CELEBRATED Malaysian actor Shaheizy Sam took home the Best Actor Award for his role in locally produced film Songlap at the inaugural Asean Interna- tional Film Festival Awards (Aiffa) 2013.
The 30-year-old beat four other contenders vying for the honour including Singapore’s funny man Gurmit Singh and Filipino screen heartthrob Jericho Rosales.
Songlap was also named the Best Action Picture award at the film festival, beating out Malaysia’s 8 Jam and Kepong Gangster as well as Indonesia’s Sang Martir.
“I am so nervous right now; this is a tremendous honour for me,” said Shaheizy as he took centrestage to receive his statuette last night in Kuching.
“First of all, I’d like to say a big thank you to the film’s directors Effendee Mazlan and Fariza Azlina Isahak for all their support. To my mother, who has always been there for me, I love you. Thank you for having me here tonight Aiffa!” he said to a thundering applause.
Meanwhile, Perak-born international movie star Datuk Seri Michelle Yeoh received the Lifetime Achievement Award for her various movie roles throughout the years, including in numerous Hollywood blockbusters, as well as her contributions to the Asean film industry.
“I cannot begin to describe what an incredible honour it is to be here tonight, and to receive this award,” said the elegant actress in her acceptance speech.
“Anyone who is successful in the film industry will tell you that all of it is a collaborative team effort. I’d like to dedicate this to my parents, because without them I wouldn’t be here tonight.
“This is my first time in Kuching, but I can promise you, it won’t be the last. Kuching is a truly beautiful place with many stories to tell, and I hope that I will have the opportunity to come back in the future to be a part of these stories,” she said.
The star-studded gala dinner, which was broadcast live on Malaysian television, also announced several awards throughout the evening, with Malaysian films Bunohan and Istanbul Aku Datang winning the Best Screenplay and Best Comedy awards, respectively.