Monday, February 25, 2008


There could only be one award-giving body in the film industry; most recognizable in the whole world – the Oscars. It has just celebrated its 80th year and gave out a new batch of the “Bests” just this morning.

Whew! 80 years! Could you imagine that? That’s why this award is so prestigious and its trophy, a world icon. But how did Southeast Asian films fared in the Oscars' 80 year history?

The highest we’ve reached so far was when Haing S. Ngor of Cambodia bagged the Best Supporting Actor in 1984. Who could forget the film “The Killing Fields”? Haing S. Ngor is the first and only Southeast Asian to have won an Oscar. It’s quite ironic that Ngor survived the violence in Cambodia but didn’t in the streets of Los Angeles.

We could safely say that the Best Foreign Language Film category can be our easy chance to bag an Oscar – but you’re wrong! Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand have been submitting films in the past decades but never nominated.

The one and only Southeast Asian country to get an Honorary Award (a nomination) for Best Foreign Language Film is Vietnam in 1993. “The Scent of Green Papaya” (Mùi đu đủ xanh) by Anh Hung Tran is the first ever submission of Vietnam.

Haing S. Ngor of Cambodia and Anh Hung Tran of Vietnam

Pride of Southeast Asia



chase / chubz said...

the killing fields was an eye opener. .. i just read about the khmer rouge in history books. But to actually see that in film was.. wow.

WiseKwai said...

What a class act Haing S. Ngor was.

It doesn't seem right that more films from the region haven't made the cut for the final five nominees.

curbside_puppet said...

just when i thought i knew everything about the oscars! i think i read it once before but forgot about it.

i read somewhere as well that winners in the best foreign language film category would be the result of heavy lobbying.

i guess we haven't really got to lobby any of our movies that extensively.

i think we have more success in cannes compared to the oscars.

Patric said...

I think there are many southeast asian films that deserves alot of attention and nomination. The southeast asian filmmakers are really full of talents and creativity. The other day, I saw a southeast asian film at sundance channel, I think having exposure to mediums like this will help in creating buzz for southeast asian films in the international scenes.


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Lester said...

whoooaahh.. who will gran the tropHy for the 81st Academy Award.. haiisss.. im a filipino and of course, hoping for our entry (ploning) to win, but my heart is shouting for the Love of Siam. If LOS won, it would perhaps urge Direct Chukiaat to make the part 2 of which.. ^^,


Just try to watch JAMILA dan SANG PRESIDEN which won best Asian Film in France

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