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The first annual Asian Film Awards

In a star-studded celebration ceremony officiated by Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Secretary of Commerce, Industry and Technology, Joseph Wong, the first annual Asian Film Awards (AFA’s) presented their awards tonight at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, kicking off the Entertainment Expo Hong Kong which runs through April 15th, 2007.

In an event hosting 4,000 guests from around the world and broadcast on TVB (Television Broadcasts Limited) and other regional channels, the AFA’s red-carpet gala and award ceremony paid tribute to 33 nominated Asian films in 10 categories and honored three world renowned artists in special tributes. The awards were presented by a mix of celebrities, filmmakers and government dignitaries.

Winning four of the ten prizes, South Korea’s THE HOST was presented the Best Film award by Entertainment Expo Ambassador and multiple-award winning actor Tony Leung and HKSAR Chief Secretary Rafael Hui and with other accolades including: Best Actor award going to SONG Kang-ho and presented by superstar Michelle Yeoh and award winning-director Hirokazu Kore-eda; Best Cinematographer going to KIM Hyung-goo; and the Best Visual Effects award going to commercial production house The Orphanage.

Other awards included Best Director going to JIA Zhangke for China’s STILL LIFE; Best Actress to Miki NAKATINI for Japan’s MEMORIES OF MATSUKO; Best Screenwriter to Mani HAGHIGHI for Iran’s MEN AT WORK presented by distinguished director Andrew Lau Wai Keung and Korean actress KIM Hye-soo; Best Production Designer to Tim YIP for the Hong Kong/Chinese production THE BANQUET; and Best Editor to Lee CHATAMETIKOOL for the Thailand/Austrian/French production of SYNDROMES AND A CENTURY. Lastly, Best Composer went to Rahayu SUPANGGAH for the Indonesian/Austrian film OPERA JAWA and was presented by Asian pop megastar Rain with action star Maggie Q (Mission: Impossible III, Live Free or Die Hard starring opposite Bruce Willis).

In addition to the ten award categories, special tributes were also an integral part of the ceremony with Luc Besson presenting legendary Asian actress Josephine Siao with the Asian Film Award for Outstanding Contribution to Asian Cinema; renowned director Johnnie To honored David Bordwell with the Asian Film Award for Excellence in Scholarship in Asian Cinema, and Asian actor Andy Lau was bestowed the Nielsen Box Office Star of Asia Award.

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Chatelin Bruno
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