Evil Does Not Exist wins Best Film!

The 17th Asian Film Awards announces winners of 16 competitive prizes and six honorary awards.

The biggest annual film event of Asian cinema, the Asian Film Awards successfully held its 17th edition on the night of 10 March, at Xiqu Centre in Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Cultural District.  


In addition to six previously announced honorary prizes, sixteen competitive prizes decided by renowned Japanese director KUROSAWA Kiyoshi’s jury were given out at the ceremony. Among them, four films tied with two awards each: Evil Does Not Exist, The Goldfinger, Godzilla Minus One and Snow Leopard. HAMAGUCHI Ryusuke’s Evil Does Not Exist won Best Film; YAKUSHO Koji won Best Actor for Perfect Days; JIANG Qinqin won Best Actress for Dwelling by the West Lake; and KORE-EDA Hirokazu won Best Director for Monster. Chinese director ZHANG Yimou was a double honouree, accepting the Highest-Grossing Asian Film Award for his period comedy-drama Full River Red and the Lifetime Achievement Award. South Korea’s LEE Young-ae and Japan’s SUZUKI Ryohei received the Excellence in Asian Cinema Awards; Thailand’s Win Metawin received the AFA Rising Star Award; and China’s ZHAO Liying won the AFA Next Generation Award.  


The star-studded 17th AFA was attended by Asia’s most prominent filmmakers and industry professionals — including actors FAN Bingbing, HSU Wei-ning, David CHIANG, Gordon LAM, as well as directors Mabel CHEUNG, Andrew LAU, HAN Jae-rim, Anthony CHEN and Sunny CHAN. They were joined by Kevin YEUNG, Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism of Hong Kong, Tokyo Film Festival Chairman ANDO Hiroyasu, Busan Film Festival Interim Festival Director NAM Dong-chul, jury president KUROSAWA Kiyoshi, along with nominees Tony LEUNG Chiu-wai, KORE-EDA Hirokazu, KIM Sung-soo, PARK Hoon, WU Kang-ren, Rachel LEUNG, Nick CHEUK, as well as this year’s four Youth Ambassadors — LIU Kuan-ting, Mario MAURER, MIYAZAWA Hio and Will OR. In addition to the award ceremony, many of the guests also attended masterclasses, in conversation events, post-screening Q&A’s and other film-related activities during their time in Hong Kong.  


Inspired by the theme, “Together We Tell Story”, the 17th Asian Film Awards was a joyous celebration of excellence in Asian cinema and the wide range of stories that this diverse region encompasses. In his opening remark, Dr. Wilfred Wong, GBM, GBS, JP, Chairman of the Asian Film Awards Academy and Hong Kong International Film Festival Society (HKIFFS), reinforced the significance of this year’s theme: “The Asian Film Awards aims to recognise industry professionals who have made outstanding achievements to the industry, to promote inter-regional cooperation, and to popularise Asian cinema to the world…I hope that this platform will continue to bring together Asian filmmakers to use their cinematic art to continue to tell stories.” 


Audiences were also treated to two wonderful musical performances. Hong Kong erhu player Wan-pin CHU, who has played on soundtracks of films such as In Broad Daylight, kicked off the ceremony with a moving performance. Later, Chinese theatre actor and singer Ayanda took the stage to give a stirring vocal performance.  


Collecting the award for Best Film, the representative of Evil Does Not Exist thanked director HAMAGUCHI Ryusuke and the entire production team, especially composer ISHIBASHI Eiko, who inspired the film with her music.   


Winning Best Director at the AFA for the third time, director KORE-EDA Hirokazu (Monster) said, “I’m honoured to receive this award from Mr. Kurosawa, whom I greatly respect. I’m grateful for the splendid screenplay from SAKAMOTO Yuji, a screenwriter I very much admire.” 

Winning her first AFA with only her first nomination, Best Actress winner JIANG QInqin (Dwelling by the West Lake) said, “The Film God has blessed us! Thanks to film for giving me strength. Thanks to film for teaching me about life. Before you love film, please love life. Before you love life, please love people. I love my husband, CHEN Jianbin.”  


Last year’s jury president and this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, director ZHANG Yimou expressed his appreciation for the honour: “Come to think of it, I didn’t become a director at a very young age. I directed my first film at 38 years old. Since then, I’ve been on the path of filmmaking. Film carries our dreams. Today, many great Asian filmmakers are joined here because every one of us dreams of film. Making a good film is hard. Making a memorable film is harder. Asian films play a huge role in the world right now. Many Asian filmmakers are still chasing their dreams and telling Asian stories to the world. I hope this award isn’t an ending, but a beginning. Let’s continue chasing our dreams. Let’s keep working hard and tell our Asian stories to the rest of the world.”  


Also winning the Highest-Grossing Asian film award for Full River Red, ZHANG said, “Filmmaker always say that they hope that their films would be seen by more people. A good box office result proves that many people enjoyed this film. It’s very difficult to make a film. It requires a good script, it involves the good work of many, many departments. Most importantly, it requires great actors. Full River Red’s success comes from all these elements being brought together.” 


