2023.03.13 [Updates]
Japanese nominees win many titles at 16th AFA: “Drive My Car” wins Best Film Award

The 16th annual Asian Film Awards (AFA 16) announced the winners and special award recipients at a ceremony held in the newly built Hong Kong Palace Museum on March 12, 2023.
The biggest winner of the night was Hamaguchi Ryusuke’s Drive My Car, which received the Best Film Award, the Best Editing Award (Yamazaki Azusa) and Best Original Music (Ishibashi Eiko). Also from Japan, Miyazawa Hio won the Best Supporting Actor Award with his compelling performance in Egoist, a highly acclaimed selection of the 35th TIFF. In addition, Kore-eda Hirokazu won the Best Director Award with Broker (South Korea).

From left: Abe Hiroshi, Kore-eda Hirokazu, Drive My Car team, Miyazawa Hio
©Asian Film Awards Academy

Recovering gradually from the COVID-19 pandemic, the AFA ceremony was held at full scale, with a glamorous Red Carpet and Award Ceremony attracting participants from all over Asia, and was a great success. Many nominees from Japan were on hand for the event, including Abe Hiroshi, who received the Excellence in Asian Cinema Award, the Drive My Car team (director Hamaguchi Ryusuke, stars Nishijima Hidetoshi, Okada Masaki), the Egoist team (director Matsunaga Daishi, stars Suzuki Ryohei, Miyazawa Hio), and director Hayakawa Chie from Plan 75. Sammo Hung, who received the Lifetime Achievement Award, and Tony Leung Chiu Wai, who received the Asian Film Contribution Award, also participated in the ceremony and intermingled with the other guests.
[Award winners’ comments]
Abe Hiroshi’s speech:
Good evening, everyone. It is my great honor to receive the Excellence in Asian Cinema Award, and to be in the good company of so many exceptionally talented people. I’d like to thank the AFA Academy for bringing us all together. I’m grateful for the recognition of my work as an actor of many decades. A long time ago, I got an offer for a part in an animation I liked as a kid, and that was my entry into the world of movie magic. I tried many characters, such as [one who] can time jump and design bathrooms, and the romantic and yet unmarriable. It has been a wonderful adventure acting in so many different roles with so many talented people in so many countries. But Hong Kong holds a special place in my heart because I have good memories of making movies here. I have much gratitude and thanks to all who have supported my journey. So it is with great nostalgia and great appreciation that I accept this award. Thank you so much.

Hamaguchi Ryusuke’s speech: (Originally in Japanese)
(Calling all the cast and crew who attended the ceremony up to the stage) There are many cast and crew members who could not be here. Thanks to their contributions, we were able to make Drive My Car. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Murakami Haruki for giving us the original story, a wonderful story. Of course, the power of the producers and crew made it possible, but especially, what I would like to take this opportunity to praise the cast. We have Nishijima Hidetoshi and Okada Masaki here with us today. But there are also Miura Toko, Kirishima Reika, Park Yu-rim, Jin Dae-yeon, Ahn Hwitae, Perry Dizon, and so many other actors from Asia. I believe that we are here today because they brought truly believable emotions to the screen. I personally believe in the simple principle that if an actor is really feeling something, the audience can also feel it. I hope that we can continue to make this happen in the future. I think we did a very good job, of course, but I look forward to working with this team again to achieve even more. I also hope to have the opportunity to work with all of you who are here now in the future. Thank you again so much.

Miyazawa Hio’s speech:
Good evening, everyone. It’s a great honor to be here and to be presented this great award. I had a whole speech thought out, but it’s all gone. It’s in my pocket, but I’m not going to bring it out. First of all, I cannot be more happy to be standing here in front of such great talent. And I’d like to thank everyone who’s loved this movie and has reached out to us about our beloved movie Egoist. I’d like to thank the director Matsunaga Daishi and lead role Suzuki Ryohei. I believe this movie opens up doors to a lot of things, not only to film but also to a new form of life, and how we perceive and reach out to people. I look forward to a day where everybody can live happily and in comfort. This movie has just begun its travels throughout the world. I believe it has the opportunity and the power to reach out to people beyond our expectations. I’m looking forward to coming back here again. Thank you very much.

