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Sat, Aug 08, 2009
New Straits Times
22nd Malaysian Film Festival: And the award goes to...

YOU could say it is because of the Yasmin Ahmad factor.

Even though the 22nd Malaysian Film Festival fever has yet to hit the nation, there is still keen interest because of Yasmin, the late film director.

Talentime, Yasmin's masterpiece, received 10 nominations, including that for Best Director, a recognition that she has yet to receive at home.

Awards night is tonight and there will be 13 awards that will be presented at the Universiti Malaysia Sabah in Kota Kinabalu.

Here's my pick for the six main categories.

BEST ACTOR

Three veterans and two newcomers are in the running for this award -- Afdlin Shauki (Papadom), Que Haidar (Maut), Rashidi Ishak (Setem) and newcomers Awal Ashaari (Syurga Cinta) and Mahesh J. Kishor (Talentime).

The newcomers will probably be eliminated as they are deemed too "fresh".

Que has only appeared in several scenes in Maut and his chances would be better in the Best Supporting Role category.

This leaves Afdlin and Rashidi. My money is on Rashidi, whose role as a con artist in Setem is enough reason to catch this Malaysian version of Ocean's Eleven.

BEST ACTRESS

Award-winning Sharifah Amani is the only "veteran" nominated in this category this year. Her contenders are Nabila Huda (Bohsia), Nadia Mustafar (Jangan Tegur), Liyana Jasmay (Papadom) and Heliza Helmi (Syurga Cinta).

Unfortunately, Sharifah's role as a wannabe dancer in Sayang You Can Dance is one of her weakest performances.

Heliza, who made her film debut in Syurga Cinta, would have stood a better chance at winning if nominated in the Most Promising Actress category while Nadia's chances at winning is also minimal since all she needed to do was scream and act scared in Jangan Tegur.

This leaves Liyana and Nabila. My money is on Nabila, Amy Search's daughter, whose portrayal as a bohsia was excellent.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Que Haidar's nomination in this category for Papadom upsets his chances at winning. He would have stood a better chance if his role in Maut was nominated.

Mohd Shafie Naswip (Talentime) who won Best Child actor for Mukhsin two years ago, Shaheizy Sam (Bohsia), Nas T. (Kami The Movie) and Indi Nadarajah (Setem) are the other nominees.

Shaheizy had an award-winning performance as a Mat Rempit in Bohsia but then Mat Rempit is not the flavour this season, because of the government directive.

My choice is Indi Nadarajah for his role as a reformed convict in Setem.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Scha Al Yahya's lesbian kiss will not win her the award. Because that's what most people remember her for in Histeria.

Veterans Nurkhiriah (Papadom), Vanidah Imran (Setem) and Adibah Noor (Talentime) are nominated but their performances are not as memorable as that of newcomer Salina Saibi (Bohsia).

Salina's role as a doomed bohsia is so realistic that many wonder why she was not nominated in the Best Actress category.

Put your money on Salina.

BEST DIRECTOR

Yasmin taking the award for her work in Talentime. That's the result that most of us are expecting.

The other nominees in this category are Afdlin Shauki (Papadom), Bade H. Azmi (Maut), Pierre Andre (Jangan Tegur) and Ahmad Idham (Syurga Cinta).

The fact that Pierre was assisted by Ahmad Idham in directing Jangan Tegur, puts him out of the race.

As for Ahmad Idham's Syurga Cinta, the movie is a simple love story. It's only difference is its religious theme. Afdlin's Papadom is a comedy and normally, comedies have a better chance at winning awards like Anugerah Skrin or Anugerah Era.

Award-winning director Bade might upset Yasmin. Maut, a heavy drama, has all the elements of an award winning film. But like most local film critics and fans, I vote for Yasmin.

BEST FILM

The Top Five films listed for this category were not available at press time.

But looking at the list of films nominated in the main categories, these five films stand a chance at being nominated -- Talentime, Papadom, Syurga Cinta, Maut and Setem.

Each has its own strength but with the prime minister's current campaign of 1Malaysia, two films stand a chance at winning. Yasmin's Talentime and Kabir Bhatia's Setem are true to the 1Malaysia spirit. My money is on Talentime, which is tipped to win big tonight.

--NST

 
 
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