Malaysian filmmaker bags top prize in Tokyo

PETALING JAYA: Malaysian director Edmund Yeo (pic) wanted to provoke thought about the dilemma of the Rohingya with his movie Aqerat, which won Best Director at the Tokyo International Film Fest­ival (TIFF).

“I just wanted to ask questions with this film. The Rohingya plight is still happening. I don’t have answers, I’m just a filmmaker.

“But all I wish is for the killing to stop. I wish that in this crazy world, we can finally find a measure of peace,” Yeo said in his acceptance speech.

The 33-year-old became the first Malaysian filmmaker to win an award at TIFF for his work in Aqerat, which tells of a desperate woman who gets involved in a human trafficking ring.

The film’s leading actress Daphne Low was also announced as one of four winners of the new Tokyo Gemstone Award, which honours up-and-coming actors and actresses.

Yeo and Low were honoured with the awards during the closing of the TIFF held in Roppongi Hills, Tokyo, yesterday.

In a WhatsApp message to The Star, Yeo said he was grateful for his win and dedicated it to his Aqerat team.

While the movie does not have a Malaysian release date yet, Yeo is hoping to get it into cinemas next year.