Winners Announced at Asian World Film Festival Closing Night, Nov. 1

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LISA LU HONORED WITH THE “LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD”; AWKWAFINA ACCEPTED THE “RISING STAR AWARD"; FREIDA PINTO RECEIVED THE AWFF “AMERICAN RED CROSS/TIFFANY CIRCLE COURAGE TO DREAM AWARD”

Last Updated: November 2, 2018 5:34 pm GMT
(Los Angeles, CA--November 2, 2018) The 4th ANNUAL ASIAN WORLD FILM FESTIVAL (AWFF) announced Festival award winners during the closing night ceremony at the ArcLight in Culver City. Almost 40 feature films from 25 participating countries were presented during the nine-day festival that included 17 Oscar® Foreign Language submissions and a dozen Golden Globe® submitted films. The Awards ceremony, presented to a sold-out audience was followed by a screening of China’s In Harm’s Way and a reception at the Culver Hotel. The AWFF took place from October 24 – November 1 at the ArcLight Culver City Theater.



Said Georges Chamchoum, Executive and Program Director of the AWFF: "The Asian World Film Festival is a window into the talents and visions of Asian filmmakers. Tonight's awards represent the very best of the festival and we are proud to honor Lisa Lu, a legendary icon with over 80 films to her credit, and Awkwafina, a true star in every respect! AWFF is not just a celebration of the Asian & Asian-American Cinema, but it is the celebration of life through the magic of the Silver Screen. We look forward to continuing to present films which are exciting, original, exceptional and inspiring."

“The snow leopard is one of Asia’s most iconic animals and an ambassador of the continent’s rich and diverse cultures,” says founder and chairman of the Asian World Film Festival and Kyrgyz filmmaker Sadyk Sher-Niyaz, “It’s a natural fit for our award and our festival!" The Asian World Film Festival’s main cinematic award is named after the snow leopard. Snow Leopard Trust.

Lisa Lu was honored with the Snow LeopardLifetime Achievement” Award. She has been making movies for over six decades, including The Joy Luck Club, The Last Emperor and this year’s smash hit Crazy Rich Asians. Lu is considered one of the few first Chinese American actresses that opened the door to Hollywood. The award was presented by actress Ming-Na Wen (Mulan, Joy Luck Club) who has worked with Ms. Lu on numerous films for almost three decades.

The “Snow Leopard Rising Star” Award was presented to Awkwafina whose outlandish character was the scene stealer in Crazy Rich Asians. Also known for her rapping talents, Awkwafina achieved acclaim for her acting in Ocean’s Eight and Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising. The award was presented by Justin Chon, AWFF Jury Member and previous Rising Star Award recipient.

The Murray Weissman Poster Art Award was given to Buffalo Boys (designer: Chris Lie) and presented by director Sam Kadi, (Syria), who’s film Little Gandhi won last year’s award.

From a total of 17 films in competition, The AWFF Jury Awards, presented by members of the Jury, were:
  • Snow Leopard Best Film Award: Eduard Novikov's The Lord Eagle, Yakutia (Russian Federation), presented by Vivian Wu and accepted by Marinna Dessiatkina, Producer of Yakutia.
  • Snow Leopard Best Actress Award: Zahraa Ghandour in The Journey (Iraq), presented by Alex Dong and Justin Chon and accepted by Consul General of Iraq D. Salwan Sinjaree.
  • Snow Leopard Best Actor Award: Akylbek Abdykalykov in Night Accident (Kyrgyzstan), presented by Georges N. Chamchoum and accepted by Asel Sherniyazova, AWFF Co-founder and Managing Director.
  • Snow Leopard Special Jury Award: Mouly Surya's Marlina The Murderer in Four Acts, (Indonesia), presented by Silvia Bizio and Kimberly Cheng and accepted by Simon D. I. Soekarno, General Consul of the Republic of Indonesia.
  • Snow Leopard Jury Discretionary Award - Best New Director: Konstantin Khabenskiy, Sobibor (Russia) who accepted the award which was presented by Vivian Wu.
  • Jury Choice Award - Director and Cinematographer: Emir Baigazin, The River (Kazakhstan), presented by Eleonora Granata Jensinson.
  • Snow Leopard Audience Award: Mike Wiluan's Buffalo Boys, (Singapore), presented by Vivian Wu and accepted by actor Yoshi Sudarso. A $10,000 prize was awarded by sponsor Mr. Kieob Park from CRP & SOOM.
Also in attendance were AWFF’s Sadyk Sher-Niyaz (Founder/Chairman), Georges N. Chamchoum (Executive/ Programing Director) Asel Sherniyazova (Co-Founder/ Managing Director), Jury President Vivian Wu (Actress/Producer) and Jury Members Silvia Bizio (Co-director, Taormina Film Festival -Italy), Kimberly Cheng (Journalist/Reporter/Actress-USA), Justin Chon (Actor/Writer/Director-USA), Alex Dong (Executive Producer-Hong Kong), Eleonora Granata Jenkinson (Producer-Italy/USA), Dalmira Tilepbergen (Writer/Director-Kyrgyzstan).

