Edmund Yeo wins Best Director with AQÉRAT (We, the Dead) at the Tokyo International Film Festival Competition section. AQÉRAT is his sophomore film, and second film in Tokyo Main Competition. He remains the only Malaysian director to have presented films in Tokyo's Main Competition. He is currently shooting his third film, ASHAMED (Malu) about a pair of estranged sister which will mark his first feature film production in Japan. Half has already been shot this September and will star MayJune Tan (Berlinale Talents) in the lead role.
Daphne Low is awarded Tokyo Gemstone Award. She played the role of Huiling, a human trafficker who is desperately trying to raise funds to leave Malaysia.
Tokyo Gemstone Award
In keeping with their vision of "cultivating a future for film," the Tokyo International Film Festival has established the new Gemstone Award for acting.
It will be given to a handful of up-and-coming actor and actresses whose talent is deemed worthy of International recognition. By spotlihhting these gemstones of raw talent, we hope to help them further shine. Young actors and actresses in all films presented at the festival will be eligible for the award.
The Tokyo International Film Festival Secretariat will select actoes and/or actresses not only from Japan, but around the world.
Hui Ling’s life will truly begin as soon as she makes it to Taiwan. Or so she thinks. Right now, she is at the Thai-Malaysian border, working odd jobs and saving money. Determined to make it even when she loses all her savings, she accepts her boss’ offer for quick money as a human trafficker. As she descends into the darkness of her sordid trade, she witnesses the atrocities perpetrated against the Rohingya immigrants. Her beacon of light through this is Wei, a young hospital worker who believes that she is a woman from his past. AQÉRAT is a sweeping tale of displacement and morality in contemporary Malaysia
Yeo's debut feature documentary YASMIN-SAN, along with Malaysian film ADIWIRAKU screened in Tokyo Crosscuts.