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7th Asian Film Awards Photo Essay

Written by YumCha! Editorial Team Tell a Friend

Celebrating the best in Asian cinema, the 8th Asian Film Awards (AFA) were held on March 18, 2013 in Hong Kong. Many of the award nominees and presenters met the press before and after the award ceremony to share their thoughts on their work and films. Here's a roundup of our favorite moments from the interviews as well as the Asian Film Awards ceremony and red carpet.


Eddie Garcia (Bwakaw)
- Best Actor Winner -

The Filipino acting legend admits that he had never planned to become an actor. Before re-enlisting in the army after World War II, Eddie went to a film audition with his friends for fun. That audition would lead to a distinguished career that has been going for over 60 years and earned him many awards, including this year's AFA Best Actor award. Eddie said that he received many congratulatory text messages from his friends after his win and that many in the Philippines hope that their country can hold an award ceremony as prestigious as the Asian Film Awards.

Huang Yu Siang (Touch of the Light)
- Best New Performer Nominee -

Huang Yu Siang's transformation from a shy, talented pianist to the recognizable star of Touch of the Light means that he now has fans approaching him on the street for picture. However, Huang doesn't mind his newfound popularity at all, saying that he likes making new friends. After playing himself in his debut film, Huang also wants to try playing a new character, but he insists that music is still his first love and that he hopes to release an album in the future.

Rhydian Vaughan (GF*BF)
- Best Supporting Actor Nominee -

Nominated for the first time at this year's AFA, Taiwan actor Rhydian Vaughan said that imagination is his "good friend" when it comes to getting into a role: "I like to write stories for my characters." His roles also come back to find him in his daily life as he notices that he sometimes does certain things the way his past characters would.


Jo Min Su (Pieta)
- People Choice's Award – My Favorite Actress Winner -

When asked if she liked Kim Ki Duk's films before shooting Pieta, Jo Min Su laughingly answered "No!" Because Kim Ki Duk films are known to have rough characterizations of women, she initially had reservations about working with him, but found him to be friendly and mild-mannered when they met. Kim Ki Duk gave her a lot of freedom to portray her character on set, such that the process felt almost like a live shoot.

Watanabe Makiko (Capturing Dad)
- Best Supporting Actress Winner -

Best known for her roles in cult films like Love Exposure, Watanabe Makiko knows that her roles can be pretty extreme. With her award-winning role in Capturing Dad, the seasoned actress was happy to be able to act in a role that's more like herself with circumstances closer to her life. She also explained that her reason for acting in so many independent films was due to her preference for working in smaller, more intimate teams.

Qin Lan (The Last Supper)
- Best Supporting Actress Nominee -

Qin Lan played the role of empress Lu Zhi in both The Last Supper and the TV drama Legend of the Chu and Han last year. She commented that while it would seem like playing the same character twice in one year would be easy, it was actually very difficult, because the stories and production styles were different. Though Last Supper did not perform that well box office wise, she supports director Lu Chuan for making a historical film in his style: "China needs more of these types of films to make the industry richer and more diverse."

Kim Go Eun
- Award Presenter -

An award presenter at this year's AFA, Kim Go Eun won many Best Newcomer awards in South Korea for her strong debut in A Muse. The 22-year-old actress noted that though A Muse's story (of an elderly poet falling in love with a teenage girl) seems very sensational, those who watch the film will find that it is actually very humanistic. Kim, who lived in China for ten years, admires Tang Wei and also identifies herself as a "big fan" of Donnie Yen.

Eugene Domingo
- Award Presenter -

After stealing the show with her People's Choice award acceptance speech last year, Filipino star Eugene Domingo was back to provide the audience with plenty of joy as an award presenter. This year, her priority was to root for Nora Aunor and Eddie Garcia – both legendary stars at home. Eugene also took a moment to talk about problems facing the Filipino film industry. "We have a lot of talents, but we are still learning about the technology, and it will take a lot of time," said Eugene. "But we are not hopeless. This is why we're very grateful for celebrations like Asian Film Award because they recognize Filipino talents."


