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This Short Film Directed By A Malaysian Has Already Picked Up More Than 50 Awards Overseas

Since its release in October 2015, 'The Story of 90 Coins' has garnered accolades from international film festivals in Canada, Vienna, London, and even Los Angeles.

Cover image via The Story of 90 Coins Facebook

With over 50 international accolades under its belt, the Malaysian-directed short film 'The Story of 90 Coins' has been making waves overseas with its simple yet relatable story of modern romance and a promise between two lovers

The film, titled 'The Story of 90 Coins', follows the love story of its male and female leads Wang Yuyang (played by Chinese actor Han Dongjun) and Chen Wen (played by first-time actress Zhuang Zhiqi). When Wang confesses his love to Chen one night, he proposes a "probation period" of 90 days after sensing her reluctance to accept him.

Every day for the next three months, Wang would present Chen with a one cent coin. If Chen decides to not accept him by then, they will spend the nine yuan on soft drinks and toast each other farewell. On the other hand, if she accepts his hand, they will use the money for their marriage certificate.

The short film is a first for Malaysian director Michael Wong, who'd moved to China in 1999 where he's worked at leading ad agencies such as Ogilvy, BBDO, TBWA, Grey, and Saatchi & Saatchi for 16 years

Wong (second from right, foreground) discussing a shot with the cast and crew of 'The Story of 90 Coins'.

Image via The Story of 90 Coins Facebook

Wong is currently working as an independent film director after having spent 16 years as an ad agency art director and creative director in Shanghai and Beijing, during which he's won over 50 creative awards.

Wong ventured into the filmmaking scene as a writer/director with a viral video campaign for Lenovo, which was used in markets such as India, Russia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Turkey, South Africa, South East Asia, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Since then, he has worked with brands such as Unilever, Mercedes-Benz, Citroën, Johnson & Johnson, and Samsung, to name a few.

Following the success of 'The Story of 90 Coins', Wong said that he has plans to produce and direct a series of short films within the Grindhouse genre, adding that, "(Exploitation films) is something I'm very keen to explore. Fantastic room for creativity!"

The short film was initially commissioned by a jewellery company in China who'd wanted to ride on the online video craze instead of traditional media

In an interview with Star2, Wong explained that the company's chairman had asked for a story that would touch the audience's hearts.

"They wanted a short film along the concept of ‘real romance does not happen in Paris, but within the interlocked fingers of two people’," he said, adding that 'The Story of 90 Coins' was inspired by a true story that happened to a writer's friends.

Since its release in October 2015, the short film has garnered over 50 accolades in international film festivals, including Best Drama and Best Cinematography at the Los Angeles Film Awards. Check out the full list of accolades here:

Winner: Best Cinematography - Top Indie Film Awards 2016
Nominee: Best Romantic Comedy - Top Indie Film Awards 2016
Awards of Excellence - Accolade global Film Competition 2016
Best Drama - Los Angeles Film Awards 2016
Best Cinematography - Los Angeles Film Awards 2016
Best Foreign Short - Los Angeles Independent Film Festival Awards 2016
Best Actress - Los Angeles Independent Film Festival Awards 2016
Audience Choice Award: Drama - Festigious International Film Festival 2016
Best Couple - Festigious International Film Festival 2016
Official Selection - Singapore World International Film Festival 2016
Official Selection - New York Film Week 2016
Official Selection - Vasteras Film Festival 2016
1st prize: Best Cinematography - Open Art Short Film Festival 2016
2nd prize: Best Director - Open Art Short Film Festival 2016
Official Selection: Narrative Short Film - Open Art Short Film Festival 2016
Winner: Best Short Film - Universal Film Festival 2016
Nominee: Best Foreign Film - Universal Film Festival 2016
Nominee: Best Actor - Universal Film Festival 2016
Official Selection - Shnit International Short Film Festival 2016
Official Selection - Bridge Film Fest 2016
Official Selection - Ipsos Short Film Breaks 2016
Winner: Best Narrative Short - The World's Independent Film Festival 2016
Official Selection - Swedish International Film Festival 2016
Official Selection - Vienna Independent Film Festival 2016
Best Film: Hope - Top Shorts Online Film Festival 2016
Best Cinematography - Top Shorts Online Film Festival 2016
Honorable Mention: Original Score - Top Shorts Online Film Festival 2016
Official Cinebalu Screening Selection - Kota Kinabalu International Film Festival 2016
Merit Award - International New York Film Festival 2016
Best Foreign Short Film - Ukrainian International Short Film Festival 2016
Winner: Best Director - Whatashort India International Film Festival 2016
Official Selection: Best Film - Whatashort India International Film Festival 2016
Official Selection: Best Cinematography - Whatashort India International Film Festival 2016
Official Selection: Best Actor - Whatashort India International Film Festival 2016
Official Selection: Best Story - Whatashort India International Film Festival 2016
Official Selection - Toronto Film Week 2016
Official Selection - DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival 2016
Rising Star Awards (Foreign Film) - Canada International Film Festival 2016
Special Jury Mention - Promofest Short of the Year 2016
Official Selection - Venice Film Week 2016
Official Selection - Sydney World Film Festival 2015
Finalist - Canada Shorts Film Festival 2015
Official Selection - Kiwi International Film Festival 2015
Official Finalist - London Film Awards 2015
Official Selection - #TOFF The Online Film Festival 2015
Official Selection - SPFW Indie Film Festival 2015
Official Selection - Los Angeles CineFest 2015
Official Selection - US Hollywood International Film Festival (USHIFF) 2015
Official Selection - The Monthly Film Festival (TMFF) 2015
Official Selection - Barcelona Planet Film Festival 2015

'The Story of 90 Coins' is set to be screened in several more film festivals in the near future, with Wong hoping for more good news on that front. Meanwhile, you can watch the award-winning short film here:

See more behind-the-scenes photos from the short film here.

On the other hand, filmmakers of a banned local film are streaming the movie for free so that Malaysians can still watch it online:

Meanwhile, in Hollywood, awards season wrapped up with a dramatic finale in last week's Oscars: