KUALA LUMPUR: They say you can't keep a good film down. This rings true with Yasmin Ahmad's hit movie, Sepet, which continued its winning streak at the 18th Tokyo International Film Festival.
Sepet won the Best Asian Film Award in the Winds of Asia section of the festival that concluded on Sunday. It beat Singapore's Be With Me, directed by Eric Khoo, which received a Special Mention and was also the opening film of this year's Directors' Fortnight at Cannes.
Other films that competed in the section included Hong Kong's Everlasting Regret and All About Love, India's Chandramukhi, Indonesia's Janji Joni and Of Love and Eggs, Thailand's Citizen Dog and Malaysia's Monday Morning Glory and Gol & Gincu.
"I'm just so happy Sepet won," said an ecstatic Yasmin in a telephone interview from Bali, Indonesia, where she is on holiday. "I could not sleep all night. This is the biggest award for Sepet so far."The film had previously won five other best film awards at the Ninth Malaysian Video Awards, the 27th Creteil International Women Directors Festival in France, the 18th Malaysian Film Festival, the Global Chinese Golden Arts Awards, and the Anugerah Era 2005.
Yasmin said she could not attend the Tokyo festival, as she had to act in Ho Yuhang's film, Rain Dogs, which is currently in production. She had received an SMS from singer-songwriter Pete Teo informing her that Sepet had won, but had brushed it off as a prank. It was only when her journalist friend conveyed the same message did she realise it was true.