Lou Ye (Mystery)
- Best Director Nominee -

Director Lou Ye started an industry-wide conversation by protesting the censorship imposed on his nominated film Mystery, but Lou insists that his relationship with the China censorship authorities is good at the moment. "I hope that improvements will come in time, but you can't get rid of censorship overnight. I think exchange of ideas is important, and I hope that other filmmakers will join in. I hope there will be less 'sensitive' topics in China in the future, because no topic should be too 'sensitive'."

Xu Zheng (Lost in Thailand)
- Top Grossing Asian Film Award -

Despite being at the Asian Film Awards to accept his Top Grossing Asian Film award for Lost in Thailand, director/star Xu Zheng is fully aware that his film's domestic box office record will be broken at any time by Stephen Chow's Journey to the West. "When the gross for Thailand passed 500 million yuan, I thought the total gross didn't matter anymore because it proved that China had room for different types of films," said Xu, "If Journey to the West doesn't break the record, another film will. This is a great thing for the film market and audiences."

Apichatpong Weerasethakul
- Award Presenter -

Apichatpong Weerasethakul, whose Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives won Best Film in 2011, returned to the AFA as an award presenter. The Thai auteur believes that the changes in Thailand's film rating system a few years ago have not really changed the filmmaking process, as the government can still ban films and filmmakers are too used to practicing self-censorship. It will take time for a new generation of filmmakers to learn to "punch a little stronger." Meanwhile, he described his own own in-development sci-fi film Utopia as "still utopian."


Xu Zheng and Miriam Yeung present Best Script

Lou Ye Kim Go Eun and Gordon Lam
Rhydian Vaughan and Fiona Sit Farbod Khoshtinat

Donny Damara and Zhao Tao presenting the Best Supporting Actor award

Li Qian Kuan and Wong Jing Huang Yu Siang and Eman Lam
Eugene Domingo and Archie Kao Jo Min Su

Eddie Garcia wins Best Actor for Bwakaw

Annie Liu and Yolanda Yuan Gigi Leung and Tony Yang
Max Zhang and Amanda Qin Guey Lun Mei and Hu Jun

Nora Aunor wins Best Actress for Thy Womb

Watanabe Makiko Man Lim Chung
Qi Xi Xu Zheng

Andy Lau and Sylvia Chang present Best Film

Michelle Yeoh Anthony Wong
Apichatpong Weerasethakul and Yonfan Mystery wins Best Film

Mabel Cheung, Yuen Woo Ping, Corey Yuen and Sammo Hung play rock-paper-scissors to decide who presents the Excellence in Asian Cinema Award to Michelle Yeoh


People's Choice Award – My Favorite Actress winner Jo Min Su

Archie Kao The Touch of Light cast and director
Yolanda Yuan and Hu Jun Deanie Ip

Best Supporting Actress winner Watanabe Makiko

Gigi Leung Chien Man Shu
Fiona Sit and Chapman To Jonathan Wong

GF*BF stars Guey Lun Mei and Rhydian Vaughan

Mandy Lieu and Maria Chan Annie Liu
Eman Lam Miriam Yeung

Andy Lau waves on the red carpet

Farbod Khoshtinat Anthony Wong
Lu Chuan and Qin Lan Nora Aunor and Donny Damara

Best New Performer winner Qi Xi

Fala Chen Niki Chow
Moses Chan Christy Chung

Philippine's pride: Best Actress Nora Aunor and Best Actor Eddie Garcia

Eugene Domingo Lou Ye
Li Guangjie Amanda Qin

Lou Ye's Mystery takes home three prizes including Best Film

Kim Go Eun Jessica C and Michael Tong
Sammo Hung and Corey Yuen Tony Yang

Excellence in Asian Cinema Award winner Michelle Yeoh

Visit YesAsia's Facebook page to browse more photos from the 7th Asian Film Awards.

Published March 25, 2013

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