What great news from Taiwan upon the 57th Golden Horse Awards that held on 21 November 2020. Malaysia's ex-radio DJ, Chong Keat Aun won the Best New Director Awards at the ceremony! He indeed has made Malaysian proud. Let's check out what film is this!
This award-winning film is known as- The Story of Southern Islet, which is inspired by an incident that happened when Director Chong was around 10 years old. His father had a bizarre illness where people believed it was 'bomoh' or some witchcraft equivalent illness.
The alleged incident has greatly impacted his life and changed his family structure. Hence, this memory was particularly unforgettable for him.
The background of the movie is set at the 1980s at Gunung Keriang, Kedah. It is about a man who suddenly fainted after a fight with his neighbour one day, then he spat blood and rusty nails.
To combat his bizarre illness, his wife went all out to search for a cure . The wife then embarked on the journey to experiment on different spiritual beliefs from different ethnic groups for the sake of her husband.
Director Chong claimed that this film is not a horror film but it's a story about the 1980s life at Malaysia-Thailand border. He wanted to use this film to portray the incidents that happened in his hometown. Such as the Chinese lifestyle and the at the time unstable politic scene.
Special shout out in his speech
Director Chong especially shouts out to his late film partner- Mohamad Badri the prominent Malaysian cameraman.
He honoured Mohamad Badri by speaking Malay on the stage, 'Terima kasih Bang Mohamad Badri, senyumanmu akan tetap di sanubariku." (which means your smile will be always remembered) (see 4.35 in the video)
He too mentioned about the late director-Yasmin Ahmad, after he has done his first draft, he wanted to show it to her and read. Unfortunately, she passed away before he could do so.
He said this on the stage, "Terima kasih kepada Kak Yasmine, saya telah menang anugerah Golden Horse tahun ini." (see 5.43 in the video)
No news about this movie whether it will release in Malaysia
Originally, this move is supposed to be released on October in Malaysia. However, due to the pandemic, his plan was disrupted. There are 7 Taiwan's film distributor that showed interest to his film.
This film is set to be released in Hong Kong and Taiwan in April 2021. Singapore's film distributor has been constantly expressed interest and intended to arrange film release date with Director Chong as well.
Sadly, Director Chong said that Malaysia's film distributors have not show any interest towards his film. Perhaps, in their opinion, this film might not be profitable. (reported by Chinapress)
Hopefully, this award-winning film will be released in Malaysia so that Malaysian could watch this great film.