‘Oscars of Asia’ returns for a night of grandeur

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On March 25, Asia’s most anticipated night of glitz and glamour, the 9th Asian Film Awards (AFA), returns to Macau to celebrate another year of cinematic excellence. Featuring a gathering of the region’s hottest celebrities and iconic filmmakers, the 2015 AFA will be held at The Venetian Macau to commemorate the occasion with unprecedented grandeur and prestige.

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Dubbed the “Oscars of Asia,” AFA represents the highest caliber of achievements in the Asian film industry, with a nomination list featuring the names of the biggest international superstars.

Last year’s star-studded list included Zhang Ziyi, Isabelle Huppert, Irrfan Khan and Han Hyo-jooto name a few. This year’s list of nominees does not disappoint, boasting unequivocal star-power with names such as Gong Li, Satoh Takeru, Kalki Koechlin,Ethan Ruanand Choi Min-sik, among many others.

The 9th AFA’s diverse jury panel consists of 14 acclaimed experts from nine different countries, including France’s Christian Jeune, Cannes Film Festival selector, and Italy’s Alberto Barbera, chief of the Venice International Film Festival.

Renowned director, Mabel Cheung will preside over this year’s jury panel, welcoming legendary actor Aaron Kwok as the celebrity judge.

The awards recognizes and celebrates outstanding achievement across 14 categories with a pool of 74 nominations representing 42 films from eight countries across Asia. The list of nominees for “Best Film,” the coveted crown-jewel of the AFA, includes critically-acclaimed blockbusters, Hill of Freedom and Ode to My Father from South Korea, Haider from India, Black Coal, Thin Ice and Blind Massage, from China, and The Light Shines Only There from Japan.

Among the other outstanding films being recognized at the awards are, Indonesian thriller The Raid 2: Berandal, and Filipino historical drama From What is Before. Director Ann Hui’s biographical tale, The Golden Era (Hong Kong, Mainland China) received the highest number of nominations this year.

Uniting three major powerhouses of Asian cinema from Hong Kong, Busan and Tokyo, the AFA represents the region’s film industry on a global platform. The 9th Asian Film Awards is poised to be a spectacular event that celebrates the diversity and vitality of Asian cinema, leading the industry to soaring new heights.

Inaugurated in 2007, AFA celebrates excellence in Asian cinema through the annual presentation of awards to the many diverse talents and films that make up the dynamic film industries of the region.

Presented in Hong Kong in its first seven years, the Awards were held last year in one of Asia’s fastest growing entertainment hubs, Macau. With this historic move, the awards take one step closer to its long-term plan of being held in different Asian cities to reflect its broad reach across the entire region.

For more information, visit www.asianfilmawards.asia.

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