Asian Film Awards

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Asian Film Awards
Current: 15th Asian Film Awards
Asian Film Awards.jpg
The former Asian Film Awards trophy designed by William Chang used in the 3rd Asian Film Awards in 2009.
Awarded forExcellence in cinematic achievements
Presented byHong Kong International Film Festival Society (2007–2012)
Asian Film Awards Academy (2013–present)
First awarded2007
Last awarded2021
  • 16th →

The Asian Film Awards are presented annually by the Asian Film Awards Academy to recognise the excellence of the film professionals in the film industries of Asian cinema.


On January 29, 2007, Wilfred Wong, the Chairman of Hong Kong International Film Festival Society, announced the launch of the Asian Film Awards (AFA).[1] The 1st Asian Film Awards occurred on March 20, 2007, on the opening night of the 31st Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF) in Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. It honoured the best film achievements of the Asian cinema in the year 2006. It was attended by about 4000 guests from around the world.[2]

The AFA Presentation Ceremony takes place as part of the Entertainment Expo Hong Kong Opening Gala. Eminent filmmakers and superstars from around the world are invited to bestow awards upon the winner(s) of each category, making the ceremony a dazzling extravaganza as well as an influential cultural event.[3]

Throughout its history and since its inauguration in 2007, Chinese-language films and professionals from China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong have dominated the awards.[4][5][6][7]

The trophy[edit]

On February 13, 2007, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council hosted a celebration of Park Chan-wook's I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK announcement of being the opening film for the 31st Hong Kong International Film Festival at a reception in Berlin. At the same event the AFA trophy, designed by award-winning production designer, William Chang, was also unveiled.[8]

According to William Chang, his inspiration behind the artwork was his admiration to a combination of architectural drawings and his own collection of antique statues. Measuring 36 cm (14 in), the trophy symbolises the joy and the accomplishment of all the award winners.[9]

The current trophy is gold as a whole but had changed significantly before. The first trophies that were handed in 2007 has its trophy in black with a white base. In the 2nd AFA, the current gold colour was used as whole but in 2009 for its 3rd AFA instead of a gold base, it has a black base. Then in 2010, the whole gold trophy had returned and now used nowadays.

Eligibility, nominations and voting[edit]

To be eligible, films must be feature length (more than 60 minutes); be in 35mm or 70mm film format or digital format suitable for exhibition in cinemas; and be fiction films from Asia. This encompasses all the cinemas of Asia: East Asia, Central Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia and West Asia. Additionally, the films must have English subtitles.

The films must have been released between January 1 and December 31 of the year preceding the awards ceremony, and have been exhibited through a domestic theatrical release and distribution to at least one other country; been premiered at an international film festival; or received national film awards.

The Hong Kong International Film Festival Society compile the preliminary nomination list with the participation of the two parties who can submit films for the consideration to be included in the nomination list which are:

  • the Asian Film Awards Official Submission Organisations are composed of recognised film organizations from different Asian territories. Each Official Submission Organisation can submit up to three films to represent their territory.
  • the Asian Film Awards Jury is composed of film professionals from around the world. Each Jury Member can recommend up to two additional nominations in each Category.

After the Society finalised the nomination list, the Jury and the Voting Members (composed of previous winners from past AFA) would then vote in an Online Balloting System where it would be counted, tallied and kept confidential until the day of the AFA by a reputable firm of certified public accountants.

Award categories[edit]

Special Awards[edit]

These special awards are not always presented on a consistent annual basis. The Society chooses the special awards to be given for a certain year.

  • Asian Film Award for Excellence in Scholarship in Asian Cinema
  • Asian Film Award for Outstanding Contribution to Asian Cinema *
  • Nielsen Box Office Star of Asia Award *
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: since 2008
  • The Edward Yang New Talent Award: since 2008
  • The Asian Film Award for Top-Grossing Film Director: since 2009
  • The Asian Film Award for Top-Grossing Asian Film: since 2011
  • Award for the Promotion of Asian Cinema: since 2011
  • Excellence in Asian Cinema Award: since 2013
  • The Next Generation Award: since 2016

People's Choice Awards[edit]

  • People's Choice for the Best Asian Film: 2009 (defunct)
  • People's Choice for Best Actor *: since 2010
  • People's Choice for Best Actress *: since 2010

^* The asterisk indicates the awards that were renamed for a certain Asian Film Awards Presentation Ceremony. Their first and original names are used in this list.

Major award winners[edit]

