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Malaysia’s Abang Adik Awarded Top Prize at New York Asian Film Festival

Date: 2023-08-04

Malaysia’s Abang Adik Awarded Top Prize at New York Asian Film Festival

Malaysian drama Abang Adik nabbed the top prize at the New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF), which concluded last night with a special screening of the Netflix animation The Monkey King. By: Yan Yun

Abang Adik received the prestigious Uncaged Award for best feature film, surpassing eight other titles from across Asia in NYAFF’s competition strand. The film marks the directorial debut of Jin Ong and narrates the story of two orphaned brothers whose relationship is put to the test after a brutal accident. Just last month, Abang Adik became the first feature from Malaysia to win top pirze at Udine’s Fast East Film Festival.

Director Ong was present at the festival to showcase the North American premiere of the film. In his acceptance speech, he said: “I should cry. It’s been an amazing journey to here and I didn’t expect this. I won, I won.”

A special mention for technical achievement went to China’s Flaming Cloud, a romantic fantasy that received its world premiere at NYAFF. The film signifies the debut of director Liu Siyi, with renowned director Li Shaohong as executive producer and actress Yao Chen from Chinese production company Bad Rabbit Pictures joining the film.

Director Lee Sol-Hui also received a special mention for directing for her South Korean thriller Greenhouse, which previously earned three awards at Busan International Film Festival.

In the shorts category, China's Will You Look At Me, directed by Shuli Huang, was awarded the best live-action short. South Korean writer/director Kang Nam-jin's What We Leave Behind won the best animation category. Additionally, two remarkable works received special mentions: Malaysia's Kumbang (Bugs) for live-action and Japan's Hidari for animation.

Meanwhile, South Korean actress-musician Lee Hanee was honored with the Best From The East Award during the closing ceremony. Lee's recent credits include Killing Romance, the opening film of this year's NYAFF, as well as the box office hit Phantom and Alienoid, which was the closing film of the previous year's festival.

The festival wrapped up with the first public screening of the China-US animation The Monkey King, introduced by Netflix Animation producer Peilin Chou. Directed by Anthony Stacchi, who was previously nominated for an Oscar for co-directing The Boxtrolls, the film is set to debut on Netflix on August 18.    

The 22nd edition of NYAFF ran this year from July 14-30.

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