Category Archives: China

Venice Film Festival Honors Chinese Director Zhang Yimou


Zhang Yimou, at the 75th Venice International Film Festival. 
PHOTO: La Biennale di Venezia

HONG KONG — Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou was honored by the Venice International Film Festival this week for a body of work that embodies the “global language” of cinema.

The 68-year-old director, whose films include “Raise the Red Lantern” (1991), “Hero” (2002) and “The Flowers of War” (2011), received the Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory to the Filmmaker award on Thursday at a ceremony before the premiere of his new film, “Ying” (or “Shadow”), a period martial-arts drama set during the Three Kingdoms era.

“Zhang Yimou is not only one of the most important directors in contemporary cinema, but with his eclectic production, he has represented the evolution of global language of film, and at the same time, the exceptional growth of Chinese cinema,” Alberto Barbera, the festival’s director, said in a statement. “Zhang Yimou has been a pioneer thanks to his capacity to translate authors, stories and the richness of Chinese culture in general into a unique and unmistakable visual style,” he said.

Barbera noted that with “Ying,” Zhang has returned “to martial-arts films with the formal elegance and remarkable inventiveness that has always distinguished his cinema.” “Ying,” which screened Out of Competition, is about a clash between “two feudal groups.”

The celebrated director has twice won the Golden Lion — the festival’s top prize — for “The Story of Qiu Ju” (1992) and “Not One Less” (1999).

“In China, we think that if you have a long life you have a long time to study and learn,” Zhang told Reuters. “I think that although I have been making films for 40 years I still need to study,” he said. “If you are passionate about your job you don’t want to keep repeating yourself, you strive to improve and make something that is better than your previous work and this is what keeps me going forward,” he said in the interview.

The Glory to the Filmmaker award is “dedicated to a figure who has left a particularly original mark on contemporary cinema,” according to the festival said. Previous recipients include actor-director Takeshi Kitano of Japan, Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami and American actor Al Pacino.

The 75th Venice International Film Festival runs through Saturday, Sept. 8.

Asian Film Awards Honors Feng Xiaogang and Chen Kaige With Top Prizes


Louis Koo won best actor for “Paradox” and Sylvia Chang won best actress for “Love Education”
at the 12th Asian Film Awards in Macau on Saturday night. 
PHOTO: Asian Film Awards Academy

HONG KONG — Chinese director Feng Xiaogang’s coming-of-age drama “Youth” picked up best film at the 12th Asian Film Awards on Saturday night, while the fantasy epic “Legend of the Demon Cat” — a Hong Kong, Japan and mainland China production from director Chen Kaige — picked up four awards, the most for any one film.

Louis Koo was named best actor for his role in the Hong Kong movie “Paradox,” which also won best action film.

Taiwanese actress Sylvia Chang received double awards: best actress for her performance in “Love Education” and the AFA’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Chang is one of Asia’s most prominent filmmakers, working both in front of and behind the camera.

I’ve loved singing and performing since I was young, but I always felt uneasy in a photo studio. That’s how I gradually learned what I was good at,” Chang said in a statement prior to Saturday’s awards event. “You’ll always be attracted to what you like. If you keep running towards that forest, you’ll open up a world that grows bigger with time. That world has everything, and you’ll never stop learning about it.”

Previous recipients of the AFA’s Lifetime Achievement Award include Hong Kong filmmaker Tsui Hark, Korean director Im Kwon-taek, Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien, Hong Kong director Ann Hui, Hong Kong producer Raymond Chow, Indian actor Amitabh Bachchan and Japanese director Yoji Yamada.

Chen, the director of “Legend of the Demon Cat,” is one of China’s most critically acclaimed filmmakers. In 1993, his film “Farewell My Concubine” won the Palme d’Or at Cannes, the festival’s highest honor.

Film critic Maggie Lee described “Legend of the Demon Cat” as “a visually and mentally seductive piece of historic revisionism,” in her review for Variety, adding “this stunning blockbuster shows that a superior original source, vaunting artistic ambition and a $170 million budget can turn a potboiler supernatural whodunit into something of ravishing beauty.”

