The movie directed by Tunku Mona Riza won two awards in the “Main Competition” of the festival, garnering a Best Actress prize for June Lojong and an additional Special Festival Prize (for Universal Social Value) as voted by the jury.
Redha was released in Malaysia in April and stars Namron, June, Harith Haziq, Daniel Izzyreef, Nadia Nisa, Remy Ishak, Mak Mah and Susan Lankester.
June’s portrayal as the mother of the young autistic boy (played by Harith) captivated the festival jury, which was a considerable feat considering it was her first role in a movie.
“This was due to the director Tunku Mona’s insistence on having a real-life husband and wife pair to play the part of the boy’s parents,” Redha producer Haris Sulong said of the role of the mother given to June after Namron accepted the role of the father.
Namron and June are married to each other, and with the director’s guidance June made it a role to remember.
Tunku Mona received the Best Actress award on behalf of June, who was unable to attend the festival.
The Special Festival Prize was a surprise as the jury chose to recognise the movie for the beautiful social message it portrayed.
“To us, this prize is a great honour as it was unanimously voted for by all of the festival jurors,” Haris said, adding that Redha was also up for all the Main Competition awards at the festival.
The movie had a Gala premiere as well as three more screenings during the five-day festival which began last Wednesday.
“We had a full house for the Gala, with 400 people in the cinema, 70% of whom were from autism-related organisations in the Philippines.
“We received many compliments from across the board among the attendees and jurors at the festival.
“On the topic itself, there is much interest in the Philippines and a major cinema chain also expressed interest in distributing the movie there. Redha could even be dubbed in Tagalog if all things work out,” Haris said.
As to what was next, Haris said Redha would be participating in more international film festivals, beginning with Barcelona and Vietnam.