31 Jul – The 57th Asia Pacific Film Festival (APFF) was recently held from 28 to 30 July 2017 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and with it came two victories for Malaysia's very own actor-director Syamsul Yusof and Chiu Keng Guan-directed film, "Ola Bola".
Syamsul Yusof won the Best Director award at this year's APFF, as revealed by FINAS on its official Facebook, while "Ola Bola" won the Best Editing accolade.
Syamsul himself was not present at the awards ceremony held yesterday to receive the award, which was instead accepted on behalf by Mr. Pashah, who represented the Malaysian Film Producers Association (PFM).
The young director follows in the footsteps of the late Yasmin Ahmad, who in 2010 received the Best Director award through her movie "Mualaf" at the 54th APFF in Taipei, Taiwan.
Expressing his thanks to his family and production crew, Syamsul also stated that he was grateful "Munafik" was able to penetrate the film markets outside of its home country despite its religious concept and was accepted by the juries.
Syamsul Yusof had previously won Best Director through "Munafik" at the 28th Malaysia Film Festival (FFM 28) and Anugerah Skrin 2016.
Meanwhile, the multi award-winning film "Ola Bola" bags yet another award. As mentioned, the film edited by Gwyneth Lee picked up the Best Editing award at the film festival.
Vice President and Head of Astro Shaw, Najwa Abu Bakar, accepted the award and thanked the whole "Ola Bola" production team as well as the juries for the win.
"Ola Bola" follows in the footsteps of "Loceng Maut" (Salehan Shamsuddin) and "Jasmin 2" (Johari Ibrahim), which also won Best Editing at the 24th APFF in Sydney, Australia and the 31st APFF in Seoul, South Korea, respectively.
Previous Malaysian talents to have also won at the prestigious film festival include the late Tan Sri P. Ramlee (Best Actor, "Anakku Sazali"), A. Bakar Ali (Best Cinematography, "Sumpah Orang Minyak"), Khalid Salleh (Best Actor, "Jogho"), Sidi Oraza (Best Supporting Actor, "Sayang Salmah"), Khatijah Tan (Best Supporting Actress, "Embun"), and Maya Karin (Best Actress, "Pontianak Harum Sundal Malam").
The Asia Pacific Film Festival (APFF) has been held since 1954. The first edition, originally named Southeast Asia Film Festival, was held in Tokyo. The 57th edition was supposed to have been held in Thailand in 2014 but the King of Thailand's poor health back then prompted a delay which leads to it finally being held only this year in Cambodia.