KUALA LUMPUR: Tamil-language social drama Jagat was declared Best Malaysian Film at the 28th Malaysia Film Festival (FFM28) Saturday night. The event organised by the National Development Film Corporation Malaysia (Finas) to honour excellence in the local movie industry also presented Jagat’s Shanjhey Kumar Perumal with the Best New Director award.
Last month, FFM28 faced backlash from members of the industry, corporate figures and local movie fans over its decision to divide Malaysian films nominees into Bahasa Malaysia and non-Bahasa Malaysia categories.
Much-loved films like OlaBola, Jagat and The Kid From The Big Apple were not eligible to compete for Best Film, Best Director and Best Screenplay as they did not meet a 70% Bahasa Malaysia requirement. Instead they had to compete in a separate non-Bahasa Malaysia categories.
The decision was overturned by Multimedia and Communications minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak on Aug 10. The non-Bahasa Malaysia categories were scrapped and nominees were eligible to compete for Best Film, Director and Screenplay in the original category. A new main category for nominees that meet the 70% Bahasa Malaysia requirement was introduced for the first time at FFM28 - Best Film in the National Language.
Religious horror movie Munafik won Best Film in the National Language and its director Syamsul Yusof won Best Director.
Munafik beat nominees Nota, Jejak Warriors, Munafik and Mat Moto: Kami Mat Moto Bukan Mat Rempit and Polis Evo for the award.
Munafik also won Best Editing and Best Actress for Nabila Huda.
OlaBola received three awards for Best Original Score, Best Theme Song and Best Costume. It also received a Special Jury Prize for achievements as a film that showcased national unity through sports.
Other winners include Pekin Ibrahim (Mat Moto: Kami Mat Moto Bukan Mat Rempit) for Best Actor. Pekin also won Best Original Story for Mat Moto: Kami Mat Moto Bukan Mat Rempit.
Fauziah Ahmad Daud (Langit Cinta) won Best Supporting Actress while Hushairi Hussain (Polis Evo) received the trophy for Best Supporting Actor.
Falisha Crossley (Mat Moto: Kami Mat Moto Bukan Mat Rempit) won for Best New Actress and Adam Shahz (Juvana 2) took home the award for Best New Actor.
FFM28 was broadcasted live on Astro Ria from the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.