The Golden Wau Awards (GWA) has been put on hold for the time being, the Chinese FiIm Association of Malaysia (CFAM) recently announced.
The first ever GWA was held in 2013, and it was Malaysia’s first Chinese film awards celebrating local Chinese language cinema. However, while CFAM was planning for the next awards, the 28th Malaysian Film Festival (FFM) resolved its language segregation controversy by opening nominations to all Malaysian films regardless of language.
Since that development allowed fair competition amongst local films, CFAM decided to put a halt to the GWA for now. CFAM chairman Adrian Teh said: “Even so, CFAM will continue to serve as the bridge between Finas and the local film industry.”
The biggest winner of GWA 2013 was Ice Kacang Puppy Love (2010), the directorial debut of Penang-born musician Aniu (Tan Kheng Seong), which nabbed five awards: Best Film, Best Actress (Angelica Lee Sinje), Best Cinematography, Best Editing and Best Art Design.
The GWA annoucement was made at CFAM’s annual Chinese New Year Gala dinner recently, during which CFAM also took the opportunity to celebrate the achievements of local film-makers Ho Yuhang, Chiu Keng Guan, and Jess Teong.
A mini award ceremony was conducted, recognising the contributions of three outstanding local filmmakers who put Malaysia on the map when they garnered international recognition in 2015 and 2016: Ho for action thriller Mrs K and black-and-white short film Trespassed, Chiu for sports flick OlaBola, and Teong for The Kid From The Big Apple.
Only Ho turned up to accept award, as Chiu was outstation, and Teong was hospitalised for pneumonia. “Filmmaking is really tough. Hopefully, everyone will continue to work on making better movies, so that more people will get to see outstanding Malaysian productions” said Ho, whose latest film Mrs K opened the 12th Osaka Asian Film Festival in Japan on March 3. The film also stars Hong Kong actors Kara Wai and Simon Yam, Taiwanese rocker Wu Bai and Malaysian actor Faizal Hussein.
There was also a special award for Best Film Investor/Sponsor, which went to dry food and marine goods producer Soon Thye Hang.
The CFAM also announced that five local Chinese films will be released this year: Mrs K, Teh’s comedy Goodbye Mr Loser, Saw Teong Hin’s Hokkien film You Mean The World To Me, Bryan Gao’s supernatural thriller Therapist and David Tian’s horror film The Returning.