International stars converge at 16th Asian Film Awards


Hong Kong actor and singer Tony Leung Chiu-wai, who received the special Asian Film Contribution Award at the 16th Asian Film Awards on Sunday night, was among the reasons French actor Lucas Bravo came to attend the regional awards event.

Well, you know, because I love In the Mood for Love, and I know that Tony’s gonna be there tonight as well, I really hope I’m gonna have the opportunity to talk to him,” the Emily in Paris star told Daily Tribune in a press interview. “I really, really hope I’m gonna get to have a little conversation with him, to be a fan.”

Lucas Bravo was part of a stellar lineup of awardees, presenters and guests in the 16th edition of the regional film awards organized by the Asian Film Awards Academy.

Recognizing the best of Asian films, the Asian Film Awards returned to Hong Kong after being held in Busan, South Korea for the past two editions.

The event on 12 March, held at the Hong Kong Palace Museum, was organized with support from Create Hong Kong and Film Development Fund.

JAPANESE model and actor Abe Hiroshi.

Seeing stars
For two days, Hong Kong drew some of the most recognized filmmakers, including Filipino filmmaker Lav Diaz who was nominated for Best Director with When the Waves Are Gone, which was also a Best Film nominee.

Other “elites in Asian cinema” who joined the event were Zhang Yimou, Kore-eda Hirokazu, Hamaguchi Ryusuke, Darezhan Omirbayev, Peter Chan and Anthony Chen; star actors Sammo Hung, Abe Hiroshi, Carina Lau, Do Do Cheng, Sandra Ng, Nishijima Hidetoshi, Park Hae-il, Suzuki Ryohei, Zhang Yi, Happy Salma, Ji Chang-wook and Chrissie Chau; film industry veterans Yuen Wo Ping, Man Lim Chung and Tina Liu; emerging filmmakers Davy Chou, Hayakawa Chie, Kim Se-in, Jigme Trinley, Feng-I Fiona Roan and Ho Cheuk Tin; rising stars Yim Si-wan, Okada Masaki, Miyazawa Hio, Lin Bo Hong, Vivian Sung, Gingle Wang, Louise Wong, Angela Yuen, Tseng Jing-Hua; as well as Anson Lo, Edan Lui, Stanley Yau and Lokman Yeung, members of Hong Kong pop sensation Mirror.
Tony Leung received the Asian Film Contribution Award for his “exceptional contributions to the development of film culture in Asia and beyond,” said the Academy.

Taiwan actress and award presenter Vivian Sung.

Asian stars at the mall
Leading up to the awards night, an exhibit of the past 15 years in Asian Cinema was held at Harbour City’s Ocean Terminal Main Concourse.

From 5 to 11 March, Asian Film Awards Academy’s Celebrating 15 Years of Excellence: Asian Film Awards Exhibition featured a red carpet as a photo spot for visitors, photos of past AFA winners, and AFA trophies.

AFA Youth Ambassador Lin Min Chen and Taiwan actress and award presenter Vivian Sung had interaction sessions with international media on the last day of the exhibition.

Honorary awards 
The Academy established honorary awards to recognize outstanding Asian filmmakers who contributed to the Asian film industry.

After announcing Hong Kong martial arts star Sammo Hung as the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award and Japanese star Abe Hiroshi as the recipient of the Excellence in Asian Cinema Award, the Academy also conferred the AFA Next Generation Award to JI Chang-wook in recognition of his career achievements.

Sharing the spotlight
The 16th Asian Film Awards drew nominees from all over, competing for 16 awards.

Thirty films from 22 countries and regions are featured this year.

Among the nominees who attended were Best Director nominee Hamaguchi Ryusuke, Best Actor nominee Nishijima Hidetoshi, Best Supporting Actor nominee Okada Masaki, Best Screenplay nominee Oe Takamasa and Best Original Music nominee Ishibashi Eiko.

Fellow Best Film nominee Decision to Leave from South Korea was represented by Best Actor nominee Park Hae-il, Best Production Design nominee Ryu Seong-hie and Best Original Music nominee Cho Young-wuk.

Best Director nominee Darezhan Omirbayev came to represent Kazakh drama Poet, also a Best Film nominee.

Best Actor nominees Iran’s Mohsen Tanabandeh and China’s Zhang Yi represented nominated films World War III and Home Coming, respectively.

For Return to Seoul (France, Germany, Belgium, Cambodia, Qatar) Best Director nominee Davy Chou, Best Supporting Actor nominee Oh Kwang-rok, Best Newcomer nominee Park Ji-min and Best Editing nominee Dounia Sichov attended.

Japan’s Kore-eda Hirokazu, nominated for Best Director with South Korea’s Broker; Before, Now & Then Best Actress nominee Happy Salma; Suzuki Ryohei and Miyazawa Hio, nominated for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor, respectively, for Egoist; and Yim Si-wan, Best Supporting Actor nominee for Emergency Declaration were also in the star-studded guest list.

Host city
From host city Hong Kong came Bill Lui and Andrew Wong, Best Production Design nominees for Where the Wind Blows; Best Newcomer nominees Louise Wong and Mak Pui Tung, for Anita and The Sparring Partner, respectively; and Warriors of Future Best Visual Effects nominees Leung Wai Kit, Kwok Tai and Law May.

Other VIPs included last edition’s Best Director winner and this year’s jury president Zhang Yimou, renowned Hong Kong director Peter Chan, renowned action choreographer and recipient of the 10th Asian Film Awards Lifetime Achievement Award Yuen Wo Ping, famous production designers and art directors Man Lim Chung and Tina Liu, renowned Singapore filmmaker Anthony Chen, well-known actresses Carina Lau, Sandra NG, Do Do Cheng and Chrissie Chau, as well as up-and- coming young stars Lin Bo Hong, Vivian Sung, Gingle Wang, Angela Yuen, Tseng Jing-Hua, Ling Man-lung and Mirror members Anson Lo, Edan Lui, Stanley Yau and Lokman Yeung.

The ceremony was hosted by Sammy and Grace Chan. Performing at the show were Japanese traditional martial arts dance group Orientarhythm and pianist Niu Niu.

With reports from Dinah S. Ventura and information from the Asian Film Awards Academy

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