Who do you think will win at FFM 28?
With the recent backlash against and resulting with the reshuffling of the Festival Filem Malaysia, it has made this 28th Festival Filem Malaysia (FFM 28) the most interesting it has been, namely after opening the gates for all films made in Malaysia, regardless of language, to compete for the title as Best Malaysian Film.
With the competition now more varied and diverse, we decided to take a more serious look at who the nominees are up against to be truly called the Best Malaysian film.
For that, here are our predictions for some of the major categories for FFM 28 as we await for the results to be announced on 3 and 4 September.
Best Original Score – "Ola Bola"
While "Chowrasta" has a wider range of music styles (including a Bollywood-like track) playing, it may lack the polish that can be afforded by "Jwanita" and "Munafik", even if both are from the horror genre that may not be the best showcase for a soundtrack. Among the entrant with the most leveled playing field would likely go to Onn San's score for "Ola Bola", which was instrumental in making you stand and cheer when Malaysia scored that winning goal.
Best Visual Effects – "Cicakman 3"
Between the 5 nominees for this category, "Cicakman 3" and "Kapsul" are probably the entrants where the visual effects are the most visceral, while "Ola Bola" and "Munafik" utilised a more hidden visual effect. This would be the test to see which brand of visual effects the voters of FINAS and the Malaysia Film Producers Association would prefer. For now we think they would award the spectacle, which would be an added win for "Cicakman 3", if they are not already meant to take the Best Costume award already.
Best Cinematography – "Bravo V"
Already one of the more controversial categories at this year's FFM after two-time winner Md Nor Kassim's withdrawal to compete in this category sparked the whole FFM to reconsider its award categorisation. Although Md Nor's nomination for "Bravo V" has been reinstated after the protest, he is still up against one of the toughest competition for this year's FFM. The favour would fall onto Md Nor to snag his third trophy, unless his actions would cause some to put their vote for someone else, so we would be just as satisfied to see "Munafik" win a technical award as an indicator for the major categories.
Best Screenplay – "The Kid From the Big Apple"
To be clear, this is for the Lakon Layar Terbaik award rather than the Cerita Asal Terbaik category, with the former having 10 nominees competing instead of the latter's 5. Being the only nominee that already has an overseas win from the Macau International Movie Festival may encourage a win for "The Kid from the Big Apple", but a more national language oriented vote could go to "Polis Evo".
Best Child Actor – Tan Qin Lin, "The Kid From the Big Apple"
Normally a category to ignore, but 2015 and 2016 have produced some of the best and most important children performances for some of the best films both years have seen. With Aliff Firdaus, Harvind Raj and Tan Qin Lin doing impressive work for "Jejak Warriors", "Jagat" and "The Kid from the Big Apple" respectively, their performances are matched by child prodigy Ryqal Iskandar in "Cicakman 3", and who did not feel attached to Shivatharan Nambiar's naughty antics in "Ola Bola"? A win for "Jagat" or "Ola Bola" could be a good boost to their chances for taking the top prize, but it would be the best thing if it went to "The Kid from the Big Apple".
Best Supporting Actor – Ramli Hassan, "Nota"
While "Polis Evo" and "Ola Bola" have nominations here (and a real shame that Jibrail Rajhula from "Jagat" is not) to have a foothold in every major acting category, this should be a hands down win for the late Ramli Hassan, who may secure the only other win for "Nota", if not for Best Original Story or Best Actress.
Best Supporting Actress – Christina Suzanne, "Jwanita"
With none of the nominees being part of any of the movies that are in for Best Film or Best National Language film, this category feels a like a throw-away for any of the actresses here to win. Among them, we think this could go to Christina Suzanne to cement her acting chops since winning the Pelakon Harapan Wanita Terbaik from the FFM in 2014.
Best Actress – Maya Karin, "Jwanita"
While it was hard not being pulled by Nadiya Nisaa in "Love Supermoon", and hard to resist Lisa Surihani in "Suamiku Encik Perfect", it is almost inconceivable that this year's award would go to Maya Karin. Although there may some psychopathic similarities between her two characters in "Nota" and "Jwanita", but they both bring out a terrifyingly memorable performances from the veteran actress who is the essential underpinning to two of the most highly regarded films of the year.
Best Actor – Zizan Razak or Shaheizy Sam, "Polis Evo"
While Aaron Aziz and Pekin Ibrahim are some of the hottest actors on the scene (as much as we would like to give Aniu credit), the duo from "Polis Evo" makes it hard to see how the award would not go to either one of them. It is still possible that by having both Shaheizy Sam and Zizan Razak compete against each other might actually cannibalise a win for "Polis Evo", so it could just land on Pekin Ibrahim's lap from the scuffle.
Best Director – Shanjhey Kumar Perumal, "Jagat"
Fielding 10 nominees who are also representing the same 10 nominees for Best Film, this is easily the most watched individual category at this year's FFM. While the frontrunners are easily Syamsul Yusof, Ghaz Abu Bakar, Chiu Keng Guan and Shanjhey Kumar Perumal, any of the underdogs like Saw Teong Hin, Jess Teong, and co-directors Yee Kwan Huah and Silver can swipe a win from under them. A win here for "Jagat", "Ola Bola", "Munafik", or "Polis Evo" could be very indicative for the Best Film award, but we are already glad that this category is already made up of a good mix of debuting and veteran directors.
Best National Film – "Polis Evo"
Although claimed to be given more importance than the Best Film, the competition is far less interesting. Given that "Polis Evo" has the most nominations among the other nominees in this category; it is likely to be a favourite for the Best National Film. If "Polis Evo" doesn't win, then it would be a battle between "Munafik" and "Mat Moto", both of which have 8 other nominations.
Best Film – "Ola Bola"
Undoubtedly the climax of the awards, and for the first time 10 Malaysian films of different languages come to be representative of what it means to be a Malaysian film. Having this category alone is already a big win for the industry and Malaysian audiences alike after 27 FFMs. Repeating the same race in the Best Director, it comes down to the same 4 frontrunners. While we would like to see "Jagat" send a hard message with a win, but a safer bet would be to say that "Ola Bola" will lift the trophy for its national and patriotic spirit for making us believe in a time of a united Malaysia.
Cinema Online, 01 September 2016