Malaysian Filmmakers Making Their Mark In The Industry

Guang and St. Louis Superman does Malaysia proud.
Tuesday 14 January 2020
Guang and St. Louis Superman wins awards and nominations. Photo: Pexels

It is a great time for film and the entertainment industry, with streaming enabling more possibilities for content creators as well as consumers, and non-English-speaking films like Parasite getting six Oscar nominations.

And more recently, there are more reasons to celebrate – especially if you’re from around the region and Malaysia.

Guang wins Best Film at the 59th Asia Pacific Film Festival in Macau

Guang, by Malaysian filmmaker Quek Shio Chuan, won Best Film at the 59th Asia Pacific Film Festival (APFF) on 8 January 2020 in Macau.

The Malaysian film essentially tells the tale about a young man with autism who struggles in finding a job to support his family expenses, at the same time possessing a unique musical talent.

This is the first Malaysian film to win Best Feature Film at the APFF, which is the oldest film festival in Asia. On top of that, the emotional film won four trophies at the 30th Malaysian Film Festival for Best Art Direction, Most Promising Actor (Male) for Kyo Chen, Most Promising Director for Quek Shio Chuan and Best Cinematography. Guang was also nominated at the 21st Shanghai International Film Festival and Asia Fukuoka International Film 2018.

St. Louis Superman nominated for a Best Documentary Short Subject Oscar.

Produced by Malaysians Teng Poh Si and Cheyenne Tan, St. Louis Superman was nominated for a Best Documentary Short Subject Oscar.

The 30-minute long documentary is directed by Smriti Mundhra and Sami Khan, and tells the story of Franks Jr, an activist and rapper who ran for the Missouri House Of Representatives in 2016. He beats the odds and is elected as a Democrat to the Missouri House of Representatives, an overwhelmingly white and Republican chamber, but still finds himself battling old demons.

The nomination stands alongside four other titles In The Absence, Learning To Skateboard In A Warzone (If You’re A Girl), Life Overtakes Me and Walk Run Cha-Cha. There are a total of 96 documentaries considered for the category.

Meanwhile, Malaysian films Upin & Ipin: Keris Siamang Tunggal was among the top 32 animated films considered for Best Animated Feature, with M For Malaysia was Malaysia’s official submission for the Best International Feature Film category at the Oscars.

While the latter two local productions did not receive a nomination, the wins of Guang and St. Louis Superman are definitely a step forward for the local and Asian film industries.