Nominees for the 29th Malaysia Film Festival will only be announced on the awards night itself. Will a tearful family drama about autism prevail over a controversial story featuring a deaf-mute drug dealer? Or will it go to U-Wei Saari’s RM20mil epic drama Hanyut? We predict the top five nominees in the Best Film category.
Tunku Mona Riza’s debut film as a director features memorable performances by Namron, June Lojong and child actor Harith Haziq. The film bravely tackles the subject of autism and it was also Finas’ Best Foreign Language Film entry for the 89th Academy Awards.
U-Wei’s adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s Almayer’s Folly was completed in 2011. It took four years for the movie to finally be screened in Malaysian cinemas. It’s an ambitious period piece with stars like Adi Putra, Diana Danielle and Sofia Jane giving commendable performances.
Pekak was an eye-opening and risky attempt at revealing social issues involving youths in Malaysia. The film is powered by Zahiril Adzim’s effective performance as a deaf-mute drug dealer who falls in love with schoolgirl Dara, played by Sharifah Amani. The depiction of vice is ugly but it also shows that love wins in the end.
Director Saw Teong Hin took on the difficult subject of dark family secrets and mental disability in this film inspired by his own past. It also marked the first time for a film to be told entirely in the Penang Hokkien dialect.
This is another film inspired by a real-life event. A teacher takes on the task of helping her students win a choral speaking competition. It’s hopeful, tragic and inspiring at the same time.