Other distinctions on Saturday night were given to Hong Kong actress Kara Wai Ying-hung, with the Excellence in Asian Cinema Award; Lim Yoon-a of South Korea with the AFA Next Generation Award; and the mainland Chinese blockbuster “Wolf Warrior 2” for the 2017 Top-Grossing Asian Film Award.

This year’s total 89 nominees were among 32 films from 10 countries competing in 17 categories, including two new sections: best new director and best action film. The awards ceremony was held at the Venetian hotel in Macau.

The full list of nominees and winners:

Best Film

  • “Angels Wear White” (France/Mainland China)
  • “Newton” (India)
  • “The Day After” (South Korea)
  • “The Third Murder” (Japan)
  • “Youth” (Mainland China)  – WINNER

Best Director

  • Chen Kaige, “Legend of the Demon Cat” (Hong Kong/Japan/Mainland China)
  • Sylvia Chang, “Love Education” (Mainland China/Taiwan)
  • Ann Hui, “Our Time Will Come” (Hong Kong/Mainland China)
  • Hong Sang-soo, “The Day After” (South Korea)
  • Yuya Ishii, “The Tokyo Night Sky Is Always the Densest Shade of Blue” (Japan)  – WINNER
  • Feng Xiaogang, “Youth” (Mainland China)

Best New Director

  • Vivian Qu, “Angels Wear White” (France/Mainland China)
  • Anucha Boonyawatana, “Malila: The Farewell Flower” (Thailand)
  • Huang Hsin-yao, “The Great Buddha+” (Taiwan)
  • Dong Yue, “The Looming Storm” (Mainland China)  – WINNER
  • Derek Hui, “This Is Not What I Expected” (Hong Kong/Mainland China
  • Yoshiyuki Kishi, “Wilderness” (Japan)

Best Actor

  • Kim Yun-seok, “1987: When the Day Comes” (South Korea)
  • Sukollawat Kanarot, “Malila: The Farewell Flower” (Thailand)
  • Rajkummar Rao, “Newton” (India)
  • Louis Koo, “Paradox” (Hong Kong)  – WINNER
  • Duan Yihong, “The Looming Storm” (Mainland China)

Best Actress

  • Yu Aoi, “Birds Without Names” (Japan)
  • Sylvia Chang, “Love Education” (Mainland China/Taiwan)  – WINNER
  • Marsha Timothy, “Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts” (France/Indonesia/Malaysia/Thailand)
  • Kim Min-hee, “The Day After” (South Korea)
  • Zhou Dongyu, “This Is Not What I Expected” (Hong Kong/Mainland China)

Best Supporting Actor

  • Yoo Hae-jin, “A Taxi Driver” (South Korea)
  • Geng Le, “Angels Wear White” (France/Mainland China)
  • Tian Zhuangzhuang, “Love Education” (Mainland China/Taiwan)
  • Eddie Peng, “Our Time Will Come” (Hong Kong/Mainland China)
  • Yang Ik-joon, “Wilderness” (Japan)  – WINNER

Best Supporting Actress

  • Choi Hee-seo, “Anarchist from Colony” (South Korea)
  • Hana Sugisaki, “Blade of the Immortal” (Japan)
  • Kitty Zhang Yuqi, “Legend of the Demon Cat” (Hong Kong/Japan/Mainland China)  – WINNER
  • Estelle Wu, “Love Education” (Mainland China/Taiwan)
  • Suzu Hirose, “The Third Murder” (Japan)

Best Newcomer

  • Zhou Meijun, “Angels Wear White” (France/Mainland China)
  • Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying, “Bad Genius” (Thailand)  – WINNER
  • Lim Yoon-a, “Confidential Assignment” (South Korea)
  • Ling Man-lung, “Tomorrow Is Another Day” (Hong Kong/Mainland China)
  • Akari Kinoshita, “Wilderness” (Japan)
  • Zhong Chuxi, “Youth” (Mainland China)

Best Action Film

  • “Along With the Gods: The Two Worlds” (South Korea)
  • “Blade of the Immortal” (Japan)
  • “Brotherhood of Blades II: The Infernal Battlefield” (Mainland China)
  • “Paradox” (Hong Kong)  – WINNER
  • “The Thousand Faces of Dunjia” (Hong Kong/Mainland China)

