Saturday, 17 May 2014 00:00

Best Moments of the “Asian Oscars”

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Film Director Wong Kar Wai arrives on the red carpet with Actress Zhang Ziyi Film Director Wong Kar Wai arrives on the red carpet with Actress Zhang Ziyi Photos courtesy of the Asian Film Awards Academy

Highlights of the Asian Oscars

The 8th Asian Film Awards ceremony was held at the House of Dancing Water Theatre at the City of Dreams, Macau.jpgMacau welcomed the cream of the Asian film industry to its House of Dancing Water Theatre on 27th March, 2014, where it played host to the eighth annual Asian Film Awards (AFA). Since 2007 the AFA have been organized and held in Hong Kong, and this year's move to Macau marked a thrust towards the more international. For the first time, the awards were organized in collaboration between the AFA Academy (AFAA), the Busan and Tokyo International Film Festivals, and Hong Kong International Film Festival Society. The so-called “Asian Oscars” are unique in gathering the continent's most talented film professionals to one place and are held to encourage cultural exchange and collaboration in the film industry, to push filmmaking in the region to greater heights, and to celebrate the achievements of filmmakers and stars in the last year.

Wong Kar Wai, director of The Grandmaster, receives the award for Best Film from Peter Chan and Isabelle HuppertOf the 26 films featured in the awards this year, Wong Kar Wai's The Grandmaster stole the show. The martial arts movie trounced opponents in the showdown to win the most awards, landing prizes including: Best Film, Best Director, Best Production Designer, Best Costume Designer, Best Cinematographer, and Best Composer. Zhang Ziyi picked up the Best Actress award for her performance as “Gong Er”, bringing The Grandmaster's total awards to seven.

Irrfan Khan, lead actor of The Lunchbox, receives the Best Actor award from Donnie Yen and Sandra NgThe Best Actor award went to Irrfan Khan for his leading role in Ritesh Batra's Indian romance The Lunchbox, beating nominees including Tony Leung (“Ip Man”, The Grandmaster) and Lee Kang Sheng (“Hsiao-kang”, Stray Dogs). Khan told the audience: “I am honoured and delighted that I have been nominated with such great actors: actors which I've watched and which I'm in love with.” The Lunchbox also picked up the award for Best Screenwriter (Ritesh Batra) making it second to The Grandmaster for number of awards received.

Other films to receive awards included the Singaporean Ilo Ilo, and the joint South Korean-Chinese Mr. Go. Jiang Shuying was named Best Newcomer for her performance as Ruan Guan in the Chinese So Young, fighting off competition from rising star nominees from Hong Kong's The Way We Dance, South Korea's The Attorney, and Japan's The Backwater and Like Father, Like Son.

Mr Hou Hsiao Hsien receives the top honour at the 8th Asian Film Awards ceremony, the Lifetime Achievement Award, from the executive committee members of the AFAAFrom newcomers to an old master, the Lifetime Achievement award went to Taiwanese cinema giant Hou Hsiao-Hsien. Hou's talent as a director has earned him prestigious international prizes from bodies such as the Cannes Film Festival, Venice Film Festival, and the Hawaii International Film Festival. Renowned director, producer, actor, and singer, the multi-talented Hou nevertheless accepted his award – complete with standing ovation - with a self-deprecating joke: “I'm receiving this award because I am an old man.” Film lovers across Asia and beyond will be happy to learn Hou declared himself motivated to make more films.

agns b. and Franco Dragone present ed the awards for Best Costume Designer and Best Production Designer at the 8th Asian Film AwardsAlthough their focus lies in Asian film-making, the Awards keep one eye eagerly on the international scene. This year the AFAA named French actress Isabelle Huppert its first honorary member. Continuing the continental theme, French fashion designer agnès b presented the awards for Best Costume Designer (William Chang Suk Ping, The Grandmaster) and Best Production Designer (William Chang Suk Ping, Alfred Yau Wai Ming, The Grandmaster).

