Malaysian film Guang picked up two awards at the 13th Chinese Youth Generation Film Forum in Wuhan, China, on Sept 16.
Director Quek Shio Chuan took home Best New Director while actor Kyo Chen won Best New Actor for his portrayal of protagonist Wen Guang.
“The award is definitely a great encouragement. My biggest wish is that this film can really touch the audience and raise public awareness on the issue of autism,” Quek said in a press statement.
In Guang, Wen Guang is a young man struggling with autism. To help with his family’s finances, he tries to look for a job but the process is not easy. Unknown to anyone, he has a gift for music.
It is based on a short film of the same name Quek directed in 2011.
The Batu Pahat, Johor native also thanked his brother, who has autism, for inspiring him. “This movie could not have happened without him.”
Guang is Quek’s first feature-length film. He is best known for directing a spate of well-received Raya TV commercials such as TNB’s Rumah Epik Fastastik, Astro’s Gaya Raya Paling Ori and Lazada’s Buah Hati Raya.
Meanwhile, Chen says he is grateful for the chance to star in the film as acting opportunities are hard to come by in Malaysia. “I am fortunate to be in involved in a good production and be able to make it to the international stage.”
Guang was also nominated for Best Film, Best New Cinematographer and actor Ernest Chong was also up for Best New Actor.
Previously, Guang earned four nominations at the Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF) Asian New Talent Awards and was selected to compete in the Fukuoka Audience Award (Focus on Asia) at the Fukuoka International Film Festival 2018.
Guang will hit Malaysian cinemas on Nov 29.