The inaugural Malaysia Golden Global Awards (MGGA) held recently at Genting Highlands’ Arena Of Stars was a glitzy affair indeed.
Held in conjunction with the first ever Malaysian International Film Festival (Miffest), international celebrities from different countries graced the event. These included Hong Kong film Mad World’s director Wong Chun, screenwriter Florence Chan, actress Elaine Jin, and actor Eric Tsang; South Korean film The Wailing actor Kwak Do-won and actress Jang So-yeon; Malaysian film Interchange director Dain Said and actor Shaheizy Sam; Taiwanese film The Road To Mandalay actress Wu Ke Xi; and Hong Kong film Happiness actress Kara Wai.
Other Hong Kong stars who glammed up for the red carpet were Miffest and MGGA advisors Gloria Yip and Tavia Yeung, as well as actors Anthony Wong, Josie Ho, and Ron Ng.
The red carpet event was hosted by Emily Poon and Chrystina Ng, while the awards ceremony was jointly hosted by news anchor Owen Yap and comedian Harith Iskander.
During the event, homegrown music stars dazzled the audience with movie-themed performances. Electric violinist Dennis Lau opened the show in style with a scorching solo piece, before Datuk Sheila Majid took the stage to wow the crowd with her signature hits Lagenda and Sinaran, as well as a tribute to Malaysia’s iconic filmmakers Tan Sri P. Ramlee and Yasmin Ahmad. Taiwan-based Victor Wong then performed a medley of classic Chinese movie themes and Hong Kong-based Malaysian singer Shila Amzah belted out Spectre theme Writing’s On The Wall and Frozen’s Let It Go.
While the performances were dazzling, the awards were still the main highlight of the night. Eight awards were given out in total, with the biggest award of the night – Best Film – won by Malaysia-Philippines film Singing In Graveyards, which was made by Malaysian-born Philippines-based director Bradley Liew, who dedicated his win to his grandfather.
Best Director was also snagged by a Filipino filmmaker – Brillante Mendoza (Ma’ Rosa), while Singapore’s Boo Junfeng (Apprentice) won Best New Director.
Britain’s Paul Laverty won Best Screenplay for I, Daniel Blake; and China’s Luo Pan won Best Cinematography for his work on I Am Not Madame Bovary.
The Best Actor award went to Tsang, for his role in Mad World as a father caring for his estranged adult son (played by Shawn Yue) who is suffering from bipolar disorder; while the best actress award was won by German actress Sandra Huller for Oscar-nominated comedy Toni Erdmann.
The panel of judges included Singapore-based Malaysian actress Yeo Yann Yann, film directors Kim Dong-ho (South Korea), Andreas Dresen (Germany), Garin Nugroho (Indonesia), Professor Xie Fei (China), and film producer Yeh Jufeng (Taiwan).
There was also an Audience Choice award, which was voted by members of the public, and won by joint Hong Kong/Bhutan production Hema Hema Sing Me A Song While I Wait.
Meanwhile, 90-year-old Datuk Lai Meng accepted the Lifetime Achievement award and announced that she is currently working on her biopic titled The Legend with Malaysian director Bjarne Wong.