Stars gather in Putrajaya for 25th film festival

Malaysia’s version of the Academy Awards, the 25th Festival Filem Malaysia (FFM), was held at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC) recently.

Communication, Information and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim and his wife Datin Seri Masnah were the special guests of the evening which saw stars of stage and silver screen dressed to the nines.

Around 3,000 celebrities, industry players and fans thronged PICC’s Plenary Hall with several front rows reserved for “fanatics” who promised to holler their tonsils out at every award presentation and duly did so.

Hosts were Fahrin Ahmad in a spiffy suit by Lord’s Tailor and Erra Fazira who surprised fashionistas by not wearing silver despite changing her gowns thrice and this being the silver anniversary of FFM.

Of the 14 main awards and five Special Awards, the most coveted was Best Film of the Year which went to Bunohan which swept eight awards.

Bunohan was nominated for 13 awards and won the Best Film, Best Director (Dain Iskandar), Best Actor (Faizal Hussein), Best Script and Best Screenplay.

Starlets Jojo Goh and Izzue Islam won Most Promising Actress and Most Promising Actor.

Veteran actress Lai Meng, 85, received a standing ovation when she walked onto the stage to receive her Special Lifetime Achievement award.

Another winner was actress Mariani Ismail, 80, sister of famed singer Saloma who married P. Ramlee.

To roars of laughter, irrepressible comedian and actor Datuk Aziz Sattar, 88, quipped, “I hope I can win this award again next year and every year.”

Few Malaysians are aware some 45 Malaysians were involved in the digital animation in Life of Pi, the blockbuster by directed Ang Lee which won Best Director, Best Original Score, Best Cinematography and Best Visual Effects at the recent 85th Academy Awards.

The Malaysian branch of Rhythm & Hues was duly rewarded with an award in another case of ‘Malaysia Boleh’.

The Best Stalwart Supporter of the Malaysian Film Industry award went to Rais before he presented the Best Film award to producer Nandita Solomon.

“I am shocked at getting this award as I am only doing my duty,” said Rais.

Entertainment for the night was provided by rocker Ella who pranced around with footballers in a demure white pantsuit.

Glamorous Ziana Zain wowed the audience with another sterling performance.

For her last performance, all the veteran stars came on stage to hug and shake hands with one another.

The closing act was performed by Que Haidar, Pekin, Soffi Jikan and Khir Rahman from the movie Rock Oo.

Jeweller Rafflesia sponsored products worth RM50,000 to eight winners.

Best Actor Faizal Hussein and Best Actress Maya Karim received jewellery worth RM10,000 each while Best Supporting Actor (Syafie Naswip), Best Supporting Actress (Normah Daman-huri), Izzue, Goh) and Best Dressed Female (Neelofa) took home jewellery valued at RM5,000 each.

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