Hong Kong/Tokyo (September 9, 2021) — The Asian Film Awards Academy (AFA Academy or AFAA) announced the nominations for the 15th Asian Film Awards (AFA15) today. AFA15 will present 16 awards recognizing artistic and technical achievements in Asian cinema, and two Japanese films, Wife of a Spy (Director: KUROSAWA Kiyoshi) and Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy (Director: HAMAGUCHI Ryusuke), along with China’s One Second, South Korea’s The Book of Fish and India’s The Disciple are competing for this year’s Best Film Award.
World-renowned directors KUROSAWA Kiyoshi, ZHANG Yimou, LEE Joon-ik, internationally acclaimed directors HAMAGUCHI Ryusuke, and Adilkhan YERZHANOV are in a tight race for Best Director.
Japanese films and talents were nominated in 14 categories in total, including a Best Actor Award nomination for Under the Open Sky’s YAKUSHO Koji, who was the Festival Ambassador of the 33rd Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) and recipient of the Excellence in Asian Cinema Award as well as Best Actor Award winner at AFA13; Best Actress Award nomination for AOI Yu for Wife of a Spy, which received nominations in five categories; and HARUMOTO Yujiro for A Balance. His first feature film was screened in the Japanese Cinema Splash section in the 29th TIFF.
*See below for the full list of nominations.
In 2020, the 14th Asian Film Awards moved to Busan, South Korea for the first time and were held online due to COVID-19 restrictions. This year, AFA15 will be held again in conjunction with the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) and the winners will be announced and presented with awards on October 8, 2021. The ceremony will commerce in a hybrid form, which combines on-site attendance in Busan and online participation.
The AFAA is honored that legendary South Korean filmmaker LEE Chang-dong will be this year’s Jury President. LEE was the lifetime award recipient at the 13th Asian Film Awards. He won the Best Director Award at Venice Film Festival with his third feature film, Oasis, in 2002. His fourth feature, Secret Sunshine (2007), earned its lead actress, JEON Do-yeon, the Best Actress Award at the 61st Cannes Film Festival in 2007. His Poetry (2010) won the Best Screenplay Award at the 63rd Cannes Film Festival in 2010; and LEE’s following feature, Burning (2018), based on MURAKAMI Haruki’s short story “Barn Burning,” won the FIPRESCI award at the 71st Cannes Film Festival.
TIFF, together with BIFF and the Hong Kong International Film Festival, created the AFA Academy, a nonprofit organization, in 2013 to promote and develop Asian cinema and its talents.
Asian Film Awards (AFA)
Celebrating excellence in Asian cinema through the annual presentation of awards to talents and films, the Awards night is a spectacular gathering of stars, celebrities, industry professionals and the media that highlights and publicizes the year’s achievements in Asian movies.
Asian Film Awards Academy (AFAA)
In 2013, three main Asian film festivals – Busan, Hong Kong and Tokyo – joined together to create the non-profit organization, the Asian Film Awards Academy (AFAA) to promote and develop Asian cinema and its talents. AFAA highlights, strengthens and develops Asian film industry and culture through the annual Asian Film Awards, and with financial support from Create Hong Kong and Film Development Fund of the Hong Kong SAR Government, several year-round initiatives for building regional and international audiences such as the Masterclass Series, Journey to the Fest, Asian Cinerama, Young Film Professionals Program and Film Craft Workshop.
→AFA15 Nominations LIST Download(724KB)