Mark Lee nominated for Best Asian Actor at Dutch awards for the film Geylang
Mark Lee has become the first local actor to be nominated at the Septimius Awards in the Netherlands.
According to its website, it is an international ceremony showcasing feature films, documentaries, shorts, animations, television series and screenplays with an emphasis on discovering and encouraging new independent talent.
Lee, 54, was given the nod for Best Asian Actor for his role as a pimp in the local crime thriller Geylang (2022), which was directed by Boi Kwong.
Sharing the news on social media on Monday, Lee wrote in Chinese: “Thank you for the affirmation by the awards. I will keep working hard.”
His wife Catherine Ng also wrote on her own social media: “This nomination is a significant milestone in your journey, and I couldn’t be prouder of you. It is a testament to your talent and a recognition that you truly deserve.
“May this nomination serve as a stepping stone towards an even brighter and more prosperous future for you and your career.”
The film, about one night set in the red-light district of Geylang, was produced by Jack Neo. It also starred Sheila Sim, Shane Mardjuki, veteran actor Steven Woon and Taiwanese actress Patricia Lin.
It was nominated for Best Action Choreography for stunt director-actor Sunny Pang at Taiwan’s Golden Horse Awards in 2022.
Lee, who was nominated for Best Leading Actor at the Golden Horse Awards in 2020 for the comedy-drama Number 1 (2020), told Chinese-language daily Lianhe Zaobao that he was happy to be recognised by the Septimius Awards.
“Although we are not very familiar with this award, it is also a film festival with a certain scale and organisation,” he said.
“As far as I know, we did not register for the award, but I was nominated after they (the jury of the film festival) watched the film.”
Lee said he is unable to attend the ceremony – to be held in Amsterdam on Sept 25 and 26 – due to his upcoming film shoots, behind-the-scenes preparations as well as musical rehearsals.
“It’s a pity that I can’t go there,” he said. “This will be a rare learning opportunity, because I have been to the Golden Horse Awards, so I am hoping to attend an international awards ceremony.”
Lee said he could not judge his chances of winning as he has not watched the works of the other nominees in the Best Asian Actor category, which includes India’s Tovino Thomas and Bhuvan Bam, Iran’s Mohsen Tanabandeh and Indonesia’s Rio Dewanto.
“Being nominated for this international award is already very encouraging,” he said. “Regardless of whether I win, I will still do my best in my next performance.”