“Spy Woman” Wins First Prize at Asian Film Awards

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Kurosawa Kiyoshi’s period action drama “The wife of a spyWas the biggest winner of the 15th edition of Asian Cinema Award. It won three grand prizes including that of the best film.

Kurosawa Kiyoshi receives the AFA Best Film Award.  - Credit: Asian Film Awards

Kurosawa Kiyoshi receives the AFA Best Film Award. – Credit: Asian Film Awards

Asian Cinema Award

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The 18 awards were presented Friday evening in a hybrid ceremony with the in-person component held at the Paradise Hotel in Busan. Organizers said 80 nominees were present in person or online. Among those who walked the AFA red carpet in Busan were Korean stars and award winners Lee Byung-hun and Yoo Ah-in.

Directors Lee Chang-dong and Hamaguchi Ryusuke were also in attendance, along with Korean stars Jun Jong-seo, Park Jeong-min, Jang Yoon-ju, Kim Hyun-bin and Gong Seung-yeon.

“Wife of a Spy” was conceived as a TV movie. A cinema version debuted last year at the Venice Film Festival and won the Silver Lion there. It has enjoyed a high profile festival career with subsequent stops in San Sebastian, El Gouna and Hainan, and a theatrical career in Japan which began in October 2020.

Lee Byung-hun gives an acceptance speech at the 2021 Asian Film Awards. - Credit: Asian Film Awards

Lee Byung-hun gives an acceptance speech at the 2021 Asian Film Awards. – Credit: Asian Film Awards

Asian Cinema Award

While “Wife” won the award for Best Actress for Aoi Yu and Best Costume Design (Koketsu Haruki), Kurosawa missed out on Directing. Instead, it went to Chinese veteran Zhang Yimou for his film tribute ”A second. “The film won Liu Haocun the Best Newcomer Award, while another photo by Zhang,“ Cliff Walkers, ”won the Best Editing Award. Neither Kurosawa nor Zhang were in Busan.

Originally held in Hong Kong in March, the Asian Film Awards are now co-hosted by festivals in Hong Kong, Busan and Tokyo and take place in the fall.

2021 Asian Film Awards winners

Best film : “Spy Woman” Director: Kurosawa Kiyoshi
Best Director: Zhang Yimou, for “One second”
Best New Director: Hong Eui-jeong for “Voice of Silence”
Best actor: Yoo Ah-in in “Voice of Silence”
Best Actress: Aoi Yu in “Spy Woman”
Best Supporting Actor: Kim Hyun-bin for “The Silent Forest”
Best Supporting Actress: Makita Aju for “Real Mothers”
Best screenplay: Chaitanya Tamhane for “The Disciple”
Best Newcomer: Liu Haocun in “One second”
Best Editing: Li Yongyi for “Cliff Walkers”
Best visual effects: Tim Crosbie, Joy Wu for “The Eight Hundred”
Best Cinematography: Masoud Amini Tirani for “The Desert”
Best Costume Design: Koketsu Haruki for “Spy Woman”
Best production design: Kenneth Mak for “Limbo”
Best Original Music: Day Tai for “The Way We Keep Dancing”
Best sound: Nopawat Likiwong for “Limbo”
Excellence in Asian cinema: Lee byung hun
Highest Grossing Asian Film of 2020: “Demon Slayer: The Movie – Mugen Train”.

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