Hong Kong/Tokyo (February 6, 2023) The Asian Film Awards Academy (AFA Academy or AFAA) has announced that the Excellence in Asian Cinema Award at the 16th Asian Film Awards (AFA16) will be presented to renowned Japanese actor ABE Hiroshi. He will accept the award at the awards ceremony to be held in Hong Kong on March 12, 2023.
The Excellence in Asian Cinema Award aims to highlight distinguished talents and affirm their achievements and contributions to the Asian film industry and culture. Abe will be the third Japanese recipient to receive the award, following NAKATANI Miki at the 9th AFA (2015) and YAKUSHO Koji at the 13th AFA (2019). Previous AFA special award winners include YAMADA Yoji, Amitabh BACHCHAN, ZHANG Yimou, Michelle YEOH, HOU Hsiao-hsien, Ann HUI, KIKI Kirin, LEE Byung-hun and others.
Abe’s acting career has spanned more than 30 years since his debut in Haikara-san ga Toru in 1987. He has appeared in more than 90 films in Japan and abroad, taking on daring and challenging roles. He has acted in many international productions, his first starring role being in the Hong Kong co-production Saga of the Phoenix (1990), and in the Tokyo-set action film Tokyo Raiders (2000), in which he starred alongside Tony Leung and other renowned Asian stars. He also appeared in the Thai action film Chocolate (2008) and the Japan-China co-production The Legend of the Demon Cat (2017), which was screened as the Special Opening Presentation for the 30th anniversary of the Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF). Abe’s superlative acting skills and talent have been increasingly recognized not only in Japan but also internationally, and he has contributed greatly to the development of Asian cinema.
“I am very honored to receive the Excellence in Asian Cinema Award,” said Abe Hiroshi. “I am truly surprised to receive such a big award like the AFA. When I heard about the honor, I was so happy and grateful to have my crew by my side, who have been with me all these years, so I could share it with everyone.”
Dr. Wilfred WONG, Chairman of the AFA Academy, said: “His position in the Japanese entertainment industry is one of a kind. Abe’s love of acting has brought freshness and vitality to Japanese film and television, and he is a major contributor to the development of Japanese entertainment.”
ANDO Hiroyasu, Chairman of TIFF, also congratulated Abe: “Abe Hiroshi has set a benchmark for dedication and openness for the younger generations in the Japanese film and television industry. I hope that he can continue being passionate about the film world, and make further breakthroughs in Asian film and television in the future.”