Chinese comedy I Am Not Madame Bovary, directed by Feng Xiaogang, scored the top prize among the three gongs it won at the Asian Film Awards on Tuesday at a ceremony in the Hong Kong Cultural Center.
The comedy film, which won Best Film, stars Chinese actress Fan Bingbing as lead character Li Xuelian, who tackles government bureaucracy in a bid to reclaim her reputation. Fan also won Best Actress for her role as Li.
“I am very grateful and happy. Our movie has won three awards and I’m especially happy that Fan Bingbing won as this is a movie made for an actress,” Feng told the gallery press at an awards conference after the presentation.
Feng also said that he was happy that cinematographer Luo Pan won for Best Cinematography as Luo had made an “artistic breakthrough” for the film. I Am Not Madame Bovary is Feng’s most art-house film among his body of work to date and was notable for its circular framing.
Fan shared a moment on stage at the press conference, saying her award for Best Actress is a “birthday present” for Feng, who recently celebrated.
Best Actor & Best Director
A jubilant Asano called the award “sweet,” but also said the win was a “collaborative effort” between him and director Koji Fukada.
“I worked back and forth with the director on the character,” explained Asano. He plays Yasaka in the movie, who is a mysterious fresh out of jail character that visits his old acquaintance in the family drama Harmonium.
Na said the award would “hopefully help in future projects.”
The Handmaiden and others
The Handmaiden by Park Chan-wook, which led with six nominations, won for Best Newcomer (Kim Tae-ri), Best Supporting Actress (Moon So-ri) and awards in production design (Ryu Seong-hie) and costume design (Cho Sang-kyung). It was not nominated for Best Director and Best Film.
A surprised Kim, who took home Best Newcomer, paid tribute to the film and said: “This is the character’s eighth win, but I still feel terrified. Sometimes I feel like I won the awards because the film is so good.”
In the honorary category, Hong Kong scored gongs with director Tsui Hark received the Lifetime Achievement Award, while actress Sammi Cheng collected the Excellence in Asian Cinema Award. Jelly Lin, who starred in the Stephen Chow Sing-chi’s movie The Mermaid, received the Rising Star of Asia Award. The awards show also featured a performance by former member of heavy metal rock band X Japan, Yoshiki, who is now pursuing a solo career.