MACAU – Martial arts fantasy “The Grandmaster” dominated proceedings at the Asian Film Awards on Thursday.
The picture, which has also been the most commercially successful outing for director Wong Kar-wai, claimed seven wins at the AFAs. They included best picture, best director for Wong and best actress for Zhang Ziyi.
The stylish re-imagining of the martial arts genre predictably also did well in the technical categories as well. William Chang Suk-ping, who had been nominated in three categories, was awarded best costume (with Alfred Yau) and best production design awards. (Chang lost the best editor prize to South Korea’s Shin Min-kyung for “Cold Eyes.”) The film’s French DoP Philippe Le Sourd won for cinematography, while the French-Japanese pairing of Nathaniel Mechaly and Umebayashi Shigeru were named as best composers.
The only other film to win multiple prizes on the night was India’s “The Lunchbox.” It earned best screenplay for writer-director Ritesh Batra and best actor for Irfan Khan, who was on hand to receive the prize in person.
The awards, now in their eighth edition, moved from Hong Kong to Macau’s City of Dreams for the first time and were a qualitatively better presentation. The show continued to muddle up English, Chinese and other regional tongues while live-feed sur-titlers made some amusing errors, but overall the show made was slicker and more confident. It also made decent three dimensional use of the House of Dancing Water theater-in-the round.
High profile presenters included Donnie Yen, Carina Lau and Johnnie To.
Other awards winners included Jung Sung-jin for the visual effects on South Korean kids’ picture “Mr Go,” Yeo Yann Yann as best supporting actress in “Ilo Ilo,” Huang Bo as best supporting actor in “No Man’s Land” and China’s Jiang Shuying, named as best newcomer for her performance in “So Young.”