Malaysian director Lau Kok Rui has emerged as one of the big winners at the 59th Golden Horse Awards for his film The Sunny Side Of The Street.
Lau took home the awards for Best New Director and Best Original Screenplay for his Hong Kong debut film at the ceremony held on Saturday (November 19), New Straits Times reported. The film’s star Anthony Wong also picked up the Best Leading Actor for his role in the movie, which saw him playing a taxi driver who unexpectedly befriends a Hong Kong-born Pakistani refugee boy played by Sahal Zaman.
Zaman was also nominated for Best New Performer.
Lau has previously described the film as a “conversation” with his distant father. Speaking to The Vibes earlier this year about the project, Lau shared: “The most important thing for me to reflect on in the film is the father-son relationship. Personally, I hope this project could be one of the things that I could send to my father as a gift so we can have our own conversation on it.”
He added that the film’s focus on an immigrant child finding their way in an unfamiliar new city was also inspired by his experience moving to Hong Kong at the age of 18 for further his studies. “I am always concerned about people that somewhat share the same journey and did a lot of research about other immigrants in the city,” he added, pointing to his documentary work that has focused on domestic workers from the Philippines and Indonesia.
“Simply put, this feature film is also a combination of my previous research where it is based on many things that are related to being a foreigner here,” Lau concluded.
Produced mainly by Petra Films, a new production company under the Petra Group run by Malaysian businessman Vinod Sekhar, the film cost an estimated USD1 million to make and is Lau’s feature film debut having previously directed documentaries.