The 27th Malaysian Film Festival (FFM 27) which was held on Saturday, 5 September at Plenary Hall, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) – had seen to Dawn Cheong as the country's Most Promising Actress.
Dawn who was nominated for the very first time – and in two categories at that – is ecstatic to know that she was named Most Promising Actress for her role in "Cuak" where she played Brenda, a Chinese woman who is about to be married to a Malay man named Adam played by Ghafir Akbar.
At the post-party event of FFM 27, Cinema Online managed to chat-up with the talented actress as she tell us how she feels winning the coveted award for the first time.
This is your first time being nominated for an FFM award and you were nominated for not one, but in two categories. How does it feel winning your first FFM trophy?
Yeah, isn't that crazy? Even my mother didn't believe me! I definitely feel very surprised and shocked, and I am honoured to know that they would even consider me to be a part of this.
Did you see this coming at all?
Not at all. I think when Ghafir and I did it, we were sort of like "Oh, we're showing a segment in this place and it was like a Kaki Seni free space." We literally started from real humble beginnings and we never would have thought that we could've gotten this far.
What do you think attracted the jury to your character in this film?
I actually have no idea but I guess it's because Ghafir and I play two persons from two very different cultures, and I think that it's interesting when both cultures confront each other and talk about the harsh truth of society. I think this was quite uncommon.
Now, that you have won an award, do you think you will be pressured to win more awards in the future?
I think it would be a pressure for me to keep up with the good acting. Because this film, it will last forever and you would always want to do your best.
People will also have higher expectations of you now for your next movie now that you've won an award.
I think I would have higher expectations of myself more than anything else, because you are your biggest critic.
If you had to choose, who do you think deserves this award apart from yourself?
Probably Aisya Hasnaa from "Dollah Superstar". When I think of Most Promising Actress, I think of her because she can sing and dance – she's just overall a really great professional artiste. I met her a couple of times, and she's a lovely girl, very professional. I didn't get to work with her on screen, but I worked with her once or twice and she's always such a professional. Maybe I'm being biased but I really like her [laugh].
Recently you've acted in "In Between Floors", do you hope to gain recognition from that film too?
I don't ever do projects because it would be great, popular or make a lot of money. I don't do that sort of thing. Whenever I get a script, I would see if it's challenging or interesting – that's the one thing that I look for in a script.
Your character in both films ("Cuak" and "In Between Floors") seems kind of similar. Would you would want to try other kind of roles in your next feature?
I would like to, definitely
What is your view on this year's trophy? Instead of cash prizes, the trophy for this year has gold pieces.
Yeah, I am definitely putting this in my bedroom. I think they should definitely stick with this trophy because I feel that it would mean a lot more. I think if you mix money and trophy, we would think that winning is all about making money instead of having artistic integrity. So, I think a trophy is better because it symbolises everything – it has gold, it could represent money, integrity in your work and etc. So yes, I think they should stick to the trophy.