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Asia Film Awards: Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s ‘Evil Does Not Exist’ Wins Best Film

Oscar winner Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s formalist arthouse drama Evil Does Not Exist won the best film prize Sunday night at the Asia Film Awards in Hong Kong.

The Japanese film industry had a big night overall at the 17th edition of the awards ceremony, which was hosted this year in Hong Kong’s gleaming new Xiqu Centre, part of the city’s $2.7 billion West Kowloon Cultural District development. Japanese festival favorite Hirokazu Kore-eda won best director for his mystery drama Monster, while the great Koji Yakusho took best actor for Wim Wender’s moving minimalist drama Perfect Days. Hamaguchi’s chief collaborator on Evil Does Not Exist, Eiko Ishibashi, won best music and the Kaiju critical and commercial sensation Godzilla Minus One claimed both best visual effects and best sound.

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In many ways, it was Zhang Yimou’s night, however. The venerated Chinese director took the stage twice, once to accept an overdue lifetime achievement honor and again to pick up the trophy for the highest-grossing Asian film for his blockbuster Full River Red, which earned $634 million last year.

Other key notable winners included Jiang Qinqin with best actress for her powerful turn in the rural drama Dwelling by the West Lake and the late Tibetan auteur Pema Tseden with best screenplay for his final film, Snow Leopard.

The AFAs were held on the eve of Filmart, Asia’s largest content market, which runs March 11-14. The Hong Kong International Film Festival kicks off in the city on March 28.

ASIAN FILM AWARDS 2024 – FULL WINNERS’ LIST
Best Film
12.12: The Day (South Korea)
Evil Does Not Exist (Japan)
Paradise (Sri Lanka, India)
Perfect Days (Japan)
Snow Leopard (China)

Best Director
KIM Sung-soo for 12.12: The Day (South Korea)
GU Xiaogang for Dwelling by the West Lake (China)
HAMAGUCHI Ryusuke for Evil Does Not Exist (Japan)
KORE-EDA Hirokazu for Monster (Japan)
Prasanna VITHANAGE for Paradise (Sri Lanka, India)

Best New Director
Khagvadulam PUREV-OCHIR for City of Wind (France, Mongolia, Portugal, Netherlands, Qatar, Germany)
PHAM THIEN An for Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Vietnam, Singapore, France, Spain)
Dominic SANGMA for Rapture (India, China, Switzerland, Qatar, Netherlands)
Amanda Nell EU for Tiger Stripes (Malaysia, Taiwan, Singapore, France, Germany, Netherlands, Indonesia, Qatar)
Nick CHEUK for Time Still Turns the Pages (Hong Kong)

Best Actor
HWANG Jung-min in 12.12: The Day (South Korea)
WU Kang-Ren in Abang Adik (Malaysia)
SHEN Teng in Full River Red (China)
YAKUSHO Koji in Perfect Days (Japan)
Tony LEUNG Chiu Wai in The Goldfinger (Hong Kong, China)

Best Actress
JIANG Qinqin in Dwelling by the West Lake (China)
JUNG Yu-mi in Sleep (South Korea)
ZHOU Dongyu in The Breaking Ice (China, Singapore)
Audrey LIN in Trouble Girl (Taiwan)
KIKUCHI Rinko in 658km Yoko (Japan)

Best Supporting Actor
PARK Hoon in 12.12: The Day (South Korea)
Jack TAN in Abang Adik (Malaysia)
NAKAMURA Shido in Kubi (Japan)
PARK Jung-min in Smugglers (South Korea)
Sean WONG in Time Still Turns the Pages (Hong Kong)

Best Supporting Actress
HAMABE Minami in Godzilla Minus One (Japan)
Rachel LEUNG in In Broad Daylight (Hong Kong)
TSUTSUI Mariko in Last Shadow at First Light (Singapore, Japan, Slovenia, The Philippines, Indonesia)
GO Min-si in Smugglers (South Korea)
WAN Fang in Snow in Midsummer (Malaysia, Taiwan, Singapore)