Celebrity guests included Ming-Na Wen (Mulan, Joy Luck Club), Kieu Chinh (The Joy Luck Club), Lauren Tom (The Joy Luck Club), Amy Tan (The Joy Luck Club), Tamlyn Tomita (The Joy Luck Club), Ruby Yap (Million Loves in Me), John Y (Million Loves in Me), Thomas Aujero Small (Mayor of Culver City), Emile Hirsch (In Harm’s Way), Peng Sun (Producer, In Harm’s Way), among many others.

As previously announced, India’s Golden Globes foreign language submission Love Sonia was presented at the Festival’s opening night on October 24. The AWFF American Red Cross/Tiffany Circle Courage to Dream Award was presented to Love Sonia actress Freida Pinto at a special presentation prior to the screening. She is best known for her leading role in Slumdog Millionaire. The Centerpiece film was Burning, South Korea’s current Oscar submission.

The festival also held five industry panels as part of the AWFF Global and Asian Entertainment Forum, which featured entertainment industry leaders as moderators and panelists held at the Culver Hotel on Oct. 26. Topics included: Streaming - The Future of Global Entertainment; Asia-Hollywood Film Scene, Filmmakers, Women in Asian Film and ‘Blockchain: A New Way of Entertainment Financing. An enthusiastic filmmaker panel also took place where international directors discussed their filmmaking process.

In addition, Turkish superstar Türkan Soray accepted a special tribute award honoring Chingiz Aitmatov as the AWFF spotlighted the 90th anniversary of the Soviet/Kyrgyz author and statesman. Aitmatov is known for such films as Pervyy uchitel (1965), The Girl with the Red Scarf (1977) and Jamila (1994). His literary works have been translated into more than 150 languages.

The Asian World Film Festival is proudly sponsored by SOOM FOUNDATION, City of Culver City, Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), Arclight Theaters, SC Johnson, JK Holdings, MoRedii, Sun Entertainment Culture Limited, MDSUN Skin Care, CTX Club, Korean Cultural Center (Los Angeles), CAPE (Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment), CJ Entertainment, SAMSSON GROUP, Variety, The Korea Daily-JoongAng Ilbo, RK Media, AKIpress News Agency (Kyrgyzstan), Novartizan, WECTAC (West Coast Turkish Chamber of Commerce), PROCOLO.CO, Emporium Thai (Westwood), Fifty One Chinese Kitchen (Culver City), Gaby's Mediterranean, Tiger Beer, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Pechanga Resort & Casino, SC Global, LOTTE, MDSUN Cosmetics, and Nutrivista. The AWFF host venue is the historic Culver Hotel.

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ABOUT THE ASIAN WORLD FILM FESTIVAL:
The Asian World Film Festival (AWFF) brings the best of a broad selection of Asian World cinema to Los Angeles to draw greater recognition to the region's wealth of filmmakers, strengthening ties between the Asian and Hollywood film industries. Uniting through cross-cultural collaboration, our festival champions films from over 50 countries across Asia spanning from Turkey to Japan and Russia to India and the Middle East. All films that participate in the Festival will have a unique chance to be guided through the challenging awards season, and showcased for the Motion Picture Academy, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and all Guilds for enhanced exposure, media attention and awards consideration. AWFF is a non-profit organization under Aitysh USA. www.AsianWorldFilmFest.org



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