taken from Malay Mail online
By MEOR SHARIMAN
KUALA LUMPUR, JULY 18:
A small-budget love story, Sepet snapped up six awards in the 18th Malaysian Film Festival Kuala Lumpur 2005 (FFM18), including the coveted Best Picture Award, and upstaged Malaysia’s most expensive film, Puteri Gunung Ledang.
Sepet, an inter-racial love story between a Chinese boy and Malay girl produced by MHZ Films, also won for Best Original Story, Best Supporting Actress, Best Poster, Most Promising Actor and Most Promising Actress at the awards ceremony at the Putra World Trade Centre last night.
Director Yasmin Ahmad said she made the film for her parents to enjoy and its success was a dream come true, especially after she faced many difficulties getting the film released.
Puteri Gunung Ledang, however, created history in the festival when its director, Saw Teong Hin, won the Best Director award and became the first non-Malay to win in that category.
Saw beat Yasmin (Sepet), Silver Chong (Di Ambang Misteri), Badaruddin Azmi (Gangster) and Professor Madya Abdul Razak Mohaideen (Lady Boss).
The RM20 million epic, a love story between a Javanese princess and Malaccan warrior Hang Tuah, also bagged the awards for Best Screenplay, Best Music Score and Best Art Direction.
The film also received a Special Jury award for the first Malaysian epic.
Saw in his acceptance speech thanked the producers, Enfiniti Pictures for giving him the most incredible journey of his life.
"When we started the movie, we agreed to do our best and see where it would lead us. The film took us around the world, yet tonight is the best night of our lives."
In a surprise win, Zamarul Hisham beat Rosyam Nor in the Best Actor category.
Zamarul won for his role in Di Ambang Misteri, a psychological thriller that failed to make any impact at the box office.
Rosyam was nominated for playing three roles in this year’s box office hit, Gangster. The other three nominees were M. Nasir (Puteri Gunung Ledang), Yusry KRU (Hingga Hujung Nyawa) and Saiful Apek (Lady Boss).
Malaysia’s most bankable actress, Erra Fazira won Best Actress for her role in heavy drama, Hingga Hujung Nyawa, beating Tiara Jacquelina (Puteri Gunung Ledang), Nasha Aziz (Tak Ori Tapi Ok) and Nur Fazura (Qaisy & Laila).
In the Best Supporting Actor category, Radhi Khalid who took on the role of an Afghan warrior in Qaisy & Laila, beat four others, including Datuk Rahim Razali (Puteri Gunung Ledang), Abu Bakar Omar (Hingga Hujung Nyawa) and Harith Iskandar (Sepet).
While Ida Nerina grabbed the Best Supporting Actress for Sepet, the film’s two leads — Sharifah Amani and Ng Choo Seong — were awarded the Best Promising Actress and Best Promising Actor, respectively.
The awards night, shown live on Astro Ria, was officiated by Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim.
Other winners included Azman Abu Hassan in the Best Sound category for Gangster, Shawn Lee Jenxian in the Best Child actor for Ah Lok Kafe the Movie, S. Rakesh in the Best Editing category for Gangster and Indra Che Muda in the Best Cinematography category for Pontianak Menjerit.
Three other main awards - Best Animation, Best Short Film and Best Documentary were also presented.
The Best Documentary went to Mohamed Harun for Temenggor — Biodiversity in the Face of Danger, while the Best Short Film went to Faizul A. Rashid for Dewa Panah and Best Animation went to Hoo Whai Khinn for Olsh.
Two Anugerah Karyawan, an award to honour people in the film industry, were given to visionary filmmaker Osman Ali and veteran cameraman A. Bakar Ali.
The event was hosted by Bob Lokman and Linda Onn with Nasha Aziz, Datuk Mustapha Maarof, Hans Issac, Shanie, Rosyam Nor and Maya Karin as co-presenters.
The audience were also treated to performances by Jamal Abdillah and Liza Hanim who performed Bagaikan Sakti, the theme song for Puteri Gunung Ledang as well as Saiful Apek, Wahid Satay, AC Mizal and Zehra Zambri.
A total of 25 films took part in Malaysia's version of the Oscars.
The other films included Qaisy & Laila, Pontianak Menjerit, GK3 The Movie and Ah Loke Kafe the Movie, among others.
The awards lasted two hours. It began with the national anthem, Negaraku, at 8.30pm. It was the shortest awards night in the history of the festival.
* BEST FILM: Sepet
* BEST DIRECTOR: Saw Teong Hin (Puteri Gunung Ledang)
* BEST ACTOR: Zamarul Hisham (Di Ambang Misteri)
* BEST ACTRESS: Erra Fazira (Hingga Hujung Nyawa)
* BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Radhi Khalid (Qaisy & Laila)
* BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Ida Nerina (Sepet)
* BEST CHILD ACTOR: Shawn Lee Jenxian (Ah Loke Kafe The Movie)
* MOST PROMISING ACTOR: Ng Choo Seong (Sepet)
* MOST PROMISING ACTRESS: Sharifah Amani (Sepet)
* BEST SOUND: Azman Abu HASSAN (Gangster)
* BEST ART DIRECTION: Hasnizar Ithnin (Puteri Gunung Ledang)
* BEST MUSIC SCORE: M.Nasir/Tan Yan Wei (Puteri Gunung Ledang)
* BEST EDITING: S. Rakesh (Gangster)
* BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Indra Che Muda (Pontianak Menjerit)
* BEST ORIGINAL STORY: Yasmin Ahmad (Sepet)
* BEST SCREENPLAY: Mamat Khalid/Saw Teong Hin (Puteri Gunung Ledang)