'Let the Bullets Fly,' 'Confessions' dominate list

Beijing– Jiang Wen’s political satire “Let the Bullets Fly” and Tetsuya Nakashima’s Oscar foreign language contender “Confessions” have dominated the nominations for the fifth Asian Film Awards, which take place on Mar. 21 in Hong Kong.

Both movies received six nominations, including for picture and director.

The 13-member jury is chaired by Hong Kong-based director Yonfan and draws from filmmakers and critics across Asia, as well as officials from the Berlin and Cannes film festivals.

Yonfan said he hoped “the Asian Film Awards encourage film industry players to keep on pursuing and achieving their dreams in film as they continue to raise the bar for Asian cinema.”

“Let the Bullets Fly” has dominated the Chinese box office this year, although its criticism of public corruption has made it controversial in China. It will take on “If You Are the One 2″ by Chinese helmer Feng Xiaogang, who is also in the running for best picture honors for his earthquake epic “Aftershock,” a massive hit last year.

“Confessions” just made the shortlist of nine finalists for the Oscar foreign film competition. The list will be narrowed down to five nominees later this month.

Other awards contenders include the Indian drama “Peepli Live,” directed by Anusha Rizvi and Mahmood Farooqui; South Korean helmer Lee Chang-dong’s “Poetry”; and Thailand’s “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives,” from Apichatpong Weerasethakul, which clinched the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival last year.

Feng, Jiang and Lee are also up for the helmer honor, along with Japan’s Takashi Miike, who made the samurai movie “13 Assassins,” and South Korea’s Na Hong-jin, who was nominated for the thriller “The Yellow Sea.”

Hong Kong veteran thesp Chow Yun-fat features in the actor category, as does Ge You, who has starred in a whole host of movies lately, including Chen Kaige’s historical drama “Sacrifice,” as well as “If You Are the One 2″ and “Let the Bullets Fly.”

Cannes winner Jeon Do-yeon, former Bond girl Michelle Yeoh and “Babel” star Rinko Kikuchi are among best actress nominees.

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