“Spy Woman” Wins First Prize at Asian Film Awards


Kurosawa Kiyoshi’s period action drama “Wife of a Spy” was the biggest winner of the 15th Asian Film Awards. It won three grand prizes including that of the best film.

Kurosawa Kiyoshi receives the award for best film from the AFA.
Asian Cinema Prize

The 18 awards were presented Friday evening in a hybrid ceremony with the in-person component held at the Paradise Hotel in Busan. Organizers said 80 nominees were present in person or online. Among those who walked the AFA red carpet in Busan were Korean stars and award winners Lee Byung-hun and Yoo Ah-in.

Directors Lee Chang-dong and Hamaguchi Ryusuke were also in attendance, along with Korean stars Jun Jong-seo, Park Jeong-min, Jang Yoon-ju, Kim Hyun-bin and Gong Seung-yeon.

“Wife of a Spy” was conceived as a TV movie. A cinema version debuted last year at the Venice Film Festival and won the Silver Lion there. It has enjoyed a high profile festival career with subsequent stops in San Sebastian, El Gouna and Hainan, and a theatrical career in Japan which began in October 2020.

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Lee Byung-hun gives an acceptance speech at the 2021 Asian Film Awards.
Asian Cinema Prize

While “Wife” won the award for Best Actress for Aoi Yu and Best Costume Design (Koketsu Haruki), Kurosawa missed out on Directing. It went instead to Chinese veteran Zhang Yimou for his “One Second” movie tribute. The film won Liu Haocun the award for Best Newcomer, while another photo by Zhang “Cliff Walkers” won the award for Best Editing. Neither Kurosawa nor Zhang were present in Busan.

In his acceptance speech for the Asian Film Achievement Award, Lee Byung Hun expressed his pride in the current success of the Netflix series “Squid Game,” in which he has a small but key role. “As with the recognition of ‘Parasite’ last year, indigenous sentiments are shared simultaneously around the world and regardless of language,” Lee said.

Originally held in Hong Kong in March, the Asian Film Awards are now co-hosted by festivals in Hong Kong, Busan and Tokyo and take place in the fall.

2021 Asian Film Awards winners

Best film : “Spy Wife” Director: Kurosawa Kiyoshi
Best Director: Zhang Yimou, for “One second”
Best New Director: Hong Eui-jeong for “Voice of Silence”
Best actor: Yoo Ah-in in “Voice of Silence”
Best Actress: Aoi Yu in “Spy Woman”
Best Supporting Actor: Kim Hyun-bin for “The Silent Forest”
Best Supporting Actress: Makita Aju for “Real Mothers”
Best screenplay: Chaitanya Tamhane for “The Disciple”
Best Newcomer: Liu Haocun in “One second”
Best Editing: Li Yongyi for “Cliff Walkers”
Best visual effects: Tim Crosbie, Joy Wu for “The Eight Hundred”
Best Cinematography: Masoud Amini Tirani for “The Desert”
Best Costume Design: Koketsu Haruki for “Spy Woman”
Best production design: Kenneth Mak for “Limbo”
Best Original Music: Day Tai for “The Way We Keep Dancing”
Best sound: Nopawat Likiwong for “Limbo”
Excellence in Asian cinema: Lee byung hun
Highest Grossing Asian Film of 2020: “Demon Slayer: The Movie – Mugen Train”.


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