Best Screenplay

  • Hwang Seong-gu, “Anarchist from Colony” (South Korea)
  • Tanida Hantaweewatana, Vasudhorn Piyaromna, Nattawut Poonpiriya, “Bad Genius” (Thailand)
  • Sylvia Chang, You Xiaoying, “Love Education” (Mainland China/Taiwan)
  • Mayank Tewari, Amit V. Masurkar, “Newton” (India) – WINNER
  • Yan Geling, “Youth” (Mainland China)

Best Editing

  • Li Nien-hsiu, “mon mon mon MONSTERS” (Taiwan)
  • Mary Stephen, Kong Chi-leung, “Our Time Will Come” (Hong Kong/Mainland China)
  • Shin Min-kyung, “The King” (South Korea)  – WINNER
  • Hirokazu Kore-eda, “The Third Murder” (Japan)
  • Zhang Qi, “Youth” (Mainland China)

Best Cinematography

  • Cao Yu, “Legend of the Demon Cat” (Hong Kong/Japan/Mainland China)
  • Yunus Pasolang, “Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts” (France/Indonesia/Malaysia/Thailand)
  • Kim Ji-yong, “The Fortress” (South Korea)  – WINNER
  • Nagao Nakashima, “The Great Buddha+” (Taiwan)
  • Mikita Takimoto, “The Third Murder” (Japan)

Best Original Music

  • Jo Young-wook, “A Taxi Driver” (South Korea)
  • Wen Zi, “Angels Wear White” (France/Mainland China)
  • Joe Hisaishi, “Our Time Will Come” (Hong Kong/Mainland China)  – WINNER
  • Lin Sheng-xiang, “The Great Buddha+” (Taiwan)
  • Taro Iwashiro, “Wilderness” (Japan)

Best Costume Design

  • Shim Hyun-sup, “Anarchist from Colony” (South Korea)
  • Rama Rajamouli, Prashanti Tipirineni, “Baahubali 2: The Conclusion” (India)
  • Yuya Maeda, “Blade of the Immortal” (Japan)
  • Chen Tongxun, “Legend of the Demon Cat” (Hong Kong/Japan/Mainland China)  – WINNER
  • Shirley Chan, “The Thousand Faces of Dunjia” (Hong Kong/Mainland China)

Best Production Design

  • Lee Mok-won, “Along With the Gods: The Two Worlds” (South Korea)
  • Tu Nan, Lu Wei, “Legend of the Demon Cat” (Hong Kong/Japan/Mainland China)  – WINNER
  • Frans Paat, “Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts” (France/Indonesia/Malaysia/Thailand)
  • Yohei Taneda, “The Third Murder” (Japan)
  • Ben Luk, “This Is Not What I Expected” (Hong Kong/Mainland China)

Best Visual Effects

  • Jin Jong-hyun, “Along With the Gods: The Two Worlds” (South Korea)
  • Ankur Sachdev, “Baahubali 2: The Conclusion” (India)
  • Shingo Kobayashi, “Gintama” (Japan)
  • Norio Ishii, “Legend of the Demon Cat” (Hong Kong/Japan/Mainland China)  – WINNER
  • Huang Mei-cing, Pao Cheng-hsun, “mon mon mon MONSTERS” (Taiwan)
  • Jang Seong-ho, Park Young-soo, Son Ohh-young, “The Thousand Faces of Dunjia” (Hong Kong/Mainland China)

Best Sound

  • Wang Gang, “Brotherhood of Blades II: The Infernal Battlefield” (Mainland China)
  • Khikmawan Santosa, “Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts” (France/Indonesia/Malaysia/Thailand)
  • Tu Du-chih, Wu Shu-yao, Tu Chun-tang, “mon mon mon MONSTERS” (Taiwan)
  • Choi Tae-young, “The Fortress” (South Korea)
  • Tu Du-chih, Wu Shu-yao, “The Great Buddha+” (Taiwan)  – WINNER

Director Feng Xiaogang accepting the award for best film, “Youth,” from Mainland China.
PHOTO: Asian Film Awards Academy

Taiwanese Actress Brigitte Lin to Receive Gala at Italian Film Festival

Cloud of Romance 我是一片雲

A scene from ‘Cloud of Romance’ (1977)
PHOTO (above): Hong Kong International Film Festival
FEATURED IMAGE PHOTO: Far East Film Festival

HONG KONG – The Far East Film Festival will celebrate the career of Taiwanese actress Brigitte Lin at this year’s event in April, the festival organizers said this week.

