Asian World Film Festival Announces Competition Winners at Closing Night Gala

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 21, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The eighth annual Asian World Film Festival (AWFF) announced its competition winners at a star-studded event November 18 at Beverly Hill’s Saban Theater. The Last Film Show (India), directed by Pan Nalin, won the Snow Leopard Award for Best Film; Mohsen Tanabandeh garnered the Snow Leopard for Best Actor for World War III (Iran), and Hui Fang Hong was honored with the Snow Leopard for Best Actress for Ajoomma (Singapore). 

Asian World Film Festival (AWFF)

The Snow Leopard Special Jury Award went to World War III, directed bHouman Seyedi, and the Snow Leopard Audience Award to Aurora’s Sunrise (Armenia), directed by Inna SahakyanKerr (Turkey) director of photography, Andreas Sinanosreceived the Panavision Best Cinematography Award along with a $60,000 Panavision Camera Grant of cutting-edge filmmaking equipment.

Short films and the talent behind them were also recognized at the standing-room-only event. The Hollywood Foreign Press (HFPA), which hosted the AWFF’s short film competition, bestowed the HFPA Scholarship Best Short Award of $5000 upon director Dania Bdeir for “Warsha” (Lebanon/France). HFPA runner-up, Adilet Karzhoev, director of “Burul” (Kyrgyzstan), was honored with the StarsCollective Emerging Filmmaker Award of $2000Additionally, the Panavision Award for Short Film Cinematography, plus a $15,000 camera grant, was bestowed upon Amirhossein Khoshbin, director of photography on “Deer” (Iran).

“This year’s AWFF screened an amazing bounty of cinematic riches,” said Georges N. Chamchoum, AWFF executive director. “We exhibited films from more than 50 nations, and each emblematic of the value of Asian voices to the industry and to audiences. The awards reflect the spirit of AWFF and the essence of what the festival stands for!”

The competition and previously announced honorary awards were delivered during a music-filled ceremony hosted by actress, philanthropist, and founder of the One Heart Movement, Krista Kleiner and actor, writer, and producer Jeff Locker. Among the evenings internationally recognized performers were singer, songwriter Dam Vinh Hung and Ha Phuong, singer, actress, and founder of Ha Phuong Foundation–both born in South Vietnam.

AWFF Competition Winners

  • Snow Leopard for Best Film – The Last Film Show (India), Pan Nalin, director
  • Snow Leopard for Best Actor – Mohsen Tanabandeh, World War III (Iran)
  • Snow Leopard for Best Actress – Hui Fang Hong, Ajoomma (Singapore)
  • Snow Leopard Audience Award –­­­­ Aurora’s Sunrise (Armenia), Inna Sahakyan, director
  • Snow Leopard Special Jury Award – World War III (Iran), Houman Seyedi, director
  • Panavision Best Cinematography Award and Panavision Camera Grant – Andreas Sinanos, cinematographer, Kerr (Turkey)
  • Hollywood Foreign Press Association Scholarship Award of $5000 – “Warsha” (Lebanon/France), Dania Bdeir, director
  • StarsCollective Emerging Filmmaker Award – Adilet Karzhoev, director, “Burul” (Kyrgyzstan)
  • Panavision Award for Short Film Cinematography – Amirhossein Khoshbin, cinematographer, “Deer” (Iran)

AWFF Honorees (Previously Announced)

  • Snow Leopard Award for Outstanding Cinematic Achievement – Park Chan-wook, writer, director, producer
  • Snow Leopard Lifetime Achievement Award – Albert S. Ruddy, producer
  • Snow Leopard Rising Star Award – Desmond Chiam, actor, writer, producer
  • The Bruce Lee Award, in partnership with the Bruce Lee Foundation – Daniel Wu, actor, martial artist, director, producer
  • Ladies Tiffany Circle American Red Cross Courage to Dream Award – Dr. Michael Dao and Dr. Linh Bui, physicians and philanthropists
  • Winn Slavin Humanitarian Award – Truong Ngoc Anh, philanthropist
  • One Heart Award – Love Life Learning Foundation, cofounders Alan Vo Ford and Jenny Ai Trinh Thai
  • Angel Benefactor Award – Jennifer McCormick and Lani Netter, Ladies Tiffany Circle American Red Cross
  • Angel Benefactor Award – Raghu Kilambi, CEO/CFO, Power Tap Hydrogen Fueling Corporation

The eighth annual Asian World Film Festival took place November 9 – 18 in Los Angeles and featured 20 submissions for the Best International Feature Film Oscar. Seventeen films screened in competition.

Serving on the competition jury were: Truong Ngoc Anh (President), actress, model, singer, entrepreneur and philanthropist; Janet Hsieh, actor, television presenter, author, and musician; Jongman Kim, actor; Arawinda Kirana, actress and filmmaker; Janet Nepales, journalist; Pitof, director, producer and visual effects supervisor; and Bryan Sipe, screenwriter.

The HPFA short film competition jury was comprised of: Yong Chavez, TV correspondent (President); C-Tru, musician, music producer, and entertainment executive; Sam Kadi, filmmaker; Long Nguyen, actor; Minnie Nguyen, entertainment executive and producer; Miyuki Matsunaga, actress and performer.

WFF sponsors and partners include: Aitysh USA, Peer, Dr. Dao Medical Center, Winn Slavin Fine Art, Dutcher Crossing, Panavision, The One Heart Movement, The Bruce Lee Foundation, Ha Phuong Foundation, Barco, Korean Cultural Center (KCC, LA), Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), Asia Society, Southern California, Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (CAPE), Taiwan Academy, Los Angeles, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, Taiwan Creative Content Agency (TAICCA), American Red Cross/Ladies Tiffany Circle, AKIpress News Agency, Nova Entertainment, Jackson Market and Deli, and Emporium Thai.

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