Culture | I Am Not Madame Bovary wins top prize at Asian Film Awards

I Am Not Madame Bovary wins top prize at Asian Film Awards

Chinese comedy starring Fan Bingbing snags three honors – Best Film, Best Actress and Best Cinematography

Chinese actress Fan Bingbing and director Feng Xiaogang celebrate with their Best Actress and Best Film awards at the Asian Film Awards in Hong Kong,  March 21, 2017. Photo: Bobby Yip/Reuters
Chinese actress Fan Bingbing and director Feng Xiaogang celebrate with their Best Actress and Best Film awards at the Asian Film Awards in Hong Kong, March 21, 2017. Photo: Bobby Yip/Reuters

Chinese comedy I Am Not Madame Bovary, directed by Feng Xiaogang, scored the top prize among the three gongs it won at the Asian Film Awards on Tuesday at a ceremony in the Hong Kong Cultural Center.

The comedy film, which won Best Film, stars Chinese actress Fan Bingbing as lead character Li Xuelian, who tackles government bureaucracy in a bid to reclaim her reputation. Fan also won Best Actress for her role as Li.

“I am very grateful and happy. Our movie has won three awards and I’m especially happy that Fan Bingbing won as this is a movie made for an actress,” Feng told the gallery press at an awards conference after the presentation.

Feng also said that he was happy that cinematographer Luo Pan won for Best Cinematography as Luo had made an “artistic breakthrough” for the film. I Am Not Madame Bovary is Feng’s most art-house film among his body of work to date and was notable for its circular framing.

Chinese actress Fan Bingbing celebrates with her Best Actress award at the Asian Film Awards in Hong Kong, China March 21, 2017. REUTERS/Bobby Yip
Head to toe glamor. Fan Bingbing celebrates her Best Actress award. Photo:Bobby Yip/Reuters

Fan shared a moment on stage at the press conference, saying her award for Best Actress is a “birthday present” for Feng, who recently celebrated.

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Best Actor & Best Director

Japanese actor Asano Tadanobu won Best Actor for his role in the film Harmonium, with Na Hong-jin taking Best Director for his horror film The Wailing.

Japanese actor Tadanobu Asano celebrates with his Best Actor award at the Asian Film Awards in Hong Kong, China March 21, 2017. REUTERS/Bobby Yip
I won! Japanese actor Tadanobu Asano celebrates with his Best Actor award. Photo: Bobby Yip/Reuters

A jubilant Asano called the award “sweet,” but also said the win was a “collaborative effort” between him and director Koji Fukada.

“I worked back and forth with the director on the character,” explained Asano. He plays Yasaka in the movie, who is a mysterious fresh out of jail character that visits his old acquaintance in the family drama Harmonium.

Na said the award would “hopefully help in future projects.”

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Korean director Na Hong-jin sins Best Director for his horror film The Wailing. Photo: Ya Leung/Asia Times

Read: Roger Garcia of Asian Film Awards Academy discusses Asian movies

The Handmaiden and others

The Handmaiden by Park Chan-wook, which led with six nominations, won for Best Newcomer (Kim Tae-ri), Best Supporting Actress (Moon So-ri) and awards in production design (Ryu Seong-hie) and costume design (Cho Sang-kyung). It was not nominated for Best Director and Best Film.

South Korean actress Kim Tae-ri celebrates after winning the Best Newcomer award at the Asian Film Awards in Hong Kong, China March 21, 2017. REUTERS/Bobby Yip
Stunning in white. South Korean Kim Tae-ri is all smiles with her Best Newcomer award. Photo: Bobby Yip/Reuters

A surprised Kim, who took home Best Newcomer, paid tribute to the film and said: “This is the character’s eighth win, but I still feel terrified. Sometimes I feel like I won the awards because the film is so good.”

Veteran local film star Lam Suet also won Best Supporting Actor for his role in the Hong Kong mob drama Trivisa.

Hong Kong actor Sammi Cheng celebrates after winning the Excellence in Asian Cinema award at the Asian Film Awards in Hong Kong, China March 21, 2017. REUTERS/Bobby Yip
Elegant and sleek. Hong Kong actor Sammi Cheng celebrates after winning the Excellence in Asian Cinema award. Photo: Bobby Yip/Reuters

Iranian director Asghar Farhadi’s The Salesman won for Best Screenplay with Lee Chatametikool and Natalie Soh winning Best Editing for the Singaporean film, Apprentice.

Completing the list, The Age of Shadows took Best Original Music (MOWG), with Shin Godzilla bagged Best Visual Effects (Ohya Tetsuo) and Crosscurrent won Best Sound (Fang Tao & Hao Zhiyu).

In the honorary category, Hong Kong scored gongs with director Tsui Hark received the Lifetime Achievement Award, while actress Sammi Cheng collected the Excellence in Asian Cinema Award. Jelly Lin, who starred in the Stephen Chow Sing-chi’s movie The Mermaid, received the Rising Star of Asia Award. The awards show also featured a performance by former member of heavy metal rock band X Japan, Yoshiki, who is now pursuing a solo career.

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Jelly Jin receiving the Rising Star of Asia Award. Photo: Ya Leung/Asia Times

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