Yeoh offers to be Jackie Chan’s ‘lover’


By YU JI

Special guest: Chan accepting the Inspiration Award at the Asean. (Inset) Yeoh, who has dibs on being Chan

KUCHING: Malaysian superstar Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh has offered to be Datuk Jackie Chan’s “new romantic interest”.

Responding to the Hong Kong action star’s wish to make a love story in Sarawak but only with her as his “romantic interest”, Yeoh said:

“We’ve been talking about a love story for 30 years now. Anytime you are ready, brother!”

Yeoh, who starred with Chan in Police Story 3, was talking to the emcee during the opening of the Asean International Film Festival and Awards (Aiffa) here on Saturday.

Special guest Chan, who was visiting Borneo for the first time, had earlier quipped that he could return to Sarawak to make a love story but only with “Yeoh as his romantic interest”.

Accepting the prize for the Asean Inspiration Award, Chan said making movies was all that he knew his entire life.

“All those years, I only knew to keep on making movies. I tried to do my best. I ‘promised’ to keep hurting myself if I must (in order) to make better movies,” said the 61-year-old.

The film festival saw Malaysia's Terbaik Dari Langit taking Best Movie and Best Actor for its leading man Bront Palare but the Philippines were the overall best winners.

Of the 14 categories, Filipino productions took home five gongs.

The country’s Joseph Laban won Best Director for Nuwebe while Purok 7 took the Asean Spirit Award. Other wins for the Philippines were Bendor for Best Editing and Cherie Gil's Best Actress Award for Sonata.

The Lifetime Achievement prize went to veteran Filipino actress Nora Aunor, who received the award from Yeoh, the previous winner.

Terbaik Dari Langit executive producer Najwa Abu Bakar said the wins were a godsend for the movie, which was made amidst an increasingly challenging domestic market.

“I'm sure this is not an uncommon problem for other movie- making brothers and sisters in Asean,” Najwa told a press conference after the ceremony.

Other major awards of the night went to Vietnam's Inseminator for Best Cinematography while Bruneian Nadiah Wahid took Best Supporting Actress and Indonesian Ben Sihombing the Best Screenplay for Soekarno.

Special Jury Prizes were also presented to Singapore's The Lion Men and Thailand's Pee Mak.

Noted Malaysian director U-Wei Saari, who led the five-member jury, told reporters that 65 films from all 10 Asean members were submitted.

“It took us two months to watch all the movies, which was a pleasure. We saw that Asean movies tended to focus on social problems but also on the strength of the people,” said U-Wei.

Held in Kuching every two years, this was the second time that Aiffa had taken place.

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