The Asian Film Awards Academy (“AFAA”) announced the winners of the 14th Asian Film Awards (“AFA14”) today. Given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the awards presentation is broadcast online on AFAA's website and YouTube channel and Busan's Asian Contents & Film Market website.
Wilfred Wong, Chairman of AFAA and the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society congratulated all winners. "I would like to thank especially this year’s jury for their time and effort. Although we could not hold an award ceremony in-person, I hope we can gather together to celebrate the 15th Asian Film Awards next year," said Wong.
Lee Yong-kwan, Chairman of Busan International Film Festival, said "As the organiser of this year’s Asian Film Awards, we are happy to receive support from internationally renowned filmmakers Koreeda Hirokazu, Lee Chang-dong, Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit, Anthony Chen, and world acclaimed film talents Yakusho Koji, Samal Yeslyamova, Yang Ik-joon, Kara Wai and Johnny Huang Jingyu to announce the winners. In such difficult times, I am happy to see the unity of Asian cinema."
Ando Hiroyasu, Chairman of Tokyo International Film Festival explained, "As Shakespeare put it: 'The night is long that never finds the day.' The power of cinema enriches our daily lives and gives us courage to overcome the pandemic. Thank you everyone involved for their contribution to make AFA14 a special one."
The Best Film award was made to Parasite, which also won Best Screenplay for co-writers Han Jin Won and the film’s director Bong Joon Ho. The film also won for Best Production Design and Best Editing totaling four awards. "I am grateful to all the people involved with the Asian Film Awards for making it possible that Parasite could become part of AFA's legacy. I strongly believe that we will meet in person next year at the Asian Film Awards, shake hands, and enjoy talking with one another without masks…I believe that nothing can stop us from continuing to make films,” said Bong.
Wang Xiaoshuai’s sensitive and emotionally powerful three-hour drama, So Long, My Son earned him Best Director. Wang said, "As a director, I advocate creating freely and thinking independently. Under the intense social and political pressure, I hope that I can always stand by the side of the ordinary to make the vulnerable powerful. We, as Asians, have different national backgrounds, films can present such diversities, but can also deliver a mutual message of humanity, of love, respect and dignity."
HIKARI from Japan was named the Best New Director for her feature debut on a disabled person facing and overcoming society’s prejudice in 37 Seconds. "We made this film hoping to open people's hearts and minds to show that despite our differences on the outside, we are the same on the inside. There's love, desires, and we all have stories to tell. All we need is to lean in, and listen to one another and I truly hope, really hope, that our film will inspire you to do so." HIKARI said.
The Best Actor award was given to Lee Byung-hun for his outstanding performance as assassin of former Korean President Park Chung-hee in the political thriller The Man Standing Next. "First, I would like to thank the AFA for the Best Actor award, and the actors and crew of The Man Standing Next. The chemistry between the actors in this film was a big part of why I am able to receive this award. Please stay safe, and I’m sure we’ll all be able to meet at the movies again soon," said Lee.
Better Days stars Zhou Dongyu and Jackson Yee won Best Actress and Best Newcomer for their outstanding performances. Zhou and Yee thanked all for recognizing their performances in the film and thanked producer Jojo Hui Yuet Chun, director Derek Tsang Kwok Cheung and everyone in the Better Days team. “I am grateful to every jury member for their encouragement, and I look forward to seeing you all in the near future,” said Zhou. “I will keep working hard to achieve more outstanding performances in the future,” said Yee.
Kase Ryo won the Best Supporting Actor in the Japan-Uzbekistan-Qatar co-production, To the Ends of the Earth. Kase thanked the AFAA and the jury for giving him the award, "To be honest, I was surprised when I heard about the nomination because my role in this film was rather low key, my performance there was a fairly quiet one. So, it's encouraging for me to be reminded the fact that there still are people who appreciate that kind of thing in films," he says.
Samantha Ko received Best Supporting Actress award for her subtle and emotional performance in A Sun. "First I would like to thank the judges for giving me this award. I also would like to thank the director Chung Mong-Hong for trusting me. 2020 is difficult year for everybody, but I still believe that love can change everything. Be humble, be grateful to give love. Peace to everyone!" Ko says.