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Koe Yeet, the Malaysian star of Mediacorp’s Titoudao: Inspired by the True Story of a Wayang Star, won Best Newcomer (Actress) at the third edition of the Asia Contents Awards.

The 13-part English drama (a Mandarin-dubbed version was launched later) follows Ah Chiam, a lowly Hokkien street opera performer who rose above personal and professional hurdles to become a wayang icon. It’s based on a local play of the same name by Goh Boon Teck whose mother and real-life Chinese opera dowager Oon Ah Chiam inspired the story.

Koe Yeet, who plays Ah Chiam, shared the award with Ko Min-Si for Sweet Home, the sci-fi horror from Netflix about a loner who is forced to confront his demons in his run-down apartment block.

When 8days.sg contacted Koe Yeet, she was still reeling from the news of her win. Then again, she was surprised she was nominated in the first place. “I was only informed by the producers on the morning the nominations were announced [on Sept 26],” she tells us via Whatsapp. “Ten minutes later, the Malaysian press started calling me. I was, honestly, in a daze. I have no idea how to react — I just said whatever was on my mind at that time.”

“I am, honestly, bless and lucky to be nominated,” she adds. “That for me is enough recognition for me and I am already very happy about it.”

Post-Titoudao, Koe Yeet, who’s also a trained barrister, appeared in iQiYi’s supernatural series Ferryman: Legends of Nanyang. She’s currently filming a sci-fi short film in Malacca.

“It’s fun to work again after [the movement control order or MCO started to relax] ” she says. “It’s nice to see old faces again.”

The awards, held in conjunction with the Busan International Film Festival, honour excellence in TV, OTT and web content. The ceremony was held in Busan on Thursday (Oct 7) in hybrid form. Korean participants attended the ceremony in person, while international nominees and recipients joined virtually.

Previous ACA winners from Singapore include the Joanne Peh-led period piece Last Madame (Best Asia Drama, 2020) and the campus-set mystery Faculty (Best Asian Drama, Best Rising Star for Fang Rong, 2019).

Netflix dominated this year’s ACAs with Move to Heaven and Sweet Home, each picked up three awards. Move to Heaven, about the trials and tribulations of two trauma cleaners, took home Best Creative, Best Actor (Lee Je-Joon), and Best Writer; Sweet Home won Best Technical Achievement and acting prizes for Song Kang and Ko Min-Si.

Elsewhere, the second season of Thailand’s Girl from Nowhere, a mystery thriller also produced by Netflix, was named Best Asian TV Series.

For the complete list of winners, click here. You can catch the ACA ceremony here:

Titoudao: Inspired by the True Story of a Wayang Star is now streaming on meWATCH, Netflix and HBO Go.

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