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Tamil film Jagat bags inaugural top award

 | September 4, 2016

After weeks of controversy over language segregation and racialism, Jagat win inaugural Best Malaysian Film award and Munafik the award for Best Film in the National Language.


PETALING JAYA: Local Tamil film Jagat was the inaugural winner of the grand award for Best Malaysian Film at the controversy-hit Malaysian Film Festival last night, weeks after the film and soccer movie Ola Bola were disqualified from the Best Film award for not having enough Bahasa Malaysia content.

Jagat’s director, Shanjey Kumar Perumal, also won the new best director award.

The religious horror movie Munafik was the inaugural winner of Best Film in the National Language, a new award created to end the controversy over which films qualified for Best Film.

The movie also earned its director Syamsul Yusuf the best editor and best director awards, and the female lead, Nabila Huda, won the award for best actress. The best actor award was won by Pekin Ibrahim for his work in Mat Moto – Kami Bukan Mat Rempit.

Last month, the festival organisers had disqualified Jagat and Ola Bola from the Best Film award, leading to a public outcry and a backlash from film-makers. A new award was created for Best Non-Bahasa Malaysia Film, while the Best Film award was restricted to films with at least 70 per cent Bahasa Malaysia content.

Actor-director Afdlin Shauki declared he would boycott the festival and cinematographer Mohd Noor Kassim withdrew his nomination for his work on the film Bravo 5, saying “It is not that I am afraid to compete, but I reject any racial elements”.

Festival organisers Finas faced a storm of criticism from the public, corporate figures such as Tony Fernandes and Nazir Razak, and political parties such as PKR, condemning the decision for language segregation and racialism.

With the controversy heating up, communications minister Salleh Said Keruak stepped in and announced the creation of Best Malaysian Film as the main award, and a new award for Best Film in the National Language. However, the film directors association insisted that the Best National Language Film award should be regarded as the top award at the festival.

Last night’s award ceremony, held at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, was hosted by Nabil Ahmad and Sherry Alhadad.

Deddy M Borhan, who produced and directed hits like Azura, Gila-gila dan Toyol, was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Polis Evo also bagged the award for highest box office receipts – RM17.4 million.

Falisha Crossley (Mat Moto- Kami Bukan Mat Rempit) and Adam Shaz (Juvana 2) won the awards for most promising actess and actor.

Veteran actress Fauziah Ahmad Daud won the Best Supporting Actress award for her role in Langit Cinta while the Best Supporting Actor award went to Hushairi Hussain (Polis Evo).


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