Asian Film Awards Academy Inauguration Gala & MOËT-AFA Special Awards Ceremony was held at the Asia Society Center in Hong Kong on March 23, 2014.
This year marked the foundation of the Asian Film Awards Academy (AFAA), a newly established organization by the Hong Kong International Film Festival, the Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) and the Busan International Film Festival to organize and present the reputable Asian Film Awards (AFA) and form an unprecedented force to help promote, create and support the Asian film industry.
To celebrate the launch of AFAA, the founding members, Dr. Wilfred Wong Ying-Wai, Chairman of AFAA, Mr. Yasushi Shiina, Director General of the Tokyo International Film Festival and Mr. Lee Yong-kwan, Director of the Busan International Film Festival, and together with the Jury President of the 8th Asian Film Awards Mr. Peter Ho-Sun Chan, all joined on stage as the officiating guests.
There were a total of four awards presented at the first MOËT-AFA Special Awards: MOËT-AFA Outstanding Asian Actor and Actress Awards, and two Rising Star of Asia Awards. The MOËT-AFA Outstanding Asian Actress Award went to Ms. Carina Lau and the Outstanding Asian Actor Award went to the International Action-star Mr. Donnie Yen for their remarkable achievements.
One Rising Star of Asia Award went to Japanese actress Chiaki Kuriyama. Kuriyama started acting at the age of 5 and starred in “Shikoku” when she was 14. She got her break-through when she took part in “Battle Royale”, directed by famous film director, Kinji Fukasaku. Kuriyama also made her Hollywood debut in Kill Bill, Volume I, directed by Quentin Tarantino, making her one of the internationally known Japanese actresses. She served as a Festival Muse of last year’s Tokyo International Film Festival. Another Rising Star of Asia Award went to Korean actor Kim Nam Gil.
Quotes from the Press Conference;
Mr.Shiina, Director General of TIFF/TIFFCOM;
“As a founding member of AFAA, Tokyo International Film Festival will try harder to introduce the talented and outstanding film industry members of Asia to Japan. With the collaboration between the other major Asian film festivals, we would promote and enhance an awareness of the Asian Films throughout the world.”
Ms. Chiaki Kuriyama, Actress;
“I’m truly humbled and honored to get the award. Now my aim is to be able to carry my career longer and hope to have an opportunity to work internationally again.”
About Asian Film Awards Academy
Established in Hong Kong in late 2013, the Asian Film Awards Academy aims to promote and develop Asian cinema, its talents and audiences.
In an unprecedented landmark collaboration, the three long-established and major international film festivals in Asia, that is Busan, Hong Kong and Tokyo have joined together as the founding members of the Asian Film Awards Academy. Together, they will provide an impact and influence that will promote Asian cinema through the annual flagship Asian Film Awards, and year-round initiatives such as professional exchanges, mentorship and development programs for young filmmakers, and strategies for regional and international audience development.
Asian Film Awards Academy members will come from all over Asia. They will be drawn from all past nominees and winners at the Asian Film Awards. Additional members who are prominent in their field may also be inducted into the Asian Film Awards Academy. Members will be given voting rights for the Asian Film Awards and also participate in various Academy activities around the region.
The Asian Film Awards Academy expresses the increasing global importance and creative strength of the cinemas of Asia and will help to unite the industries and talents of this fast-growing region.