Year Best Film Best Director Best Actor Best Actress Best Supporting Actor Best Supporting Actress
South Korea The Host China Jia Zhangke
for Still Life
South Korea Song Kang-ho
for The Host
Japan Miki Nakatani
for Memories of Matsuko
No award No award
South Korea Secret Sunshine South Korea Lee Chang-dong
for Secret Sunshine
Hong Kong Tony Leung
for Lust, Caution
South Korea Jeon Do-yeon
for Secret Sunshine
China Sun Honglei
for Mongol
China Joan Chen
for The Sun Also Rises
Japan Tokyo Sonata Japan Koreeda Hirokazu
for Still Walking
Japan Masahiro Motoki
for Departures
China Zhou Xun
for The Equation of Love and Death
South Korea Jung Woo-sung
for The Good, the Bad, the Weird
Philippines Gina Pareño
for Service
South Korea Mother China Lu Chuan
for City of Life and Death
China Wang Xueqi
for Bodyguards and Assassins
South Korea Kim Hye-ja
for Mother
Hong Kong Nicholas Tse
for Bodyguards and Assassins
Hong Kong Kara Hui
for At the End of Daybreak
Thailand Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives South Korea Lee Chang-dong
for Poetry
South Korea Ha Jung-woo
for The Yellow Sea
China Xu Fan
for Aftershock
Hong Kong Sammo Hung
for Ip Man 2
South Korea Youn Yuh-jung
for The Housemaid
Iran A Separation Iran Asghar Farhadi
for A Separation
Indonesia Donny Damara
for Lovely Man
Hong Kong Deanie Ip
for A Simple Life
Taiwan Lawrence Ko
for Jump Ashin!
Philippines Shamaine Buencamino
for Niño
China Mystery Japan Takeshi Kitano
for Outrage Beyond
Philippines Eddie Garcia
for Bwakaw
Philippines Nora Aunor
for Thy Womb
India Nawazuddin Siddiqui
for Talaash: The Answer Lies Within
Japan Makiko Watanabe
for Capturing Dad
Hong KongChina The Grandmaster Hong Kong Wong Kar-wai
for The Grandmaster
India Irrfan Khan
for The Lunchbox
China Zhang Ziyi
for The Grandmaster
China Huang Bo
No Man's Land
Singapore Yeo Yann Yann
for Ilo Ilo
China Blind Massage Hong Kong Ann Hui
for The Golden Era
China Liao Fan
for Black Coal, Thin Ice
South Korea Bae Doona
for A Girl at My Door
China Wang Zhiwen
The Golden Era
Japan Ikewaki Chizuru
for The Light Shines Only There
TaiwanChinaHong Kong The Assassin Taiwan Hou Hsiao-hsien
for The Assassin
South Korea Lee Byung-hun
for Inside Men
Taiwan Shu Qi
for The Assassin
Japan Asano Tadanobu
forJourney to the Shore
China Zhou Yun
for The Assassin
China I Am Not Madame Bovary South Korea Na Hong-jin
for The Wailing
Japan Asano Tadanobu
for Harmonium
China Fan Bingbing
for I Am Not Madame Bovary
Hong Kong Lam Suet
for Trivisa
South Korea Moon So-ri
for The Handmaiden
China Youth Japan Yuya Ishii
for The Tokyo Night Sky Is Always the Densest Shade of Blue
Hong Kong Louis Koo
for Paradox
Taiwan Sylvia Chang
for Love Education
South Korea Yang Ik-june
for Wilderness
China Zhang Yuqi
for Legend of the Demon Cat
Japan Shoplifters South Korea Lee Chang-dong
for Burning
Japan Kōji Yakusho
for The Blood of Wolves
RussiaKazakhstan Samal Yeslyamova
for Ayka
China Zhang Yu
for Dying to Survive
Hong Kong Kara Hui
for Tracey


South Korea


China Wang Xiaoshuai

for So Long, My Son

South Korea Lee Byung-hun for The Man Standing Next China Zhou Dongyu

for Better Days

Japan Ryo Kase

for To the Ends of the Earth

Taiwan Ko Shu-chin

for A Sun




Wife of a Spy

China Zhang Yimou for One Second South Korea Yoo Ah-in for Voice of Silence Japan Yū Aoi for Wife of a Spy South Korea Kim Hyun-bin for The Silent Forest Japan Aju Makita for True Mothers

Presentation Ceremonies[edit]

  • 2021: The 15th edition of the awards presentation hosted by actress Kim Gyu-ri and broadcaster Lee Seung-guk was held on October 8, 2021 in Busan at Haeundae. 36 films from 8 Asian regions competed for 16 awards.[10] Director Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Wife of a Spy (2020) won the best picture award at the ceremony streamed live on YouTube and Naver.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "33 FILMS COMPETE FOR 1st ASIAN FILM AWARDS". Asian Film Awards. 29 January 2007. Archived from the original on 28 March 2012. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
  2. ^ "'THE HOST' TAKES TOP HONORS AT ASIAN FILM AWARDS" (PDF). Asian Film Awards. 20 March 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
  3. ^ "Introduction- Asian Film Awards". Asian Film Awards. 26 March 2012. Archived from the original on 21 March 2012. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
  4. ^ "Nominees & Winners". Asian Film Awards. Archived from the original on 9 August 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  5. ^ "ASIAN FILM AWARDS DOMINATED BY CHINESE". Macau Daily Times. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  6. ^ "'Blind Massage' The Big Winner as China Dominates Asian Film Awards". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  7. ^ "'Madame Bovary' Takes Top Prize at Asian Film Awards". Variety. 21 March 2017. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  8. ^ "BERLINALE CONTENDER "I'M A CYBORG, BUT THAT'S OK" TO OPEN 2007 HONG KONG INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL". Asian Film Awards. 13 February 2007. Archived from the original on 28 March 2012. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
  9. ^ "Trophy- Asian Film Awards". Asian Film Awards. 26 March 2012. Archived from the original on 27 March 2012. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
  10. ^ Song Il-seop (8 October 2021). "[MD포토] 김규리-이승국, '저희가 사회 맡았어요'" [[MD Photo] Gyu-ri Kim and Seung-guk Lee, 'We hosted the show']. My Daily (in Korean). Naver. Retrieved 8 October 2021.
  11. ^ Sabastian Nadilo (8 October 2021). "15th Asian Film Awards – Winners 2021". Asian Film Festivals. Retrieved 9 October 2021.

External links[edit]