Known across Asia for her wildly popular television series and critically acclaimed films, screen icon LEE Young-ae received the Excellence in Asian Cinema honourary award from presenters Mabel CHEUNG and Andrew LAU. Taking the stage to rapturous applause, the elegant actress said, “I was happy when I was told I would be receiving this award because I realised that many Asian fans remember me as an actor. I was so touched. I hope I will show even better acting and better performances in the future.”  


A Best Actor nominee last year for Egoist, SUZUKI Ryohei returned to the AFA stage this year to receive the night’s other Excellence in Asian Cinema award. The hardworking and always humble SUZUKI said, “To be honest, I am standing here very relaxed because I am not nominated for anything this year. It is good to be nominated, of course, but it is also good to be not nominated, because I don’t have to worry about anything. Getting an award is very important and exciting, but In my opinion, the best thing about this event is meeting new people and new filmmakers from all over Asia, talking to them and learning about each other. Tonight could be the start of new projects in the future. I hope we can make films together in the future, because together, we tell story.” 

A total of 35 films from 24 countries and regions were in competition for the 16 competitive prizes. Here is a selection of quotes from some of tonight’s other honorees:  


Win Metawin, AFA Rising Star Award: “First of all, I’d like to thank all of my fans in and outside of Thailand. I want to thank you for having me here. You guys give me the power and the inspiration for me to keep on working hard. This award means a lot to me. I will continue to work hard to bring you guys happiness.” 


ZHAO Liying, AFA Next Generation Award: “This honour is an encouragement for me to perform better and earn my chance to be in more great films. I love cinema, and I love performing. I am ZHAO Liying, and I am an actor. Thank you.” 


Pema Tseden (Snow Leopard), Best Screenplay (accepted by his son, Jigme Trinley):“My father once told me that the time he felt the happiest and most relaxed during his creative process was when he was creating with words. I’m sure that this will bring my father joy in heaven.” 


Tergel BOLD-ERDENE (City of Wind),Best Newcomer: “It is shocking to me. I didn’t expect this award. It’s been a dream for me. Thank you to the crew and to the director.” 


Nick CHEUK (Time Still Turns the Pages), Best New Director: “Thanks to all of my cast and crew. I feel all of your love and care during every second on set. This award doesn’t belong to me; it belongs to us.” 


Rachel LEUNG (In Broad Daylight), Best Supporting Actress: “Thanks to director Lawrence KAN for believing in me. Thanks to the screenwriter for writing such a great character. Thanks to the cinematographer, because a good performance is nothing without a good cinematographer capturing it. And thanks to my brilliant fellow actors.” 


The 17th Asian Film Awards – Winner List 


Best Film: Evil Does Not Exist 

Best Director: KORE-EDA Hirokazu (Monster)  

Best Actor: YAKUSHO Koji (Perfect Days) 

Best Actress: JIANG Qinqin (Dwelling by the West Lake) 

Best Supporting Actor: PARK Hoon (12.12: The Day) 

Best Supporting Actress : Rachel LEUNG (In Broad Daylight) 

Best New Director: Nick CHEUK (Time Still Turns the Pages) 

Best Newcomer : Tergel BOLD-ERDENE (City of Wind) 

Best Screenplay : Pema Tseden (Snow Leopard) 

Best Editing: KIM Sang-bum (12.12: The Day) 

Best Cinematography: Matthias DELVAUX (Snow Leopard) 

Best Original Music: ISHIBASHI Eiko (Evil Does Not Exist) 

Best Costume Design MAN Lim Chung (The Goldfinger) 

Best Production Design Eric LAM (The Goldfinger) 

Best Visual Effects: YAMAZAKI Takashi, SHIBUYA Kiyoko, TAKAHASHI Masaki, NOJIMA Tatsuji (Godzilla Minus One) 

Best Sound : INOUE Natsuko (Godzilla Minus One) 

Lifetime Achievement Award: ZHANG Yimou 

 Excellence in Asian Cinema Award: LEE Young-ae, SUZUKI Ryohei 

AFA Next Generation Award: ZHAO Liying 

AFA Rising Star Award: Metawin Opas-iamkajorn (WIN) 

2023 Highest-Grossing Asian Film: Full River Red 

Asian Film Awards Academy

The Asian Films Awards Academy, a non-profit organization, was founded by Busan, Hong Kong and Tokyo International Film Festivals with the shared goal of celebrating excellence in Asian cinema. Aiming to promote and recognize Asian films and its talents, AFAA highlights, strengthens and develops Asian film industry through the annual Asian Film Awards and several year-round initiatives.

The Asian Film Awards was inaugurated in 2007, where members of AFAA are drawn from its past nominees and winners. The category of awards includes Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Actress. Members vote for the Asian Film Awards and participate in various AFAA activities involving film professionals and audiences in Asia and around the world.


More details: www.afa-academy.com


Please contact us if any questions,

Email: info@afa-academy.com

Tel: +852 3195 0609

Website: www.afa-academy.com

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