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Grandmaster leads the pack away from home

Wong Kar-wai`s The Grandmaster, which had its world premiere a year ago in Berlin, takes 11 nominations into next month`s Asian Film Awards, achieving the widest recognition across the award bash`s range of categories.

Snowpiercer, produced by 2013 Big Screen Symposium speaker Park Chan-wook, is the next mnst-nominated title, with five nods.

Unusually, the nominations weren`t the focus of the announcement, made – a little later than in recent years. The meat of the announcement was that the event, originated by the Hong Kong Kong International Film Festival, is changing hands, date and venue.

The HKIFF announced a partnership with the Tokyo and Busan festivals to establish the Asian Film Awards Academy, which will run the event going forward. Although the event will still run during the opening week of the SAR`s Entertainment Expo, it moves from Monday to Thursday, and shifts a short ferry ride along the coast to Macau – which also hosts the Asia-Pacific Film Festival.

Although titles springing, in whole or part, from mainland China led the nominations with 22, the territories represented by the awards` new organising triumvirate were close behind. HK titles received 19 nominations, Korean and Japanese titles 14 apiece.

The Grandmaster`s strong bid contributed the bulk of Hong Kong nominations for the AFA, although three other HK features also received nods. Two feature debuts, Juno Mak`s Rigor Mortis and Adam Wong`s The Way We Dance join veteran director Tsui Hark`s Young Detective Dee: Rise Of The Sea Dragon to represent the territory.

All three featured heavily alongside The Grandmaster in the nominations for this year`s Hong Kong Film Awards, announced last week.

The pan-continental Asian Film Awards have always leaned more heavily towards the eastern half of the continent, unlike the Brisbane-based Asia-Pacific Screen Awards which – ironically – usually skew further west in their nominations.

At this year AFA, there`s one nomination for the western reaches of the continent. Aziz Zhambakiyev`s Kazakh feature Harmony Lessons was a winner at last year`s Berlinale, and later in the year at the APSAs. In between it picked up a dozen awards at other international events.

Hong Kong director and producer Peter Chan Ho-sun (American Dreams in China, Bodyguards and Assassins, The Eye, Comrades: Almost a Love Story) was announced as this year`s jury president for the AFA.

The 2014 AFA nominees are:

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

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