Friday, September 24, 2010

Golden Awards

The inaugural Golden Awards is a symbolic event which honours the best in the local Chinese television industry. It will be held on Sept 25 at Putrajaya International Convention Centre.

Choice picks (The Star)

Tuesday October 6, 2009

NINETEEN trophies will be given out at the Golden Awards and they come under three categories – drama, non-drama and viewers’ choice.

In the TV drama category, there are seven awards: best TV drama, best actor, best actress, best supporting actor, best supporting actress, best newcomer and best drama theme song.

In the non-drama category, there are eight awards: best variety and entertainment programme, best variety and entertainment programme host, best reality programme, best reality programme host, best current affairs programme, best news and current affairs presenter/host, best magazine programme and best magazine programme host.

A total of five nominees will be in the running for each of the awards in the TV drama and non-drama categories.

The viewers’ choice category offers four awards: most popular actor, most popular actress, most popular TV drama and most popular TV host/presenter for non-drama. There will be 10 nominees for each award.

The results will be derived from a combination of online votes (40%), SMS votes (40%), on-ground roadshow votes (10%) and votes from the audience attending the event (10%).

Nominees for best host/presenter and viewers’ choice awards must be Malaysian citizens or permanent residents.

A panel of professional judges comprising industry experts will shortlist entries in each category in March. Nominees for the Top 10 Programmes will be announced in April, followed by the remaining categories in July.

Golden Awards is open to all Chinese programmes produced by Malaysian TV broadcasters or production companies registered in Malaysia as well as those co-produced by companies whose primary base is here.

Only TV programmes broadcast for the first time between Oct 1, 2007 and Sept 30, 2009 are eligible for entry.

Further details on the submission and the official entry forms are available at Closing date is Jan 12, 2010, midnight.

Five actresses vie for the best actress title in Golden Awards.

Tense face-off (The Star)

Friday September 3, 2010

THE spotlight this week is on the best actress nominees in the Golden Awards, presented by Ntv7.

Feuding duo: Strong-willed Gao Shi Qin (Yeo Yann Yann, left) and the vengeful Lin Xi (Angie Wong) in The Iron Lady.

StarTwo caught up with contenders Yeo Yann Yann and Aenie Wong, who both appeared in The Iron Lady, Apple Hong, Debbie Goh and Jesseca Liu.

Of the five, only Wong is based in Malaysia. Goh is based in Hong Kong and the rest are in Singapore.

Yeo Yann Yann (The Iron Lady, Ntv7, March 2009)

Portraying strong-willed Gao Shi Qin who is determined to chart her own destiny, Yeo said The Iron Lady was the first time she returned to Malaysia to film a TV series.

“I’ve not been in such a long series and one in which the character ages from young to old, spanning several decades.

“I valued the opportunity as such roles are hard to come by.”

Now filming another period TV series set in the 50s to the 70s titled A Time To Embrace, Yeo, who has ample experience in theatre, television and film, admitted that TV series are really tough to film in comparison.

“They are so much tougher because of the long shooting period and numerous details to look into.”

Driven by her all-encompassing passion for acting, Yeo is now an advisor for Juita Viden’s acting academy, which was set up in June to help local actors further their interests.

While her involvement does not include teaching, the actress has a hand in hiring lecturers, outlining the syllabus and providing guidance to the students.

Aenie Wong (The Iron Lady, Ntv7, March 2009)

Learning of her nomination, Wong expressed her gratitude to Ntv7 for organising the Golden Awards, recognising contributions and rewarding talents, thereby injecting much-appreciated encouragement into the local television entertainment industry.

Playing well-educated young Lin Xi who turns vengeful after discovering an earth-shattering family secret, Wong even fainted during the filming of a particularly climactic scene.

“It could have been the hot weather or the stuffy room. Also, it was an extremey emotional scene in which my character was confronting the person who was the cause of her misery,” she continued.

Wong is now filming a new Mandarin TV series titled Mystic Valley set to air in November.

Apple Hong (Love Is All Around, Ntv7, July 2008)

Feeling honoured and happy to be nominated for the first Golden Awards, Hong said: “It’s very meaningful to me as a Malaysian who has been working overseas for years. And, now that my work is acknowledged in my own home country, it certainly makes my family and friends proud of me.”

Hong described a need to come up with ideas to make her role lively and adorable, as Love Is All Around is a light-hearted family drama. “Especially during the argument scenes with my mother-in-law, my character Fu Xiao Yue has to appear fierce and cute at the same time!”

Having just completed hosting the fifth season of Chinese variety show On The Beat, Hong is now filming new Chinese drama series Mrs P.I., about three housewives and a private investigation company.

“My character is a stylish and pretty housewife named Phyllis, with a 5C (cash, car, career, condominium, credit card) hubby that every woman dreams of,” she says.

Debbie Goh (Age Of Glory, Ntv7, April 2008)

An appealing script which saw her portraying a showgirl character based on the legendary Rose Chan attracted Goh to return to Malaysia to film her first local television series Age Of Glory, which went on to become the highest-rated local television drama in 2008.

Commenting on the immense opportunities for character development, Goh offered: “Throughout the years, she had to rough it out and went through a lot of suffering both in her career and her relationships.

“I had to cry a lot and that left me quite blue. When I went back to Hong Kong, my boss commented on the sadness in my eyes. And, I even lost confidence in love then.”

Sad stories aside, the series became such a hit that she was back to star in the Age Of Glory II, which ended its run last month.

Goh, who now has her hands full tending to her new restaurant in Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, is also shuttling between Hong Kong, China and Malaysia to work on multiple projects, including a local movie and lunar new year telemovie.

