Khabir Bhatia's Cinta, an omnibus of five love stories set in modern-day Kuala Lumpur, was named best film at the 20th Malaysian Film Festival awards ceremony on Saturday night. It also took best supporting actor (for Haji Rahim Razali), best screenplay and best editor.
A total of 29 awards were given out with most of the winning films of the horror and thriller genres. Shuhaimi Baba's mystic thriller Waris Jari Hantu won the most accolades, receiving five major awards for best director, best actor for Rusdi Ramli, best supporting actress for Azean Irdawaty, best original story and best music score.
Thriller Red Kebaya by Oliver Knott took best actress for Vanida Imran, best sound, best costume and best poster. Osman Ali's horror thriller Puaka Tebing Biru walked away with best cinematography and best art direction. Suspense thriller Chermin received two nods for the most promising director for Zarina Abdullah and the most promising actress for Natasha Hudson
The box-office award was given to Ahmad Idham's Jangan Pandang Belakang. Opened in April this year, the horror grossed$1.85m (RM6.4m), making it the top local film of all-time in Malaysia.
In addition to Cinta, the only non-horror films to win awards were coming-of-age drama Mukhsin by Yasmin Ahmad which grabbed the best young actor award for Mohd Syafie and Along Kamaludin's love drama Cinta Terakhir which won most promising actor for Zizan Nin.
Two new awards were introduced this year for best digital film which went to Deepak Kumaran Menon's Dancing Bells (Chalanggai) and for best non-Malay language film which went to Bjarne Wong's Cantonese-language Possessed.
This year's event was held in the northern island of Penang outside the capital, Kuala Lumpur. Selected films were screened free of charge to the public over three days from Aug 3-5.
Main organisers are the National Film Development Board (FINAS), Malaysian Film Producers Association (PFM) and the Federation of Screen Guilds Malaysia (GAFIM).