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AFA 2014: Macau gambles on awards success

The Grandmaster lived up to its name in Macau on Thursday evening, taking home seven awards to deliver the chop to most of its opponents. Of the “major” awards, the Grandmaster took Best Film, Director and Actress, although – in the media tent at least – Irrfan Khan’s Best Actor win raised the biggest cheer.

IRRFAN KHAN

Irrfan Khan and family have the red carpet thing down pat

Wong’s The Grandmaster, a two-time Oscar nominee, has done well on home turf. Although the Hong Kong Film Awards don’t take place until later in April, The Grandmaster has already stocked the mantelpiece with gongs from Hong Kong’s Directors’ Guild Awards – taking Best Film, Director (Wong Kar-wai), Actor for (Tony Leung Chiu-wai) and Actress (Zhang Ziyi). At the Hong Kong Film Critic Society Awards The Grandmaster reprised its Best Picture and Best Actress wins.

Zhang Ziyi

There’s no escape as Zhang Ziyi prepares to collect another Best Actress gong

Also traveling well on the awards circuit has been London-based Singaporean Anthony Chen’s Ilo Ilo, for which Yeo Yann Yann was nominated for Supporting Actress. During our interview ahead of the ceremony Chen said to Yeo, “You’ve got a good chance.”

He was right to have confidence, as Yeo held off the other contenders in her second win in Macau for the role. In December she took the same award at the Asia Pacific Film Festival.

Yuya Ishii’s The Great Passage took six gongs at the Japan Academy Awards in early March, but there was no love for the Japanese at the awards in Macau. Chiaki Kuriyama’s honorary Rising Star of Asia award, presented ahead of Thursday’s events, was the only gong heading for the land of the rising sun.

With over 60 film and TV appearances to her credit, Kuriyama might feel the award comes a little late. She’s best known to Western audiences for roles she played over a decade ago: a brief appearance in The Grudge, a more substantial turn in Battle Royale, but mostly for her performance as murderous schoolgirl Gogo Yubari in Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill: Vol I.

With Ritesh Batra taking the Script award for The Lunchbox, Korea was again shut out of the above the line gongs despite having strong contenders for the acting awards. HAN hyo joo, JUNG Woo Sung, SONG Kang ho and Newcomer nominee IM Siwan all missed out, but a baseball-loving gorilla did deliver a VFX gong for the most populist of the Korean titles nominated, Mr Go.

Hou Hsiao Hsien shows the kids which way round a cap is meant to be worn

Hou Hsiao Hsien shows the kids which way round a cap is meant to be worn

Among the non-juried awards presented ahead of time, actors Donnie Yen and Carina Lau were honoured as Asian Actor and Actress of the Year at a ceremony last weekend.

The AFA’s Lifetime Achievement Award honoured 68-year old Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-Hsien, the evening’s only award recipient sporting a baseball cap, and the one for whom Wong Kar-wai was quickly up to his feet to lead a standing ovation.

The 2014 AFA winners are (marked ***):

Best Film
No Man’s Land
***The Grandmaster
The Great Passage
The Lunchbox
Snowpiercer
Stray Dogs

Best Director
BONG Joon-ho, Snowpiercer, South Korea / United States / France
Anthony CHEN, Ilo Ilo, Singapore
KOREEDA Hirokazu, Like Father, Like Son, Japan
TSAI Ming-liang, Stray Dogs, Taiwan
***WONG Kar-wai, The Grandmaster, Hong Kong / Mainland China

Best Actor
FUKUYAMA Masaharu, Like Father, Like Son, Japan
***Irrfan KHAN, The Lunchbox, India
LEE Kang Sheng, Stray Dogs, Taiwan
Tony LEUNG Chiu Wai, The Grandmaster, Hong Kong / Mainland China
SONG Kang-ho, The Attorney, South Korea

Best Actress
Eugene DOMINGO, Barber’s Tales, The Philippines
HAN Hyo-joo, Cold Eyes, South Korea
PAW Hee Ching, Rigor Mortis, Hong Kong
YOKO Maki, The Ravine Of Goodbye, Japan
***ZHANG Zi Yi, The Grandmaster, Hong Kong / Mainland China

