FUKUOKA: Malaysia walked tall with two awards, including the Best Actress trophy for Maya Karin, at the end of the prestigious 49th Asia-Pacific Film Festival here, last night.
The other winning entry was the melodramatic Berlari Ke Langit for the Best Cinematography award.
Maya, the first Malaysian to win the Best Actress award at the festival, charmed the judges for her triple roles of Mariam, Maria and a vampire in the Pesona Pictures horror flick, Pontianak Harum Sundal Malam.
The film, directed by the versatile Shuhaimie Baba, had also been nominated for the Best Musical Score, although Thailand’s The Overture eventually won the category at the awards presentation at the Acros Fukuoka International Conference Hall here.
Malaysia also nominated Nasha Aziz for the Best Supporting Actress award for her role in the suspense thriller Trauma, but the winner in the category was Taiwan's Lin Mei-shiu, in the film Comes the Black Dog.
Maya was speechless when she was named Best Actress. But she got back her composure and graciously thanked Pesona Pictures and Shuhaimi for their support.
“This is unbelievable. I wish my mother was here to see this,” she said, thanking also the Malaysian delegation.
Director Badarudin Azmi, also known as Bade, who received the Best Cinematography award for Berlari Ke Langit, said: “The credit goes to cinematographer Mohamad Azla Kamaruddin.”
“I believe this win is achieved through honesty and the experience that I have gained over the years,” he said after the ceremony.
Taiwan grabbed the Best Film award for the film Taipei 21, which was directed by Alex Yang.
South Korean entry, Old Boy, took the Best Director award for Park Chan-wook and Best Actor award for Choi Min-sik.
Japanese Teruyuki Kagawa won the Best Supporting Actor award for his role in Kwaidan: Eternal Love.
The last time Malaysia won a major award at the festival was in 1999, when Khalid Salleh won the Best Actor award in Jogho.
Legendary superstar P. Ramlee was named Best Actor for his dual role in Anakku Sazali in 1957.
Actresses Khatijah Tan (Embun) and Shasha (Adik Manja) had previously won in the Best Supporting Actress category.
Malaysia will host next year's festival in Kuala Lumpur.
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