The Udine, Italy-based festival will honor Lin with its Golden Mulberry Lifetime Achievement Award and a “small and precious” retrospective of her films. Lin is considered the “goddess” of Hong Kong and Taiwan cinema, the festival said in a statement.

Lin has starred in more than 100 films, the festival organizers noted, appearing in “sentimental melodramas and wuxia titles, to thrillers and eccentric experimental projects,” which the festival will “distill” into a retrospective that will include the European premiere of “Cloud of Romance” (1977), which was recently restored by the Taiwan Film Institute.

The 63-year-old Lin, who retired from her acting career in 1994, will be accompanied by Hong Kong producer Nansun Shi, who has previously collaborated with Lin on films. Shi herself received the Golden Mulberry Lifetime Achievement Award three years ago.

The announcement comes after the Hong Kong International Film Festival also unveiled plans to honor Lin at this year’s 42nd edition in March. The HKIFF will screen 14 of Lin’s films and hold a public seminar, in which the actress will discuss her film career.

The Far East Film Festival, which describes itself as the “European epicenter of Asian cinema,” is known for drawing audiences from Italy, across Europe and around the world to honor Asian movies, filmmakers and actors.

Udine, a picturesque city of about 100,000 in northeast Italy, is situated between Trieste and the Italian Alps.

The Far East Film Festival this year marks its 20th edition, which will be held April 20-28.

HKIFF to Honor Taiwanese Actress Brigitte Lin

ChungkingExpress 重慶森林

Brigitte Lin in ‘Chungking Express’ (1994), by director Wong Kar-wai.
PHOTO: Hong Kong International Film Festival

HONG KONG – Taiwanese actress Brigitte Lin will be honored by the Hong Kong International Film Festival next month as this year’s “Filmmaker in Focus,” the festival has announced.

At the 42nd edition of the HKIFF, the festival will screen 14 films starring Lin, considered one of the greatest actresses in modern Chinese-language cinema. “Lin is an enduring iconic figure for her legendary beauty and distinguished performances,” the festival said in a statement.

The 14 films include a restored version of “Outside the Window” (1973), which marked Lin’s screen debut. Other films to be shown at the festival include “Peking Opera Blues” (1986), directed by Tsui Hark; director Ann Hui’s “Starry is the Night” (1988); “The Bride with White Hair” (1993) from director Ronny Yu; and “Chungking Express” (1994) and “Ashes of Time” (1994), both from director Wong Kar-wai.

Lin won best actress at the Golden Horse Awards for her performance in “Red Dust” (1990), which also will screen at the festival.

Lin will also appear at the festival’s “Face to Face” seminar at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Grand Theatre on March 31 to share with the audience memories and stories about her films and her personal life.

The 63-year-old Lin has largely led a private life since retiring from her acting career in 1994, making only occasional public appearances.

The 42 Hong Kong Film Festival opens on March 19 and runs through April 5.

Ashes of Time Redux 東邪西毒終極版

Brigitte Lin in director Wong Kar-wai’s ‘Ashes of Time’ (1994).
PHOTO: Hong Kong International Film Festival

Asian in Focus as Berlin International Film Festival Opens


The 67th Berlin International Film Festival jury, from left:
Wang Quan’an (China), Olafur Eliasson (Iceland), Maggie Gyllenhaal (U.S.),
Paul Verhoeven (Netherlands), Julia Jentsch (Germany), Diego Luna (Mexico),
Dora Bouchoucha Fourati (Tunisia); and moderator Anatol Weber.
PHOTO: Dean Napolitano

BERLIN — The 67th Berlin International Film Festival opened on Thursday with the premiere of the French film “Django,” set in 1943 during the German occupation of France, from director-writer Etienne Comar.

Four films from Asia will appear in the festival’s main Competition section: The animated film “Have a Nice Day” from director Liu Jian of China; “Mr. Long” from the singularly named director Sabu of Japan; “On the Beach at Night Alone” from director Hong Sang-soo of South Korea; and the Indian film “Viceroy’s House,” which will screen out of competition, from director Gurinder Chadha.

