ZHAO Liying

AFA Next Generation Award

Prominent Chinese actress ZHAO Liying is set to receive the AFA Next Generation Award at the 17th Asian Film Awards which is presented by the Asian Film Awards Academy (AFAA) and will be held on 10th March 2024 at the Xiqu Centre. The AFA Next Generation Award recognises outstanding achievements by the next generation of talents in Asia who continue to strive for breakthroughs and progress. ZHAO Liying began her career in 2006 when she emerged as the Feng Xiaogang’s group champion in the Yahoo Search Star Game. Her popularity soared after she starred in the costume drama New My Fair Princess in 2011. This was followed by lead roles in Legend of Lu Zhen, Boss & Me and The Journey of Flower, with the latter becoming the first Chinese drama to surpass 20 billion online views. In 2017, ZHAO portrayed the title character in Princess Agents, a series that became the first Chinese drama with over 45 billion views while still airing. Her talent earned her the title of Most Valuable Actress based on the 2017 Film Star Value Report released by CCSmart and she ranked fourth in the Forbes China Celebrity 100 list. ZHAO’s performance of the title role in 2018’s The Story of Minglan gained widespread recognition in Asia and won her the Audience’s Choice for Actress Award at the 30th China TV Golden Eagle Award. In 2022, ZHAO Liying became the Vice Chairman of Hebei Film & TV Artists Association. In the same year, TV series The story of XING FU which she stars in received the Excellent Drama of the Year Award at the Chinese TV Drama Annual Ceremony, while her unconventional image and outstanding performance in Wild Bloom gained her a nomination for Best Actress at the Magnolia Television Award.

Beyond television, ZHAO Liying is equally active in films with over 15 performances under her belt. After co-starring with Eddie PENG in 2017’s Duckweed, her following grew among young audiences who were impressed by her gentle and delicate screen persona. The role also won ZHAO the Favourite Actress Award at the 24th Beijing College Student Film Festival. ZHAO has effortlessly delved into multiple genres throughout her career. Her versatility as an actress shines as she seamlessly transitions between roles including an innocent yet quick-witted maiden, righteous and resolute warrior, courageous resistance fighter with a will of steel, and independent career woman. Her work spans genres such as costume dramas, youth dramas, romance, historical fiction and suspense. Recently, she has just finished shooting for various film productions, including Tiger Wolf Road and The Unseen Sister. She served as executive producer for the first time in the upcoming series The Legend of Shen Li which she also starred in. Over the years, ZHAO’s performances and professional achievements have been highly recognised, making her one of the most prominent young actresses in China.

In ZHANG Yimou’s latest film, Article 20, ZHAO delivered a compelling and touching performance as a hearing impaired domestic violence survivor who fights for her legal rights. The film has earned over RMB 1.5 billion at the box office since its release on 10 February 2024 in China. ZHAO Liying will attend the 17th Asian Film Awards in person to receive the AFA Next Generation Award. Towards receiving this award, ZHAO expressed her astonishment and gratitude, “I would like to thank the AFA. Films have brought us many precious gathering moments and I truly look forward to seeing everyone on March 10 in this vibrant and cosmopolitan city – Hong Kong.”

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