The eighth annual Asian World Film Festival (AWFF) announced its competition winners at a star-studded event November 18 at the Saban Theater in Beverly Hill. The Last Film Show (India), directed by Pan Nalin, won the Snow Leopard Award for Best Film; Mohsen Tanabandeh received the Snow Leopard for Best Actor for World War III (Iran) and Hui Fang Hong was awarded the Snow Leopard for Best Actress for Ajoomma (Singapore).
The Snow Leopard Special Jury Award went to World War III, directed by Houman Seyed, and the Snow Leopard Audience Award to Aurora’s Sunrise (Armenia), directed by Inna Sahakyan. Excellence in cinematography was recognized in a first for AWFF. Kerr (Turkey) cinematographer Andreas Sinanos received the Panavision Best Cinematography Award along with a $60,000 Panavision Camera Grant for state-of-the-art film equipment.
Short films and the talent behind them were also recognized at the standing room only event. The Hollywood Foreign Press (HFPA), host of the AWFF Short Film Competition, presented the HFPA Scholarship Best Short Award of US$5,000 to director Dania Bdeir for “Warsha” (Lebanon/France). HFPA runner-up Adilet Karzhoev, director of “Burul” (Kyrgyzstan), was honored with the $2,000 StarsCollective Emerging Filmmaker Award. In addition, Amirhossein Khoshbin, cinematographer of “Deer” (Iran), received the Panavision Award for Short Film Cinematography and a camera grant of US$15,000.
“In this, our eighth annual AWFF, we have illustrated the fortunes of the Number Eight by showing an astounding array of cinematic riches,” said Georges N. Chamchoum, AWFF Executive Director. “We have screened films from more than 50 nations, and each in their own way has been a symbol of the value of Asian voices to the industry and audiences. The awards reflect the spirit of AWFF and the essence of what the festival stands for!”
The competition and previously announced honorary awards were presented during a music-filled ceremony hosted by actress, philanthropist and founder of the One Heart Movement Krista Kleiner and actor, writer and producer Jeff Locker. Internationally acclaimed performers at the evenings included singer-songwriter Dam Vinh Hung and Ha Phuong, singer-actress and founder of the Ha Phuong Foundation – both born in South Vietnam.
The full list of awards is as follows:
Winner of the AWFF competition
Snow Leopard for Best Film – The Last Film Show (India), Pan Nalin, Director
Snow Leopard for Best Actor – Mohsen Tanabandeh, World War III (Iran)
Snow Leopard for Best Actress – Hui Fang Hong, Ajoomma (Singapore)
Snow Leopard Audience Award – Aurora’s Sunrise (Armenia), Inna Sahakyan, Director
Snow Leopard Special Jury Award – World War III (Iran), Houman Seyedi, director
Panavision Best Cinematography Award and Panavision Camera Grant – Andreas Sinanos, Cinematographer, Kerr (Turkey)
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Grant of $5,000 – “Warsha” (Lebanon/France), Dania Bdeir, Director
StarsCollective Emerging Filmmaker Award – Adilet Karzhoev, Director, “Burul” (Kyrgyzstan)
Panavision Award for Short Film Cinematography – Amirhossein Khoshbin, Cinematographer, “Deer” (Iran)
AWFF Award Winners (previously announced)
Snow Leopard Award for Outstanding Cinematic Achievement – Park Chan-wook, Writer, Director, Producer
Snow Leopard Lifetime Achievement Award – Albert S. Ruddy, Producer
Snow Leopard Rising Star Award – Desmond Chiam, Actor, Writer, Producer
The Bruce Lee Award, in partnership with the Bruce Lee Foundation – Daniel Wu, Actor, Martial Artist, Director, Producer
Ladies Tiffany Circle American Red Cross Courage to Dream Award – Dr. Michael Dao and Dr. Linh Bui, doctors and philanthropists
Winn Slavin Humanitarian Award – Truong Ngoc Anh, Philanthropist
One Heart Award – Love Life Learning Foundation, co-founders Alan Vo Ford and Jenny Ai Trinh Thai
Angel Benefactor Award – Jennifer McCormick and Lani Netter, Ladies Tiffany Circle American Red Cross
Angel Benefactor Award – Raghu Kilambi, CEO/CFO, Power Tap Hydrogen Fueling Corporation
The eighth annual Asian World Film Festival was held in Los Angeles from November 9th to 18th and featured 20 entries for the Academy Award for Best International Feature Film. Seventeen films were screened in competition.
The members of the competition jury were: Truong Ngoc Anh (President), actress, model, singer, entrepreneur and philanthropist; Janet Hsieh, actress, television presenter, author and musician; Jongman Kim, actor; Arawinda Kirana, actress and filmmaker; Janet Nepales, journalist; Pitof, director, producer and visual effects supervisor; and Bryan Sipe, screenwriter.
The HPFA Short Film Competition jury consisted of: Yong Chavez, TV Correspondent (President); C-Tru, musician, music producer and entertainment manager; Sam Kadi, filmmaker; Long Nguyen, actor; Minnie Nguyen, entertainment executive and producer; Miyuki Matsunaga, actress and performer.
The Snow Leopard Awards were presented in partnership with the Snow Leopard Trust to raise awareness of the endangered snow leopard and its Asian ecosystem.
WFF sponsors and partners include: Aitysh USA, Peer, Dr. Dao Medical Center, Winn Slavin Fine Art, Dutcher Crossing, Panavision, The One Heart Movement, The Bruce Lee Foundation, Ha Phuong Foundation, Barco, Korean Cultural Center (KCC, LA ), Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), Asia Society, Southern California, Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (CAPE), Taiwan Academy, Los Angeles, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, Taiwan Creative Content Agency (TAICCA), American Red Cross/ Ladies Tiffany Circle, AKIpress News Agency, Nova Entertainment, Jackson Market and Deli and Emporium Thai.
ABOUT ASIAN WORLD FILM FESTIVAL
The Asian World Film Festival (AWFF), founded by Kyrgyz socialite Sadyk Sher-Niyaz, brings the best of a diverse selection of world Asian cinema to Los Angeles to give greater recognition to the region’s wealth of filmmaking procure and strengthen ties between Asians and Hollywood film industry. The festival connects through cross-cultural collaboration and champions films from more than 50 countries across Asia, from Turkey to Japan and from Russia to India and the Middle East. All participating films will have the unique opportunity to be guided through the demanding awards season. They are also presented to members of the Motion Picture Academy, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and the Entertainment Guilds for awareness, media attention and awards. AWFF is a non-profit organization based in Aitysh, USA.