Several Asian films will screen in the Panorama section, including three from Chinese directors: “Ciao Ciao” by Song Chuan; “Ghost in the Mountains” by Yang Heng; and “The Taste of Betel Nut” by Hu Jia. Also in the Panorama section is “Close-Knit” from director Naoko Ogigami of Japan.

Asian films in the Forum section include two from Japanese directors: “Three Lights” by Kohki Yoshida and “The Tokyo Night Sky Is Always the Densest Shade of Blue” by Yuya Ishii. Also in the Forum section: “Autumn, Autumn” from Jang Woo-jin of South Korea and the Indian film “Newton” from Amit V. Masurkar.

This year’s international jury lineup: Dutch director and screenwriter Paul Verhoeven, jury president; Tunisian producer Dora Bouchoucha Fourati; Danish-born Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson; American actress Maggie Gyllenhaal; German actress Julia Jentsch; Mexican actor Diego Luna; and Chinese director-screenwriter Wang Quan’an.

At the jury press conference, Mr. Wang noted his long association with the Berlin festival. After reaping multiple screenings and awards in Berlin over the past 15 years, Mr. Wang said he was looking forward to handing out awards this year. His film “Lunar Eclipse” (1999) was shown in 2002; “Tuya’s Marriage” won the Golden Bear award in 2007; “Apart Together” opened the festival in 2010 and won the Silver Bear award for best script (with co-screenwriter Jin Na); and White Deer Plain won the Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Contribution in 2012 for Lutz Reitemeier, Mr. Wang’s director of photography on the film.

Mr. Wang said that while this is a good time for Chinese films because of financing, money also has had a “somewhat of a destructive effect” when it comes to art-house films in China. But he said that was part of the process and that he expected that eventually there would be “more space” for art-house cinema in the country.

The festival runs until Feb. 19.

‘The Assassin’ Wins Big at Asian Film Awards


South Korean actor Lee Byung-hun and Taiwanese actress Shu Qi celebrate
their acting honors at Thursday’s Asian Film Awards in Macau.
PHOTO: Asian Film Awards

The martial-arts drama “The Assassin” took top honors at the 10th Asian Film Awards on Thursday, winning eight prizes including best film, director and actress.

Taiwan director Hou Hsiao-hsien’s sword-play art-house film stars actress Shu Qi as an expert assassin in 9th-century China. The film also won awards for best supporting actress (Zhou Yun), cinematography (Mark Lee Ping-bing), production design, original music and sound.

South Korean actor Lee Byung-hun won best actor for the political thriller “Inside Men,” while Chinese filmmaker Jia Zhangke won best screenplay for “Mountains May Depart,” a striking drama looking at societal changes in modern China over 25 years.

The AFA also presented lifetime achievement awards to Hong Kong action choreographer-director Yuen Wo-ping and Japanese actress Kirin Kiki. 

Hong Kong director Johnnie To was president of this year’s jury, which included two celebrity jurors — actor Sean Lau Ching-wan from Hong Kong and actress Gao Yuanyuan from mainland China — 12 film industry professionals, festival programmers and critics from around the world.

The Asian Film Awards are organized Asia’s major film festivals: The Hong Kong International Film Festival, the Busan International Film Festival and the Tokyo International Film Festival.

This year’s total 77 nominees among 36 films from nine countries competed in 15 categories. The awards ceremony was held at the Venetian hotel in Macau.

The full list of nominees and winners:

Best Film

  • “Mountains May Depart” (France/Japan/Mainland China)
  • “The Assassin” (Hong Kong/Mainland China/Taiwan)  – WINNER
  • “Bajirao Mastani” (India)
  • “The Lunchbox” (India)
  • “Three Stories of Love” (Japan)
  • “Mr. Six ” (Mainland China)
  • “Veteran” (South Korea)

Best Director

  • Jia Zhangke, “Mountains May Depart” (France/Japan/Mainland China)
  • Hou Hsiao-hsien, “The Assassin” (Hong Kong/Mainland China/Taiwan)  – WINNER
  • Hirokazu Koreeda, “Our Little Sister” (Japan)
  • Guan Hu, “Mr. Six ” (Mainland China)
  • Ryoo Seung-wan, “Veteran” (South Korea)

