFFEST) last Sunday evening, the 5th of March at the Resorts World Genting in Kuala Lumpur.

The Best Film award went to the Malaysian-Philippine co-production, Singing In Graveyards, which was accepted by Malaysian writer/director, Bradley Liew. Competing for the same award included more prominent titles such as Iranian filmmaker, Ashgar Farhadi’s The Salesman (which actually won Best Foreign Film at the 89th Academy Awards), South Korea’s Na Hong-jin’s horror film, The Wailing, and Toni Erdmann, the German comedy-family drama by Maren Ade.

Festival de Cannes 2009’s Best Director awardee, Brillante Mendoza, took home The Best Director award, for his gritty family drama, Ma’Rosa, which features veteran Filipina star, Jaclyn Jose, who also won the Festival de Cannes’ Best Actress award last year for the titular role of the meth-selling mother in a destitute district in Manila.

Singaporean filmmaker, Boo Junfeng, won The Best New Director award for his haunting, prison thriller, Apprentice. Lead actress Mastura Ahmad accepted the award in Boo’s behalf. Bhutanese film, Hema Hema: Sing Me A Song While I Wait, scored the Audience Choice Award. The film, written and directed by Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche, has been banned from its home country for its supposed controversial portrayal of religious symbols, particularly the masks that the actors wear in the film. It has screened in prestigious festivals around the world, nonetheless, and its win at MGGA solidifies the undeniable impact the film has on audiences.

The panel of jury members who selected the winners from more than two dozen titles included panel chair and Busan International Film Festival founder Kim Dong-Ho, Taiwanese producer Yeh Ju-Feng, renowned Chinese director Xie Fei, Malaysian actress Yeo Yann Yann, Indonesian filmmaker Garin Nugroho, and multi-awarded German director Andreas Dresen.

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The complete list of winners are listed below:

The Best New Director:  Boo Junfeng for Apprentice (Singapore)
The Best Screenplay:  I, Daniel Blake by Paul Laverty (UK, France, Germany)
The Best Cinematography:  I Am Not Madame Bovary by Pan Luo (China)
The Best Director:  Brillante Mendoza for Ma’Rosa (Philippines)
The Best Actress:  Sandra Huller in Toni Erdmann (Germany, Austria)
The Best Actor: Eric Tsang in Mad World (Hong Kong)
The Best Film: Singing In Graveyards by Bradley Liew (Malaysia, Philippines)
Lifetime Achievement Award: Dato LaiMeng (Malaysia)
Audience Choice Award: Hema Hema: Sing Me A Song While I Wait by Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche (Bhutan)

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Janice freelances as a Screenwriter and Director in the Philippines and the U.S., but her first, great love will always be Creative Writing. She's contributed for dailies and magazines in her island hometown of Cebu from the age of 14. One of her most exciting writing gigs was in the Film section of the now-defunct lifestyle webzine, Limité, in which she got to interview one of her filmmaker heroes, Richard Linklater in New York City in 2012. When she's not writing or daydreaming up stories, Janice loves to go backpacking around small islands, making driftwood art, and playing with her Shih-Poo dog, Brandy.

janice@mediaconnex.asia

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