First Malaysian film to receive 9 nominations at the 56th Golden Horse Awards

Astro Shaw’s award-winning film The Garden of Evening Mists (TGOEM), will premiere on silver screens nationwide starting 16 January 2020. Adapted from the critically acclaimed novel of the same name, TGOEM was produced by Astro Shaw and HBO Asia with support from the National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (FINAS) in association with CJ Entertainment.

TGOEM took home the award for Best Makeup & Costume Design at the prestigious 56th Golden Horse Awards and has achieved numerous firsts for a Malaysian film, including 9 nominations: Best Narrative Feature (Astro Shaw Sdn. Bhd., HBO Asia), Best Director (Tom Shu-yu LIN), Best Leading Actress (Sinje LEE), Best Adapted Screenplay (Richard SMITH), Best Cinematography (Kartik VIJAY), Best Art Direction (Penny Pei-ling TSAI, LUM Heng-soon, CHEN Hsuan-shao), Best Makeup & Costume Design (Nikki GOOLEY, Biby CHOW, Penny Pei-ling TSAI, Nina EDWARDS), Best Original Film Score (Onn SAN), and Best Film Editing (SOO Mun-thye). 

TGOEM world premiered at the 24th Busan Film Festival to a sold-out audience, was screened at the 16th Hong Kong Asian Film Festival and was given the honour of being the ‘Closing Film’ at the 56th Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival last year. 

Henry Tan, Executive Producer, TGOEM, and Chief Executive Officer, Astro, said, “The local film industry is getting exciting. In 2017, local movies accounted for 5% of total Gross Box Office sales. In 2018, the contribution tripled to 15% and in 2019, it is expected to be 13%. In 2018, Hantu Kak Limah made history by becoming the first local film to cross the 30 million Ringgit mark, rivalling Hollywood blockbusters in Malaysia and since then several more have followed including Munafik 2, PASKAL The Movie, BoBoiBoy Movie 2 and Ejen Ali. Astro Shaw is delighted to have played a key role in changing the landscape and is responsible for 7 of Malaysia’s Top 10 films.” 

Tom Shu-Yu Lin, Director, The Garden of Evening Mists, said, “I hope The Garden of Evening Mists finds success in theatres, because the success of this special, moving picture will prove that more movies like this should be made for Malaysian cinema and for the Malaysian audience.”

Essentially a Malaysian story, TGOEM is backed by a stellar, international cast and crew from Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, India, Australia, UK and Malaysia, and who worked together to bring the film to global platforms. They include the award winning Taiwanese director Tom Lin, Scottish BAFTA-winning screenwriter Richard Smith, Hong Kong Film Awards winning Malaysian actress Sinje Lee, multiple award winning Japanese actor Hiroshi Abe (After the Storm), Taiwan’s doyenne of film and music, actress Sylvia Chang (Love Education), British actor David Oakes (Cold Skin), Julian Sands (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and Scottish actor John Hannah (The Mummy).

TGOEM follows the story of Teoh Yun Ling, a young law graduate embittered from atrocities of World War II in Malaya, who seeks solace amongst the tea plantations of Cameron Highlands. There she discovers Yugiri, a Japanese garden in Malaya, and its owner, the mysterious Nakamura Aritomo. Yun Ling seeks Aritomo’s help to create a garden in memory of her late sister, who died in the Japanese war camp. He offers to teach her the art of Japanese gardening and over time, Yun Ling and Aritomo embark on a forbidden love affair.

TGOEM was shot in various locations around Malaysia, including the scenic landscapes of tea plantations in Cameron Highlands. The film is an adaptation of the novel by the same name by Malaysian Tan Twan Eng, which won the ‘2013 Man Asian Literary Prize’, the ‘2013 Walter Scott Prize’ and was shortlisted for the ‘2012 Man Booker Prize’.