Best Actor

  • Donnie Yen, “Ip Man 3” (Hong Kong)
  • Masatoshi Nagase, “An” (France/Germany/Japan)
  • Feng Xiaogang, “Mr. Six” (Mainland China)
  • Lee Byung-hun, “Inside Men” (South Korea) – WINNER
  • John Arcilla, “Heneral Luna” (The Philippines)

Best Actress

  • Zhao Tao, “Mountains May Depart” (France/Japan/Mainland China)
  • Shu Qi, “The Assassin” (Hong Kong/Mainland China/Taiwan)  – WINNER
  • Haruka Ayase, “Our Little Sister” (Japan)
  • Kim Hye-soo, “Coin Locker Girl” (South Korea)
  • Karena Lam, “Zinnia Flower” (Taiwan)

Best Newcomer

  • Vicky Kaushal, “Masaan” (France/India)
  • Jesse Li, “Port of Call” (Hong Kong) – WINNER
  • Ryoko Fujino, “Solomon’s Perjury, Solomon’s Perjury 2” (Japan)
  • Kim Seol-hyun, “Gangnam Blues” (South Korea)
  • Lee Hong-chi, “Thanatos, Drunk” (Taiwan)
  • Waruntorn Paonil, “Snap” (Thailand)

Best Supporting Actor

  • Max Zhang, “Ip Man 3” (Hong Kong)
  • Michael Ning, “Port of Call” (Hong Kong)
  • Tadanobu Asano, “Journey to the Shore” (France/Japan) – WINNER
  • Oh Dal-soo, “Assassination” (South Korea)
  • Cheng Jen-shuo, “Thanatos, Drunk” (Taiwan)

Best Supporting Actress

  • Zhou Yun, “The Assassin” (Hong Kong/Mainland China/Taiwan) – WINNER
  • Anna Tsuchiya, “Gonin Saga” (Japan)
  • Cherry Ngan, “Mojin – The Lost Legend” (Mainland China)
  • Juri Ueno, “The Beauty Inside” (South Korea)
  • Park So-dam, “The Priests” (South Korea)

Best Screenplay

  • Jia Zhangke, “Mountains May Depart” (France/Japan/Mainland China) – WINNER
  • Philip Yung, “Port of Call” (Hong Kong)
  • Vishal Bhardwaj, “Talvar” (India)
  • Takashi Ujita, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, “Journey to the Shore” (France/Japan)
  • Ryoo Seung-wan, “Veteran” (South Korea)

Best Cinematography

  • Christopher Doyle, “Port of Call” (Hong Kong)
  • Mark Lee Ping-bing, “The Assassin” (Hong Kong/Mainland China/Taiwan)  – WINNER
  • Yasushi Sasakibara, Yoshiaki Yamamoto, “Gonin Saga” (Japan)
  • Luo Pan, “Mr. Six” (Mainland China)
  • Kim Woo-hyung, “Assassination” (South Korea)

Best Production Design

  • Ken Mak, “Ip Man 3” (Hong Kong)
  • Hwarng Wern-ying, “The Assassin” (Hong Kong/Mainland China/Taiwan)  – WINNER
  • Tetsuo Harada, “Kakekomi” (Japan)
  • Cho Hwa-sung, “Inside Men” (South Korea)
  • Benjamin Padero, Carlo Tabije, “Heneral Luna” (The Philippines)

Best Original Music

  • Lim Giong, “The Assassin” (Hong Kong/Mainland China/Taiwan)  – WINNER
  • Sanjay Leela Bhansali, “Bajirao Mastani” (India)
  • Amit Trivedi, “Bombay Velvet” (India)
  • Naoko Eto, Yoshihide Otomo, “Journey to the Shore” (France/Japan)
  • BANG Joon-seok, “The Throne” (South Korea)

Best Editing

  • William Chang, Chu Ka-yat, Liao Ching-sung, Wong Hoi, Philip Yung, “Port of Call” (Hong Kong) – WINNER
  • Rajesh Pandey, “Bajirao Mastani” (India)
  • Yasuyuki Ozeki, “Bakuman” (Japan)
  • Tu Yiran, “Jian Bing Man” (Mainland China)
  • Kim Jae-bum, Kim Sang-beom, “Veteran” (South Korea)

