RECOGNISING local and foreign actors, directors as well as those who work tirelessly behind the scenes, Persatuan Pekerja Profesional Filem Malaysia (Profima) organised its first Profima International Film Festival and Awards (PIFFA) 2017.
The award ceremony held at the Malaysian International Trade and Exhibition Centre in Kuala Lumpur, gathered unsung heroes of the film world from countries such as Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, Iran, Vietnam, South Korea, Taiwan and India.
PIFFA 2017 vice-president and Monspace Multinational Corporation founder and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Jessy Lai said those brave enough to embrace film-making as a way of life should be encouraged and rewarded.
“Most people appreciate a good movie, but not all understand the extent of hard work and talent needed to create one.
“Even fewer people understand the hurdles local film-makers face, such as lack of funding, training, opportunities and exposure.
“It is awards like PIFFA and authorities such as the National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (Finas) and the Communication and Multimedia Ministry that sustain the local film-making industry, nurture new talent and give hope to Malaysians that we, too, are capable of being great artistes and storytellers.
“We, too, deserve a place on the world stage of arts and entertainment,” Lai added.
The awards also aim to promote potential careers in the industry and raise awareness of film education among the younger generation, especially those with interest in audiovisual recording and information technology.
The event, which was launched by Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan, saw 18 awards presented to the cast and crew of films screened between Jan 1 last year and Sept 31 this year.
The PIFFA Supreme Best Director Award went to Hong Kong director Stanley Tong for the China-Hong Kong film Kung Fu Yoga, while Best Actor and Best Actress went to Farhad Aslani, who starred in the Iranian film Daughter, and Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying from the Thai film Bad Genius, respectively.
Hong Kong actor Philip Keung won Best Supporting Actor for his role in Shock Wave while Best Supporting Actress went to Josie Ho for In The Room.
China cinematographer Ying Zhang bagged the Best Cinematography Award for his work in the action crime drama Dealer/Healer.
The PIFFA Supreme Best Stunt Team Award went to actor Jackie Chan, Tong and stuntman Wu Gang for Kung Fu Yoga.
Other awards were Best Film Editor (Hong Kong’s Chung Wai Chiu for Shock Wave), Best Art Director (Singapore’s Steven Tang for Long Long Time Ago), Best Original Film Music (South Korea’s Jun-seong Kim for The Tenor) and Most Promising (Vietnamese actor Truong The Vinh for Miss, Miss, Miss...and Miss!)
Malaysian movies The Kid From the Big Apple directed by Jess Teong and actor John Tan from You Mean the World to Me made the nation proud by winning the PIFFA Supreme Best Screenplay Award and PIFFA Supreme Best Newcomer Award, respectively.
In the Best Newcomer cateogory, Iranian actress Mahoor Alvand (Daughter) and Indian actor Ashok Kumar (Priyamudan Priya) walked away with the honours.
Thailand’s Bad Genius won Best Film while Neal Wu, who directed the Taiwanese flick At Cafe 6, bagged the Best New Director Award.
The PIFFA Jury Awards went to Iranian film director Moham-madreza Shams for Duet and Malaysian film director Tunku Mona Riza for Beautiful Pain.
The PIFFA Supreme Lifetime Achievement Award went to Hong Kong actor Ti Lung in recognition of his long contribution to films.
Entertaining guests at the awards were Hand Percussion, local singers Bell Yu Tian and Koo Chan Bong, as well as violin virtuoso Dr Joanne Yeoh.