Asian Film Awards 2018: Louis Koo, Sylvia Chang win best acting prizes; best picture goes to Feng Xiaogang’s Youth

In an awards ceremony dominated by Chinese-language cinema, Koo and Chang scooped the top acting prizes while Youth was awarded best picture, Zhang Yuqi best supporting actress and The Legend of the Demon Cat grabbed multiple prizes

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 18 March, 2018, 1:15pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 18 March, 2018, 1:40pm

Prolific Hong Kong film star Louis Koo Tin-lok won the first major acting prize in his career at the Asian Film Awards on Saturday night, taking home the best actor award for his role as a vengeful father searching for his abducted daughter in Paradox .

The typically reticent actor even gave a heartfelt speech of gratitude on the stage of the Venetian Theatre at the Venetian Macao.

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Paradox, a punishingly violent action thriller directed by Wilson Yip Wai-shun, also took home the best action film honour, a category introduced at this year’s awards which would turn out to be dominated by Chinese-language cinema. The 12th edition of the awards also saw it move back to its regular venue in Macau after holding its previous edition at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre.

Sylvia Chang Ai-chia, the Taiwanese writer, director and actress, was the surprise best actress winner for her part as an unhappy wife and mother in the multi-generational relationship drama Love Education , which she also co-scripted and directed. An emotional Chang took the prize right before she received the lifetime achievement award, which drew more tears from Chang and the presenters of her honour.

The night’s biggest prize went to the wartime romance drama Youth , which marked the second time in two years that Chinese director Feng Xiaogang has won best picture at the event. After spending several long seconds in his seat upon the announcement, Feng went on stage to remind the audience that he would be turning 60 in a little over an hour – his birthday is today.

The best director award went to Japanese filmmaker Yuya Ishii for his raw youth drama The Tokyo Night Sky Is Always the Densest Shade of Blue . Ishii was previously the winner of the Edward Yang new talent award at the second edition of the Asian Film Awards back in 2008.

Going into the night with the most nominations, Chen Kaige’s lavish supernatural murder mystery Legend of the Demon Cat won in four of its six categories. Those included best production design, costume design and visual effects, as well as a best supporting actress win for an ecstatic Zhang Yuqi, who declared onstage that she would now make it her life mission to win more awards.

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The full list of winners are as follows (click on titles for SCMP film reviews):

Best film: Youth

Best director: Yuya Ishii, Tokyo Night Sky Is Always the Densest Shade of Blue

Best actor: Louis Koo, Paradox

Best actress: Sylvia Chang, Love Education

Best supporting actor: Yang Ik-june, Wilderness

Best supporting actress: Zhang Yuqi, Legend of the Demon Cat

Best screenplay: Mayanayk Tewari, Amit Masurkar, Newton

Best newcomer: Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying, Bad Genius

Best new director: Dong Yue, The Looming Storm

Best action film: Paradox

Best editing: The King

Best production design: Legend of the Demon Cat

Best costume design: Legend of the Demon Cat

Best sound: The Great Buddha+

Best original music: Our Time Will Come

Best visual effects: Legend of the Demon Cat

Best cinematography: The Fortress

2017 highest grossing Asian film: Wolf Warrior 2

Next generation award: Lim Yoon-a

Excellence in Asian cinema award: Kara Wai

Lifetime achievement award: Sylvia Chang

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