Vice President of Astro Shaw, Najwa Abu Bakar kisses her gold trophy.
The annual Malaysian Film Festival (FFM) celebrated its 27th ceremony at the Plenary Hall, KLCC with "Lelaki Harapan Dunia" winning the grand prize, but what makes this year's FFM more distinguished than the others is its uniquely-designed trophy which has real gold pieces on it, a first for the long-running festival.
This trophy which all winners received this year is different specifically in terms of its material used and its design – it is also the first time that the festival has decided to present the winners with only the trophy without any form of cash prizes.
Speaking to the Marketing Director of FINAS, Datuk Fauzi Ayob who is also the Director of FFM 27, he said that FFM has decided to do things differently by giving more recognition on the artistic value of the trophy itself.
FINAS' Marketing Director and FFM 27 Director, Datuk Fauzi Ayob.
"Many people think that trophies have no value, which is why we decided to place pure 916 gold pieces to increase the value of the trophy," said Datuk Fauzi Ayob to Cinema Online.
However, when asked about the actual value of the trophy, the director refused to reveal it but assured that it is definitely much more valuable than the previous ones.
The previous FFM trophies all have almost similar designs.
"The trophy is specifically designed to reflect the Malay arts," said the director. "It has 'awan larat' (a form of Malay woodcarving art) which represents the art of the Malays, and the base is made out of pewter, so it's very strong and sturdy."
The trophy has the 'awan larat' design as shown in the picture.
Other than the 'awan larat' carvings, the trophy also has a film reel concept which represents the film development in Malaysia.
The director also said that FFM has purposely designed the trophy to be light this time so that it is easier to hold on to than the previous year - where an actress had accidentally damaged her trophy shortly after receiving it.
"If the trophy is too heavy, when it falls, it will definitely break," he added.
Mamat Khalid showing off his trophy!
Datuk Fauzi also noted that the gold pieces on the trophy for each category is of the same value for all winners, even though previously winners for every category were given cash prizes of RM10,000 while the winner of the Best Film was awarded RM25,000.
Although the director admitted that many winners would probably prefer having cash prizes, FFM prefers to recognise one's artistic skills and talent through the trophy as it would last forever.
"Even the Oscars does not hand out cash prizes, they give trophies because it can be kept forever and the recognition value is much higher," said Datuk Fauzi.
After all the FFM winners were announced, Cinema Online went around talking to the winners to find out their thoughts on the trophy this year:
"I think trophies or cash prizes don't matter, but their existence still matter to us. Because after getting this, I feel so inspired and motivated. And it is not just for me, but my team as well," – Liew Seng Tat, Winner of Best Director and Best Original Story award for "Lelaki Harapan Dunia".
"I think they should definitely stick with this trophy because I feel that it would mean a lot more. If you mix money and trophy, we would think that winning is all about making money instead of having artistic integrity," – Dawn Cheong, Winner of Most Promising Actress award for "Cuak".
"I think having cash prizes is better. Previously I got both cash and the trophy, but this is just my own personal opinion, I would still accept whatever is given to me," – Raja Mukhriz, Winner of Most Promising Director award for "Ophilia".
Cinema Online, 15 September 2015