Kore-eda Hirokazu’s speech: (Originally in Japanese)
I didn’t expect this at all, so I’m afraid I didn’t prepare a speech. If it had been the Best Dressed Award, I would have thought of something to say (laughs). I’m just happy to be in the same place as Sammo Hung, Tony Leung and Abe Hiroshi. I had a good time in Korea [making the film], so I think the producer Fukuma Miyuki, who is here with me today, probably had the hardest time. I was really happy to be able to make this film with the wonderful cast and crew in Korea. I think this is an encouragement to me to continue making films that transcend cultures and languages, including international co-productions, and I would like to do my best. Thank you very much.

Yamazaki Azusa’s speech: (Originally in Japanese)
Thank you for this great honor. I’m very surprised, and I don’t know what to say. But I realize once again that this film has been shown in so many countries, and I feel very proud. Thank you very much.

Ishibashi Eiko’s speech:
Thank you so much. I’m so grateful to be amongst these great composers. I’d like to thank to all the cast and crew of Drive My Car. Thank you.

The awards ceremony is hosted by the Asian Film Awards Academy (AFAA), which consists of three major international film festivals in Asia: the Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF), the Busan International Film Festival and the Hong Kong International Film Festival.

16th Asian Film Awards winners (2023):
Best Film: Drive My Car (Japan)
Best Director: KORE-EDA Hirokazu for Broker (South Korea)
Best New Director: Jigme Trinley for One and Four (Mainland China)
Best Actor: Tony LEUNG Chiu Wai in Where the Wind Blows (Hong Kong)
Best Actress: TANG Wei in Decision to Leave (South Korea)
Best Supporting Actor: MIYAZAWA Hio in Egoist (Japan)
Best Supporting Actress: KIM So-jin in Emergency Declaration (South Korea)
Best Newcomer: MAK Pui Tung in The Sparring Partner (Hong Kong)
Best Screenplay: CHUNG Seo-kyung, PARK Chan-wook for Decision to Leave (South Korea)
Best Editing: YAMAZAKI Azusa for Drive My Car (Japan)
Best Cinematography: LV Songye for One and Four (Mainland China)
Best Original Music: ISHIBASHI Eiko for Drive My Car (Japan)
Best Costume Design: Dora NG, Karen YIP for Anita (Hong Kong)
Best Production Design: RYU Seong-hie for Decision to Leave (South Korea)
Best Visual Effects: Chas CHAU, LEUNG Wai Kit, KWOK Tai, LAW May for Warriors of Future (Hong Kong)
Best Sound: TU Duu-Chih, WU Shu-Yao for Anita (Hong Kong)
Excellence in Asian Cinema: ABE Hiroshi
Lifetime Achievement Award: Sammo HUNG
Asian Film Contribution Award: Tony LEUNG Chiu-wai
AFA Next Generation Award: JI Chang-wook

Nominees from Japan:
Best Film: Drive My Car directed by HAMAGUCHI Ryusuke
Best Director: HAMAGUCHI Ryusuke (Drive My Car)
*KORE-EDA Hirokazu was nominated for Korean film Broker
Best New Director: HAYAKAWA Chie (Plan 75)
Best Actor: NISHIJIMA Hidetoshi (Drive My Car), SUZUKI Ryohei (Egoist)
Best Actress: BAISHO Chieko (Plan 75)
Best Supporting Actor: OKADA Masaki (Drive My Car), MIYAZAWA Hio (Egoist)
Best Supporting Actress: ANDO Sakura (A Man), KAWAI Yuumi (Plan 75)
Best Screenplay: HAMAGUCHI Ryusuke, OE Takamasa (Drive My Car)
Best Editing: YAMAZAKI Azusa (Drive My Car)
Best Cinematography: URATA Hideho (Plan 75)
Best Original Music: ISHIBASHI Eiko (Drive My Car)
Best Costume Design: SHINOZUKA Nami (Egoist)
Best Visual Effects: SATO Atsuki (Shin Ultraman)
Best Sound: NOMURA Miki, OBO Tatsuya (Drive My Car)
Asian Film Awards (AFA)  afa-academy.com
The Asian Film Awards was inaugurated in 2007, with members of AFAA drawn from past nominees and winners. The category of awards includes Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Actress. Members vote for the Asian Film Awards and participate in various AFAA activities involving film professionals and audiences worldwide.
Asian Film Awards Academy (AFAA)
The Asian Films Awards Academy, a non-profit organization, was founded by the Busan, Hong Kong and Tokyo International Film Festivals to celebrate excellence in Asian cinema. Aiming to promote and recognize Asian films and their talents, AFAA highlights, strengthens and develops the Asian film industry through the annual Asian Film Awards and several year-round initiatives.

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