Singer Bibi Zhou entertained the guests of the 8th Asian Film Awards with a songOn top of the awards, the audience was treated to performances from acts as varied as Chinese singer Bibi Zhou, Vivi the microphone-grabbing giraffe, and the theatre's own water show and dance troupe. But there was cause for solemnity too as stars paid tribute to those who had been aboard the MH370, the missing Malaysian flight. Both Zhang Ziyi and Wong Kar Wai spoke of a martial arts director who had been aboard; The Grandmaster's director dedicating his speech to him.

With nominees and participants drawn from across an entire continent - 13 separate countries - this year's AFA set the scene for what must surely be a truly international future, and film-lovers of the world can expect even greater things from Asian cinema as a result.

List of winners:

Lifetime Achievement:
Hou Hsiao-Hsien

Best Film:
The Grandmaster

Best Director:
Wong Kar-wai, The Grandmaster

Best Actor:
Irrfan Khan, The Lunchbox

Best Actress:
Zhang Ziyi, The Grandmaster

Best Newcomer:
Jiang Shuying, So Young

Best Supporting Actor:
Huang Bo, No Man’s Land

Best supporting actress:
Yeo Yann Yann, Ilo Ilo

Best Screenwriter:
Ritesh Batra, The Lunchbox

Best Cinematographer:
Philippe Le Sourd, The Grandmaster

Best Production Designer:
William Chang Suk Ping, Alfred Yau Wai Ming, The Grandmaster

Best Composer:
Nathaniel Mechaly, Umebayashi Shigeru, The Grandmaster

Best Editor:
Shin Min-kyung, Cold Eyes

Best Visual Effects:
Jung Sung-jin, Mr Go

Best Costume designer:
William Chang Suk Ping, The Grandmaster

Mr Yasushi Shiina, Ms Isabelle Huppert, Ms Jeon Do Yeon, Mr Lee Yong Kwan, Mr Peter Chan and Mr Wilfred Wong officially launch the 8th Asian Film Awards ceremony

Wong Kar Wai receives the Best Director Award at the 8th Asian Film Awards from Ambassador Jeon Do Yeon and Johnnie To

Wong Kar Wai receives the Best Director Award at the 8th Asian Film Awards from Ambassador Jeon Do Yeon and Johnnie To

Yeo Yann Yann chokes up as she receives the Best Supporting Actress award for her performance in Ilo Ilo

Yeo Yann Yann chokes up as she receives the Best Supporting Actress award for her performance in Ilo Ilo

Zhang Ziyi receives the Best Actress Award for her performance in The Grandmaster from celebrity juror Carina Lau and Zhang Guoli

Zhang Ziyi receives the Best Actress Award for her performance in The Grandmaster from celebrity juror Carina Lau and Zhang Guoli

 

Jiang Shuying of the film So Young scored the Best Newcomer award at the 8th Asian Film Awards Ms Jeon Do Yeon is the ambassador of the 8th Asian Film Awards
Jiang Shuying of the film So Young scored the Best Newcomer award at the 8th Asian Film Awards Ms Jeon Do Yeon is the ambassador of the 8th Asian Film Awards

 

The award ceremony peppered with surprise appearances by the dance troupe of the House of Dancing Water Theatre 
The award ceremony peppered with surprise appearances by the dance troupe of the House of Dancing Water Theatre
 Guests of the 8th Asian Film Awards ceremony were entertained by a spectacular water show in the House of Dancing Water Theatre
Guests of the 8th Asian Film Awards ceremony were entertained by a spectacular water show in the House of Dancing Water Theatre
Celebrity Juror of the 8th Asian Film Awards Donnie Yen arrives on the red carpet hand-in-hand with his wife Cecilia Wang  Ms Carina Lau, celebrity juror of the 8th AFA, arrives on the red carpet in a bold red number 
Celebrity Juror of the 8th Asian Film Awards Donnie Yen arrives on the red carpet hand-in-hand with his wife Cecilia Wang Ms Carina Lau, celebrity juror of the 8th AFA, arrives on the red carpet in a bold red number

 

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