Best Newcomer
Tergel Bold-Erdene in City of Wind (Mongolia, France, Portugal, Netherlands, Qatar, Germany)
Awat RATANAPINTHA in Doi Boy (Thailand, Cambodia)
Yoyo TSE in Fly Me to the Moon (Hong Kong)
WANG Yibo in Hidden Blade (China)
SHIRATA Mihaya in Last Shadow at First Light (Singapore, Japan, Slovenia, The Philippines, Indonesia)

Best Screenplay
HAMAGUCHI Ryusuke for Evil Does Not Exist (Japan)
SAKAMOTO Yuji for Monster
Prasanna VITHANAGE and Anushka SENANAYAKE for Paradise (Sri Lanka, India)
Jason YU for Sleep (South Korea)
Pema Tseden for Snow Leopard (China)

Best Editing
KIM Sang-bum for 12.12: The Day (South Korea)
HAMAGUCHI Ryusuke, and YAMAZAKI Azusa for Evil Does Not Exist (Japan)
Matthieu LACLAU for Only the River Flows (China)
A. Sreekar PRASAD for Paradise (Sri Lanka, India)
Nick CHEUK, Keith CHAN Hiu Chun for Time Still Turns the Pages (Hong Kong)

Best Cinematography
LEE Mo-gae for 12.12: The Day (South Korea)
KITAGAWA Yoshio for Evil Does Not Exist (Japan)
CHENGMA Zhiyuan for Only the River Flows (China)
Azamat DULATOV for Qas (Kazakhstan)
Matthias DELVAUX for Snow Leopard (China)

Best Original Music
UMEBAYASHI Shigeru for Dwelling by the West Lake (China)
ISHIBASHI Eiko for Evil Does Not Exist (Japan)
Akmaral MERGEN for Qas (Kazakhstan)
Anon Ch Momin for Rapture (India, China, Switzerland, Qatar, Netherlands)
LEE Dong-june for 1947 Road to Boston (South Korea)

Best Costume Design
Tim YIP for Creation of the Gods I: Kingdom of Storms (China)
KUROSAWA Kazuko for Kubi (Japan)
YOON Jung-hee for Smugglers (South Korea)
Elaine NG for Snow in Midsummer (Malaysia, Taiwan, Singapore)
MAN Lim Chung for The Goldfinger (Hong Kong, China)

Best Production Design
CHO Hwa-sung for Concrete Utopia (South Korea)
MITSUMATSU Keiko for Monster (Japan)
ZHANG Menglun for Only the River Flows (China)
Daktse Drundrup for Snow Leopard (China)
Eric LAM for The Goldfinger (Hong Kong, China)

Best Visual Effects
EUN Jae-hyun for Concrete Utopia (South Korea)
Douglas Hans SMITH for Creation of the Gods I: Kingdom of Storms (China)
YAMAZAKI Takashi, SHIBUYA Kiyoko, TAKAHASHI Masaki, NOJIMA Tatsuji for Godzilla Minus One (Japan)
JIN Jong-Hyun for “The Moon” (South Korea)
Allen WEI, Ahdee CHIU, DING Yanlai, Eric XU for “The Wandering Earth II” (China)

Best Sound
KIM Hyun-sang for Concrete Utopia (South Korea)
YANG Jiang, ZHAO Nan for Creation of the Gods I: Kingdom of Storms (China)
INOUE Natsuko for Godzilla Minus One (Japan)
Vuong Gia Bao, Xander TOH for Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Vietnam, Singapore, France, Spain)
TU Duu-Chih, WU Shu-Yao for Snow in Midsummer (Malaysia, Taiwan, Singapore).

AFA Next Generation Award
ZHAO Liying, actor (China)

Excellence in Asian Cinema
LEE Young-ae, actor (Korea) and SUZUKI Ryuhei, actor (Japan)

Asia Rising Star Award
Win Metawin, actor (Thailand)

Highest-Grossing Asian Film
Full River Red dir. ZHANG Yimou (China)

Lifetime Achievement Award
ZHANG Yimou, director (China)

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