Stars gather in HK for inaugural Asian Film Awards

Celebrities across Asia will bring glitz and glamour, as well as some healthy competition, to Hong Kong Tuesday for the first ever pan-Asian film awards ceremony.

The Asian Film Awards are launched this year by the Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF).

Among the stars to attend the glitzy event are renowned French director Luc Besson and South Korean director Park Chan-wook, whose film "Old Boy" was a Grand Prix winner at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.

South Korean actor and singer Jung Ji-hoon, better known as Rain, Japanese idol Hirosue Ryoko, and actor Tony Leung Chiu-wai will tread the red carpet, along with local director Andrew Lau, whose "Infernal Affairs" was remade into the Oscar-winning gangster flick "The Departed."

"With more than four billion people in Asia — 60 percent of the global population — a celebration of Asian cinema is long overdue," HKIFF chairman Wilfred Wong said.

More than 30 films across the region will be competing for 10 prizes in the Asian Film Awards: best film, director, actress, actor, screenwriter, cinematographer, production designer, composer, editor and visual effects.

South Korea’s huge box office hit and monster flick, "The Host," received five nominations, including best film, actor, cinematographer, editor and visual effects.

Veteran director Zhang Yimou’s "Curse of Golden Flower" — the most expensive Chinese film to date with a budget of 45 million US dollars — won three nods including best film, visual effects and best actress for Gong Li.

Hong Kong director Johnnie To’s gang war epic, "Exiled," earned nominations for best director and best film.

Chinese movie "Still Life," winner of a top prize at the Venice Film Festival last year, garnered three nominations: best film, composer and director for Jia Zhangke.

Japanese smash drama, "Love and Honor" and Indonesia’s "Opera Jawa" got the best film nods.

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