Homeland tales win big at Silver Screen Awards

Hong Kong actor Simon Yam was given the Cinema Legend Award last night.
Hong Kong actor Simon Yam was given the Cinema Legend Award last night.PHOTO: TIFFANY GOH FOR THE SUNDAY TIMES

Stories of uneasy relationships with one's homeland won major prizes at last night's Silver Screen Awards organised by the Singapore International Film Festival.

Clinching two awards was Bangladeshi film Live From Dhaka, which won for Best Performance and Best Director in the Asian Feature Film Competition.

It is director Abdullah Mohammad Saad's debut feature film, about a partially handicapped man who lives his life in anguish while plotting ways to leave Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh.

Also in the Asian Feature Film Competition, White Sun by Nepali director Deepak Rauniyar won Best Film. The 87-minute film tells the story of a Maoist guerilla who returns home to bury his father, and his struggle to reconcile with his wife.

Held at Marina Bay Sands, the Silver Screen Awards honours excellence in film-making in Singapore and the region.

Singaporean filmmaker Liao Jiekai, 32, won Best Director in the South-east Asian Short Film Competition. Cinemovement, a group of dance and film artists, approached him to collaborate on the evocative dance-inspired 12-minute film The Mist. The work features two women who recollect sounds and images from places in their shared memories.

Another winner in the same competition category was Singaporean filmmaker Chiang Wei Liang, 29, who received the Best Singapore Short Film award for Anchorage Prohibited, which features two migrant workers in Taiwan with a child and no money, and their quest to get employed.

The Best South-east Asian Short Film award went to Indonesian film In The Year Of Monkey by Wregas Bhanuteja. In the 16-minute film, protagonist Diah is desperate for money and seeks help from her friend Jarwo by selling a matchstick for 10,000 rupiah.

Two veterans in Asian cinema were also lauded at the ceremony.

Hong Kong film director Fruit Chan, 57, received the Honorary Award, which recognises individuals who have made exceptional and enduring contributions to Asian cinema.

Hong Kong actor Simon Yam, 61, got the Cinema Legend Award, for Asian actors and their outstanding achievements in bringing Asia's story to life on screen.

He said in a mix of English and Mandarin: "With this legend award I cannot retire, and I won't. I will continue making movies for my daughter who is almost 12 years old. I've done many movies with police, and gangsters, which are not very suitable for her. I want to do more light-hearted comedies for her."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 04, 2016, with the headline 'Homeland tales win big at Silver Screen Awards'. Print Edition | Subscribe