Best Newcomer
CHOI Hon-Yick, The Way We Dance, Hong Kong
IM Si-wan, The Attorney, South Korea
***JIANG Shuying, So Young, Mainland China
KINOSHITA Misaki, The Backwater, Japan
NINOMIYA Keita, Like Father, Like Son, Japan

Best Supporting Actor
Mark CHAO, So Young, Mainland China
***Huang Bo, No Man’s Land, Mainland China
JUNG Woo-sung, Cold Eyes, South Korea
ODAGIRI Joe, The Great Passage, Japan
TSUMABUKI Satoshi, Tokyo Family, Japan

Best Supporting Actress
AOI Yu, Tokyo Family, Japan
Mavis FAN, Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?, Taiwan
KIM Young-ae, The Attorney, South Korea
NIKAIDO Fumi, Why Don’t You Play In Hell?, Japan
***YEO Yann Yann, Ilo Ilo, Singapore

Best Screenwriter
***Ritesh BATRA, The Lunchbox, India
BONG Joon-ho & Kelly MASTERSON, Snowpiercer, South Korea / United States / France
LI Qiang, So Young, Mainland China
WATANABE Kensaku, The Great Passage, Japan
WONG Kar-wai, ZOU Jingzhi & XU Haofeng, The Grandmaster, Hong Kong / Mainland China

Best Cinematographer
KIM Byung-seo & YEO Kyung-bo, Cold Eyes, South Korea
LIAO Pen Jung, SHONG Woon Chong & LU Qing Xin, Stray Dogs, Taiwan
***Philippe LE SOURD, The Grandmaster, Hong Kong / Mainland China
Man-Ching NG, Rigor Mortis, Hong Kong
Aziz ZHAMBAKIYEV, Harmony Lessons, Kazakhstan/ Germany / France

Best Production Designer
***William CHANG Suk Ping & Alfred YAU Wai Ming, The Grandmaster, Hong Kong / Mainland China
HAO Yi, No Man’s Land, Mainland China
INAGAKI Hisao, Why Don’t You Play In Hell?, Japan
Ken MAK, Young Detective Dee: Rise Of The Sea Dragon, Hong Kong / Mainland China
Ondrej NEKVASIL, Snowpiercer, South Korea / United States / France

Best Composer
Zeke KHASELI & Yudhi ARFAN, What They Don’t Talk About When They Talk About Love, Indonesia
Ehsaan NOORANI, Shankar MAHADEVAN & Loy MENDONSA, Run Milkha Run, India
***UMEBAYASHI Shigeru & Nathaniel MECHALY, The Grandmaster, Hong Kong / Mainland China

Best Editor
William CHANG Suk Ping, Benjamin COURTINES & POON Hung Yiu, The Grandmaster, Hong Kong / Mainland China
DU Yuan, No Man’s Land, Mainland China
ITO Junichi, Why Don’t You Play In Hell?, Japan
David M. RICHARDSON, Rigor Mortis, Hong Kong
***SHIN Min-kyung, Cold Eyes, South Korea

Best Visual Effects
Shuji ASANO, Real, Japan
Pierre BUFFIN (BUF), The Grandmaster, Hong Kong / Mainland China
Enoch CHAN, Rigor Mortis, Hong Kong
***JEONG Seong-jin, Mr. Go, South Korea/ Mainland China
KIM Wook, Young Detective Dee: Rise Of The Sea Dragon, Hong Kong / Mainland China

Best Costume Designer
***William CHANG Suk Ping, The Grandmaster, Hong Kong / Mainland China
Catherine GEORGE, Snowpiercer, South Korea / United States / France
Pik Kwan LEE & Bruce YU, Young Detective Dee: Rise Of The Sea Dragon, Hong Kong / Mainland China
SHIM Hyun-sub, The Face Reader, South Korea

Outstanding Asian Actor and Actress
presented ahead of the ceremony
Donnie Yen (Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen, Ip Man, Bodyguards and Assassins)
Carina Lau (Beijing Love Story, Let the Bullets Fly, Ashes of Time)

Rising Star of Asia
Japanese actress Chiaki Kuriyama
Korean actor Kim Nam Gil

Lifetime Achievement Award
Hou Hsiao Hsien

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