The 5th Annual Asian World Film Festival (AWFF) was held in Los Angeles from 6-14 November, and the winners were announced on the closing night at the ArcLight in Culver City.
The Asian World Film Festival was founded by Kyrgyz public figure Sadyk Sher-Niyaz with the notion of bringing together a wide range of Asian World Cinema – primarily to draw a greater recognition for the Asian work and strengthen the ties with Hollywood film industries.
Showcasing films from over 50 Asian countries, AWFF provides them with an opportunity to be guided though the challenging awards season and be presented for the Motion Picture Academy, along with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
During the 9 days event, almost 70 feature films including 25 Oscar Best International Feature Film submissions and Golden Globe submitted films were presented. The festival was followed by a screening of Japan’s ‘Weathering with You’ and a reception at the Fifty One Chinese ‘Kitchen.
AWFF partnered with the Snow Leopard Trust to raise awareness for the endangered snow leopard and its habitat in the high mountains of Asia. The Snow Leopard awards were presented by:
- Meryem Uzerli (Actress – Germany/Turkey)
- Guka Omarove (Director – Kazakhstan)
- Kieu Chinh (Actress/Producer/Writer – USA/Vietnam)
- Sarah Finn (Casting Director – USA)
- Jeremy Kagan (Emmy winning director – USA)
- Wenting (Ting ting) Xu (HFPA)
- Iris Yamashita (Oscar nominated screenwriter)
The recipients of the awards included:
- Snow Leopard Audience Award: Director Oualid Mouaness
- Snow Leopard Jury Award – Best Director: Dito Tsintsadze for Shindisi
- Snow Leopard Special Jury Award: Aurora (Kyrgyzstan)
- Snow Leopard Best Film Award: The Sun Above MeNever Sets (Yakutia, Russian Federation)
- The Murray Weissman Poster Art Award: Meiduo(China)
Georges Chamchoum, Executive and Program Director of AWFF said, “This year’s Asian World Film Festival was a huge success and a celebration of the Asian & Asian-American Cinema. We had an enthusiastic response by filmmakers across Asia creating an international window into the talents and visions of Asian filmmakers. Tonight’s awards represent the very best of the festival and we are proud to spotlight these talented filmmakers. We look forward to continuing to present films which are exciting, original, exceptional and inspiring”.
The awards are sponsored by Aitysh USA, Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Arclight Cinemas, Culver Hotel, City of Culver City, Communication University of Zhejiang (China), Snow Leopard Trust, AKIpress, CJ Entertainment, Chosun Daily LA, Moredii, MDSUN, Novartizan, WECTAC, Korean Cultural Center LA, Beijing Genki Forest Beverage, Sakura Production USA, Cape, procolo.co, Gaby’s and Emporium Thai.