Malaysian film Barbarian Invasion, directed by Tan Chui Mui, won the Jury Grand Prix prize at the Golden Goblet Awards in China on Saturday (June 19).
The prize was one of the two highest honours at the event, held in conjunction with the 24th Shanghai International Film Festival in Shanghai.
The other top prize for best feature film, was won by Chinese film Manchurian Tiger.
Barbarian Invasion is an arthouse action film and is the third feature film directed by Tan.
She not only directed the movie and wrote the script, but also played the lead role.
The juries commended Tan for her bravery in taking up the challenge.
"The film took a genre that is familiar to us all and turned it on its tail.
"The handling of pace is pitch perfect, as it continues to subvert and surprise at each turn," they added.
The jury included Huang Jianxin, Anthony Chen, Deng Chao, Marco Müller, Natacha Devillers and Matthias Delvaux.
Tan, however, could not attend the award ceremony due to Covid-19 restrictions.
She was represented by producer Yang Jin, who said in his speech,"Director Tan's project is very well done. This proves one point, you don't need extra money to make a movie, you just need talent."