Malaysian Filmmaker Wins 2 Trophies For His Debut Film At Taiwan's Golden Horse Awards

Lao Kok Rui won the awards for Best New Director and Best Original Screenplay for his Hong Kong debut film, 'The Sunny Side of the Street'.

Cover image via thedailyadvance & taipeitimes

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Malaysian director Lau Kok Rui won two awards for his Hong Kong debut film at the 59th Golden Horse Awards on Saturday, 19 November

At this year's award ceremony, known as the Chinese-language Oscars, Lau won Best New Director and Original Screenplay for his debut film, The Sunny Side of The Street, which he wrote and directed.

Citing Taiwanese media, The Star reported that Lau was in disbelief, saying that he did not expect to win as it was a tough competition.

The filmmaker, who started his career making documentaries, thanked his mentors.

"Without them, this film would not have been completed," Lau was quoted as saying.

The movie also earned nominations for Best Leading Actor, Best Narrative Feature, Best New Performer, and Best Cinematography.

Director Lau Kok Rui (left) with 'The Sunny Side of the Street' cast members, Sahal Zaman (middle) and Anthony Wong (right) at the Golden Horse Awards red carpet.

Image via Taipei Times

The film tells the story of a Hong Kong-born Pakistani refugee boy who forms an unexpected bond with a local taxi driver

The film starred veteran Hong Kong actor, Anthony Wong, who took home the Best Leading Actor for his role as the taxi driver in The Sunny Side of the Street.

Referring to Lau's debut at the Golden Horse Awards, Wong said, "I think new directors bring me luck and I should only work with new directors for my future films."

His young co-star, Sahal Zaman, who can speak Mandarin and Cantonese, was also nominated for Best New Performer, while Leung Ming Kai was nominated for Best Cinematography.

The film was produced mainly by Petra Films, a new production company under Petra Group, run by Malaysian businessman Vinod Sekhar. It also marks the studio's debut project with an estimated cost of around USD1 million (RM 4.57 million).

Lau also mentioned that his next film would be a story about Malaysia.

Anthony Wong holding his Best Leading Actor trophy at the Golden Horse Awards.

Image via vnexplorer

As a Malaysian-born immigrant based in Hong Kong, Lau projected his personal experience and interpreted his relationship with his father through the main characters in the film

Lau told Taiwan News that every refugee has their own set of reasons and problems as to why they flee from their own country.

"This group has its own complexity. Their pressure often comes from the uncertainty and insecurity of the future," he said.

When Lau moved to Hong Kong, he was young and had lost contact with his father, so he had to learn how to be independent.

The story depicts a child who craves for his father’s attention and shows his struggles with wanting to be loved.

"These two main characters, the refugee boy and the old taxi driver, portray my immigrant life. I see this film as a conversation with my father," the 32-year-old director added.

A Pakistani refugee boy, played by Sahal Zaman, and a grumpy local taxi driver, played by Anthony Wong.

Image via Taiwan News

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