AFTER making the Main Competition segment of the World Premieres Film Festival Philippines (WPFF) 2016, family drama Redha bagged the Special Festival Prize for its Universal Social Values, as well as the Best Actress trophy in Manila yesterday.
Directed by Tunku Mona Riza, the film generated strong appreciations particularly towards June Lojong‘s role as Alina, which garnered the actress her first Best Actress honour at the festival. June, who previously trained at the National Academy of Arts, Culture and Heritage (ASWARA), recently gave birth to her third child with real-life spouse and Redha protagonist Nam Ron.
Redha was initially released on April 14 this year as a result of at least three years of hard work from the Current Pictures team.
It didn’t meet expectations at the box office with approximately RM500,000 in total collections, but has continued receiving positive response while on tour. To date, it is the only Malaysian film to provide an in-depth look into the lives of parents with austistic children.
The competition’s coveted Grand Festival Prize went to Vietnamese film Yen’s Life, while the Grand Jury Prize was won by home entrant Daughters of the Three Tailed Banner. The Special Jury Prize for Direction went to Camille Fontaine for By Accident. There was no big winner of the night — Vietnam took home top honours while the rest of the entries split the remaining prizes evenly.
Producer Haris Sulong was joyous upon the win, acknowledging the sacrifices made by parents of autistic children.
“Merekalah wira sebenar kerana ini adalah anugerah Tuhan buat mereka untuk berjuang membesarkan zuriat mereka dengan kasih dan sayang sejati,” he told the National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (FINAS) earlier today.
Its director is still letting the news sink in. Having spent almost a week at the festival, Tunku Mona Riza is very pleased with what her film has achieved outside its own country.
“Alhamdulillah,” she told FINAS, “Penonton asing di sini sendiri telah berjumpa, memeluk dan berkongsi perasaan terharu mereka apabila kisah di dalam Redha ini juga refleksi kepada realiti yang dihadapi mereka dan setidak-tidaknya kesedaran mengenai cabaran dunia autisme ini dapat dikongsi dan dihayati masyarakat seluruh dunia”.
Local audiences who missed the film during its box office run will be able to catch it at private screenings after Hari Raya. More information will appear on the film’s Facebook page once times and dates are available.
There’s a lot more happening at the World Premieres Film Festival in Manila, Philippines until 10 July 2016! For the full list of winners, make sure to check out the official site. All photos courtesy of FINAS.