‘THE GRANDMASTER’ DOMINATES ASIAN FILM AWARDS NOMINATIONS
The 8th annual Asian Film Awards (AFA) announced its nomination list in Hong Kong on Tuesday (11 FEB. 2014.)
Hong Kong film director Peter Chan serves as the Jury President this year. He will lead a panel of film critics and industry experts from various Asian countries, including Kung Fu star Donnie Yen, to select the winners. Both Chan and Yen were present at the presser on Tuesday to reveal the nominations for the AFA this year.
After receiving a whopping 14 nominations at the Hong Kong Film Awards last week, Hong Kong director Wong Kar Wai’s Kung Fu epic “The Grandmaster” continues its domination. It garnered 11 nominations at the AFA this year including nods in major categories such as Best Film, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Actor and Best Screenwriter.
South Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s science fiction film “Snowpiercer” comes in at a distant second with five nominations.
Other films, including Taiwan’s “Stray Dogs,” Hong Kong’s “Vigor Mortis,” South Korea’s “Cold Eyes” and China’s “No Man’s Land” each received four nominations.
The full nomination list includes 14 categories. There are a total of 28 nominated films from 10 different Asian countries
This is first time for Yen to serve as a juror for a film awards. He said he loves the opportunity to watch lots of great films and promised to be just and fair when judging.
“I think to be a jury, you have to be fair when judging these films. Of course everyone has their own preferences, but as a jury, you shouldn’t be so subjective when judging. So we’ll be careful, cautious and fair to judge the films,” said Yen.
At Tuesday’s presser, an announcement was also made about the structural change of the AFA. A new establishment, the Asian Film Awards Academy will replace the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society (HKIFFS) as the AFA organizer.
The executive committee of the AFA Academy is composed of members from the HKIFFS, the Tokyo International Film Festival and the Busan International Film Festival. It is a regional effort to began programs and exchanges to promote and support budding filmmakers in the region and also to enhance collaborations between different Asian film industries.
This new initiatives is welcomed by Jury President Peter Chan. However, Chan was candid and revealed that eight years ago, he was doubtful that a regional film awards like the AFA would gain any prominence.
Chan said he wasn’t sure if Asian film makers would unite and participate in a regional event like the AFA.
Today, he’s happy to be proven wrong. The AFA has become a barometer of excellence in Asian cinema and Chan believes that an establishment like the AFA Academy will further the exchanges in the Asian film industry it needs.
“I think there is a commonality among different Asian film industries, however, it’s very rare that we get together,” he said.
“These exchanges don’t come very often, especially in the last decade. There are lots of films that broke box office records in China, Beijing, Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong. However, they were all made for their own market. We don’t exchange like we used to. So in that perspective, now we have (a platform) for exchange, plus participations (from various countries), I think it’s a great development (for Asian cinema.)”
In addition to a new organizing body, the AFA will be held outside of Hong Kong for the first time. This year, the awards will be handed out in Macau on March 27th.
Full nominations list:
No Man’s Land (China)
The Grandmaster (HK/China)
The Great Passage (Japan)
The Lunchbox (India)
Snowpiercer (France, South Korea, US)
Stray Dogs (Taiwan)
Anthony Chen “Ilo Ilo”, (Singapore)
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