Jesseca Liu (Romantic Delicacies, Ntv7, June 2009)

Playing the luscious Shen Xiao Xin who conceals her unsavoury intentions to pit two brothers against each other in the cuisine-themed drama series, Liu said she felt very honoured to be nominated.

Describing her character as “part good and part bad”, Liu added: “Interpreting the role from an initial baddie to an eventual good character was an exceptionally interesting process.”

Now in the midst of negotiating several TV dramas, the Langkawi native is also busy running a spa in her hometown, hence regularly travelling between Singapore and Langkawi, Kedah.

My pick for this category is Debbie Goh of Age of Glory.

The top five best actor nominees are: Steve Yap, Chen Huen Phuei, Melvin Sia, Wee Kheng Ming and Zzen Zhang.

Pretty surprised with the top five list, Zzen Zhang is my choice.

Best supporting actor/actress: Frederick / Jane
Best drama theme song: Age of Glory
Best newcomer: Hishiko

Best drama is a heavily contested category with Age Of Glory and The Iron Lady are expected to be front runner. Five TV series aim to be the best drama in the upcoming event.

Quest for glory at the Golden Awards (The Star)
By Seto Kit Yan

WITH six weeks to go before the much-anticipated inaugural Golden Awards presented by Ntv7, let’s take a look at one of the most-watched categories: TV dramas.

(Golden Awards, which honours outstanding achievements in local Chinese television, will be held on Sept 25 at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre. It is divided into 19 sub-categories: seven for drama, eight for non-drama and four for viewers’ choice.)

The top five nominees in the running for Best Drama are: Age Of Glory, Goodnight DJ, Love 18, Romantic Delicacies, and The Iron Lady.

Sad story: Ntv7’s Age Of Glory is about showgirls working in a fun fair and stars (from left) Debbie Goh, Aenie Wong and Danielle Dai.

Age Of Glory (40 episodes, ntv7, April 2008) – Set in the 1960s, the drama depicts the lives of Malaysian Chinese in that period and tells the tragic story of showgirls working in a fun fair; the main characters are portrayed by Debbie Goh, Danielle Dai and Aenie Wong. Also starring Leslie Chai, Frederick Lee, Steve Yap and Melvin Sia.

Goodnight DJ (13 episodes, 8TV, January 2008) – Starring local Chinese radio station 988 celebrity deejay Chan Fong as the head of a radio station, it features 11 supernatural stories. Its all-Malaysian cast includes winners and finalists of reality shows and programme hosts. Among them are Michael Huang, Angie Seow, Candy Lim, Yise Loo, James Wong, Jack Yap, Tee Ong, Hishiko Woo, Duncan Lim, Gary Yap, Owen Yap and Dennis Gan.

Love 18 (13 episodes, Astro AEC, April 2009) – The main plot takes place in Taipei, Taiwan, where an American-born Chinese man develops a friendship with a young couple while taking a winter holiday with his grandmother, whom he is meeting for the first time. It features Thai teen idol Chinawut-Stéphane Indracusin, Malaysia’s Jack Tan (of pop duo Thomas Jack) and Taiwanese actress Winnie Zhong in the lead roles.

(From left) Wang Jun, Monday Kang, Melvin Sia, Jesseca Liu, Nick Shen and Ong Ai Leng in Romantic Delicacies about two feuding brothers who are chefs.

Romantic Delicacies (25 episodes, Ntv7, June 2009) – This production takes place in bustling Kuala Lumpur, where two famous restaurants are in constant competition with their delicious Hokkien noodles and assam laksa. The story revolves around two brothers – played by Melvin Sia and Monday Kang – who turn against each other in their high-stake quest to be the better chef. Line-up includes Jessica Liu, Nick Shen, Yise Loo, Ong Ai Leng, Wang Jun and Jordan Voon.

The Iron Lady (35 episodes, Ntv7, March 2009) – Just as its title suggests, the story is about a woman who is determined to chart her own destiny, refusing to yield to convention even during turbulent times. It stars Yeo Yann Yann, Aenie Wong, Frederick Lee, Jeffrey Cheng, Jacky Kam, Angie Seow and Mandy Chen.

Two of the dramas – Age Of Glory and The Iron Lady – are produced by local company Double Vision. Its chief operating officer Peggie Lim is grateful for the nominations although she insists that winning awards is not their primary goal in making a show.

“Being recognised for our work is the icing on the cake but at concept stage, awards are probably the furthest from our minds. Naturally, we are extremely pleased to be nominated. That is testimony to the vision and effort of our team,” she says.

Lim hopes that the organisers of the Golden Awards will also give due recognition to other areas like scripting, directing, cinematography, art direction and design, sound design and editing.

(From left) Frederick Lee, Angie Seow, Mandy Chen, Jacky Kam, Yeo Yann Yann, Jeffrey Cheng and Aenie Wong of The Iron Lady.

On their chances, she says: “We are up against strong contenders but we are hopeful that Double Vision will win a few awards at the very first Golden Awards.”

Commenting on the drama which also received a nomination at the Asian Film Festival two years ago and spawned a second season due to air on 8TV in October, Goodnight DJ executive producer Dannis Chow offers: “The Chinese entertainment industry in Malaysia has improved considerably – actors and actresses are more professional and willing to try new things. I hope there are more avenues to train good scriptwriters too.”

Lastly, he urges Malaysian audiences to support local productions, and hopes that the industry will be able to attract more investors and produce better quality shows.

I would tipped the bottom of top 5 nominees The Iron Lady as winner.