13th Edition Asian Film Awards – The Winners

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Asian Film Awards had its 13th edition today in Hong Kong, with nominees from all over Asia and winners alike. Obviously, what everyone wants to know is what movie from all five nominated for the best film won the award. Movie director Hirokazu Koreeda described Shoplifters ( Manbiki kazoku) as his “socially conscious” film, and a project he was thinking about for a couple of years. In the movie, a family of five is making it day by day with the help of shoplifting, when everything changes with the arrival of a stranger into the household. Shoplifters already brought director Hirokazu Koreeda the Palme d’Or award in May, during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival. At the 13th Edition of Asian Film Awards, the movie received Best Film and Best Original Music award.

Best Director went to Lee Chang-dong for the South Korean psychological drama Burning, where he also produced and co-wrote. The film premiered on May 16, 2018, at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. Early in 2019, although it had not received an actual nomination, Burning made it into 91st Academy Awards’ Best Foreign Language Film final of nine-film shortlist, on February 24 and with this becoming the first Korean film to make it to the final if this category. Director Lee Chang-dong also won the Lifetime Achievement Award.

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Kazakhstan-born actress Samal Yeslyamova left home with Best Actress award for 2018 drama film Ayka (My Little One) while Japanese actor Kōji Hashimoto won Best Actor for 2018 Japanese crime and yakuza film The Blood of Wolves.

Other winners include South Korean singer-actor Kim Jae-joong for the AFA Next Generation Award, Chinese actor and model Huang Jingyu for Best Newcomer with 2018 Chinese war film Operation Red Sea.