Maya Karin Awarded ‘Best Actress’ At UK Film Festival; 4 Movies That Cemented Her Place In Film

Bringing pride to Malaysians everywhere, Maya Karin was recently recognised for her role in the 2019 movie, ‘Olympic Dream’. At the Ramsgate International Film and TV Festival in Britain – held virtually from 11 to 14 June – our very own Malaysian film actress, television host, and singer Maya Karin was awarded ‘Best Actress’. This isn’t the 41-year-old’s first international award, however, with her being the first of only two Malaysian actresses to have won the prestigious Best Actress Award at the Asia-Pacific Film Festival. In her impressive, almost two-decade career, Maya Karin has acted in over 25 movies and 6 musicals, earning a place in Malaysian households as a talented and versatile actress. Of these projects, the 4 that really put Maya Karin on the map (and you really should watch!) are…


Pontianak Harum Sundal Malam

Thailand is known for its realistic, bone-chilling horror movies. But with the 2004 movie ‘Pontianak Harum Sundal Malam’, Malaysian director and writer Shuhaimi Baba put Malaysia on the map for the genre. Its star, none other than Maya Karin – who played the dual role of Meriam, a primadonna caught in a love triangle that ends up with her dead and the mysterious Maria, a young girl who just so happens to look like the long-deceased Meriam. With her role in the movie, Maya Karin was awarded the title of ‘Best Actress’ at the 49th instalment of the prestigious Asia-Pacific Film Festival that year.



Ombak Rindu 

Based on the novel of the same name and written by Fauziah Ashari, Ombak Rindu’s plot is centred around the life of an orphan – a village girl name Izzah (played by Maya Karin) – who finds herself in various difficult situations before finally finding happiness. The love story between Izzah and the male protagonist is made complicated by an overbearing mother and a tangled web of lies. Despite earning poor reviews from critics, the movie was hailed a box office hit (grossing over RM11mil at the box office since its release) as film-goers praised the tear-jerker. Maya Karin was awarded both the title of ‘Best Actress’ and ‘Greatest Heroine’ for her role.



Munafik 2

In another electrifying role, Maya Karin joined the second instalment of the ‘Munafik’ film series. The 2018 horror film directed and written by Syamsul Yusof features a Muslim healer who is haunted by terrifying visions. He finds his fate tested when he tries to help a young mother (Maya Karin) and her daughter who are being disturbed by an evil spirit. ‘Munafik 2’ went on to gross over RM35 million at the box office and soon became Malaysia’s top-grossing local horror movie of all time. The word that there is a third movie on the way, thus making the ‘Munafik’ series a trilogy has been spreading since after the second instalment mad such waves, with the movie’s director saying,


The script for the third instalment of ‘Munafik’ is not yet complete. However, I already have a vision for the storyline. Plans to produce ‘Muniafik’ in the form of a trilogy have been around since the making of the first manuscript in 2016.”



Olympic Dream

And finally, the movie that Maya Karin won an award for? A film directed by director Don Hoe and shot in Penang with appearances from real-life Malaysian badminton legends Rashid Sidek, Cheah Soon Kit, and Ong Ewe Hock. Titled ‘Olympic Dream’, the story follows a nine-year-old orphan named Anna Wong, who dreams of becoming a badminton champion and representing her country in the Olympics. Maya plays Anna’s foster mother, Mak Cik Fatimah, who supports the young girl through her journey.  Produced by Full Billion Entertainment Sdn Bhd, the film has yet to be screened as a result of COVID-19, as plans to screen it alongside the 2020 Olympics fell apart with its postponement. The film has already collected awards and recognition at previous film festivals, including the title of ‘Best Feature Film’ at the Simply Indie Film Fest and Canadian Cinematography Awards (CaCA), as well as ‘Best Family Film’ at the KinoDUEL International Film Festival.



Here’s to hoping she continues on her journey as a celebrated actress, singer, activist and individual!