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‘Evil Does Not Exist’ bags top prize at the Asian Film Awards

Japanese movies did exceedingly well, earning prizes in the major categories of Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor.

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PUBLISHED

READING TIME

Less than 1 minute Minutes

Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Evil Does Not Exist won Best Film at yesterday’s 17th Asian Film Awards. The win marks the second time that Hamaguchi has claimed the prize, after collecting it last year for Drive My Car

Hamaguchi’s film and fellow Best Picture contender, 12:12: The Day, were both frontrunners at the awards – held at the Xiqu Centre in Hong Kong – with each earning six nominations. Unlike last year, Hamaguchi was unable to pick up his prize in person, and instead sent his appreciation via video.

Japan won big in other categories as well, with the Best Director award going to Hirokazu  Kore-Eda for his work in Monster, and the Best Actor award going to Koji Yakusho for his performance in Perfect Days.

The Best Actress award went to Chinese actress Jiang Qinqin, who starred in the film Dwelling by the West Lake

[See more: There are 35 films shortlisted for the Asian Film Awards]

The achievements of Chinese director Zhang Yimou were also recognised, with the filmmaker – best known internationally for his collaboration with Chinese actress Gong Li – earning a Lifetime Achievement Award. He also won the Highest Grossing Asian Film prize for Full River Red, which made US$634 million last year. 

During his speech, the 73-year-old director said “Asian movies have an important role to play in today’s world. I hope this award is not the end, but a beginning. You and I are chasing our dream. Let’s work hard and tell the story of Asia to the world.”

An estimated 1,000 people attended the event. Among them were some of Asia’s most renowned cinematic names, including actress Fan Bingbing (who presented the Best Actor award), directors Stanley Kwan and Mabel Cheung, as well as the heads of the Udine festival Sabrina Baracetti and Thomas Bertacche. 

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