Best Visual Effects

  • Ellen Poon, Jason H. Snell, Tang Bingbing, “Monster Hunt” (Hong Kong/Mainland China)
  • Srinivas Mohan, “Baahubali: The Beginning” (India)
  • Prasad Sutar, “Bajirao Mastani” (India) – WINNER
  • Katsuro Onoue, “Attack on Titan” (Japan)
  • Cho Yong-seok, Choi Jae-cheon, Lee Jeon-hyoung, “The Tiger” (South Korea)

Best Costume Design

  • Hwarng Wern-ying, “The Assassin” (Hong Kong/Mainland China/Taiwan)
  • Maxima Basu, Anju Modi, “Bajirao Mastani” (India)
  • Masae Miyamoto, “Kakekomi” (Japan)
  • Lee Ji-yeon, Shim Hyun-seob, “The Throne” (South Korea) – WINNER
  • Carlo Tabije, “Heneral Luna” (The Philippines)

Best Sound

  • Lee George Yiu-keung, Kinson Tsang, Yiu Chun-hin, “Monster Hunt” (Hong Kong/Mainland China)
  • Chu Shih-yi, Tu Duu-chih, Wu Shu-yao, “The Assassin” (Hong Kong/Mainland China/Taiwan)  – WINNER
  • Shinji Watanabe, “Bakuman” (Japan)
  • Toru Nishiyama, “The Inerasable” (Japan)
  • Kim Suk-won, Park Joo-gang, “Assassination” (South Korea)


Raman Hui Named Director of the Year

Raman Hui, director of 'Monster Hunt.' PHOTO: CineAsia

Raman Hui, director of ‘Monster Hunt’
PHOTO: CineAsia

Hong Kong filmmaker Raman Hui was named director of the year by movie-industry group CineAsia.

Mr. Hui directed the 3-D fantasy-action hit “Monster Hunt,” China’s biggest blockbuster this year. The film, which opened in July, went on to earn 2.44 billion yuan (US$383.9 million) and claimed the title of China’s No. 1 box-office hit of all time. 

“CineAsia is thrilled to honor Raman Hui with this prestigious award,” Andrew Sunshine, co-managing director of CineAsia, said in a statement. “As the director of what is now the highest-grossing film of all time in China, Raman continues to perform at a level that is second to none,” he said. 

“Monster Hunt,” an adventure-comedy that combines live-action with animation, is about a battle between humans and gruesome-looking creatures that live deep in the forest.

The film stars actress Bai Baihe and actor Jing Boran. The big-name cast includes Tang Wei, Sandra Ng and Eric Tsang. 

Mr. Hui made his mark in Hollywood as the supervising animator and lead character-designer for “Antz” (1998), among other films. He gained further recognition as the supervising animator for “Shrek” (2001) and its 2004 sequel, “Shrek 2.” He also co-directed 2007’s “Shrek the Third.”

Mr. Hui will be honored by CineAsia at an awards ceremony in Hong Kong in December. The annual CineAsia event brings together movie-industry professionals from across Asia and elsewhere, with a focus on exhibition and distribution.

Watch a trailer for “Monster Hunt”:

‘The Assassin’ Gains an Audience in China

Shu Qi, in a scene from director Hou Hsiao-hsien's 'The Assassin.' PHOTO: Hong Kong International Film Festival Society

Shu Qi, in a scene from director Hou Hsiao-hsien’s ‘The Assassin.’
PHOTO: Hong Kong International Film Festival Society

Filmmaker Hou Hsiao-hsien’s “The Assassin” continues to gain a steady following at the mainland China box office since its opening on Aug. 27. In its first nine days of release, the Taiwanese director’s art-house sword-play film starring actress Shu Qi has earned 54.91 million yuan (US$8.62 million), according to website ChinaBoxOffice.

The film, which earned Mr. Hou the best-director award at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, has drawn strong reviews — earning a 90% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

The South China Morning Post called it “an instant classic,” while Variety described it as “a mesmerizing slow burn of a martial-arts movie.”

Watch a trailer for “The Assassin”: