14th Asian Film Awards – Winners 2020

We present the list of winners for the 14th Asian Film Awards, which took place on October 28th, 2020 in Busan, South Korea.

About Asian Film Awards:
The Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF), together with the Hong Kong International Film Festival and the Busan International Film Festival, created the Asian Film Awards Academy (AFA Academy), a nonprofit organization, in 2013 to promote and develop Asian cinema and its talents.

List of Winners:

Best Film

Parasite by Bong Joon-ho – South Korea | 2019 – 132 minutes

Parasite, which won the Palme d’Or at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival, is director BONG Joon ho’s seventh feature film. In this movie, Director BONG Joon ho, who has promoted genre customs in his own language, highlights the class problems that have not been seen clearly before. The family members of Kiwoo (CHOI Woosik), living in a semi-basement house, are all out of jobs. One day, Kiwoo gets a high-priced private tutoring position for the son of CEO Park (LEE Sunkyun) of an IT company through the introduction of a friend. Starting with it, Kiwoo’s whole family begins to infiltrate the rich family, living like a parasite. The film, which represents a family tragicomedy, creates a unique rhythm by combining comedy and thriller at crossings. Among the universal narratives, Korean details are carefully inserted into the class conflict, which is shaped by a vertical structure. It is the final version of “BONG Joon ho’s Genre,” which was created after a mix of family dramas, thrillers, comedies and horror stories, the unique emotions of Korean society, and a sense of problems reading the times. (Song Kyungwon | BUSAN IFF 2019)


Best Director

Wang Xiaoshuai for So Long, My Son – China | 2019 – 185 minutes

“We’re waiting to grow old.” This sentence briefly sums up Yaoyun and his wife Liyun’s bitter realisation about their lives. They were once a happy family – until their son drowned playing by a reservoir. And so Yaojun and Liyun leave their home and plunge into the big city, although nobody knows them there and they cannot even understand the local dialect. Their adopted son Liu Xing does not offer them the comfort they had hoped for either. Defiantly rejecting his ‘foreign’ parents, he one day disappears altogether. The married couple are repeatedly enmeshed in their memories. Finally, they decide to return to the site of their lost hopes. Part melodrama, part critique of the times, this film takes us from the country’s upheaval in the 1980s following the Cultural Revolution to the prospering turbo-capitalism of the present day. (Taipei Film Festival 2019)


Best New Director

Hikari for 37 Seconds – Japan | 2019 – 116 minutes

Yuma, a naive, yet talented comic book artist is forced to ghostwrite for her best friend to hide her cerebral palsy from an unsympathetic culture. Answering a want ad for an erotic comic magazine leads Yuma on an unexpected course of sexual discovery, also puts her in direct conflict with her protective, yet overbearing mother. When Yuma learns of a family secret, she takes a trip to confront her painful, but ultimately liberating truth. (TGHFF 2019)


Best Actress

Zhou Dongyu for her role in Better Days (Kwok Cheung Tsang) – Hong Kong, China | 2019 – 138 minutes

A bullied teenage girl forms an unlikely friendship with a mysterious young man who protects her from her assailants, all while she copes with the pressures of her final examinations. (IMDb)


Best Actor

Lee Byung-hun for his role in The Man Standing Next (Woo Min-ho) – South Korea | 2019 – 113 minutes

On October 26, 1979, Kim Gyu-pyeong (Lee Byung-hun), the head of KCIA, assassinated President Park (Lee Sung-min). The Man Standing Next reconstructs what happened 40 days before the assassination. Based on the non-fiction bestseller of the same name, The Man Standing Next is a psychological drama that delicately captures the portraits of people at the heart of power in modern Korean history. Director Woo Min-ho, who dissected the dark side of desire and power through Inside Men (2015) and Drug King (2017), adds various bold styles such as noir and thriller. It depicts the scrappy struggles among males who dissect human desires via modern Korean history. The heavy subject matters and the suspense blooming from trusted actors are the climaxes. (Song Kyung-won)


Best Supporting Actress

Samantha Ko for her role in A Sun (Chung Mong-hon) – Taiwan | 2019 – 155 minutes

A Taiwanese middle-class nuclear family forms the central unit in A Sun. As the younger son lands himself in juvenile detention, the older son struggles with existence. Father-son relationships are explored in depth, and trouble is a constant in the film be it financial, gang-related or moral. Tensions on-screen are captured precisely, often vibrating off the screen as well. (SGIFF 2019)


Best Supporting Actor

Kase Ryo for his role in To the Ends of the Earth (Kiyoshi Kurosawa) – Japan, Uzbekistan, Qatar | 2019 – 121 minutes

A young Japanese woman named Yoko who finds her cautious and insular nature tested when she travels to Uzbekistan to shoot the latest episode of her travel variety show.


Best Newcomer

Jackson Yee for his role in Better Days (Kwok Cheung Tsang) – Hong Kong, China | 2019 – 138 minutes

Best Screenplay

Bong Jooh Ho, Han Jin Won for Parasite (Bong Joon-ho) – South Korea | 2019 – 132 minutes

Best Editing

Yang Jinmo for Parasite (Bong Joon-ho) – South Korea | 2019 – 132 minutes

Best Cinematography

Dong Jinsong for The Wild Goose Lake (Diao Yinan) – China, France | 2019 – 113 minutes

Mid-level gang leader Zhou Zenong returns from prison to continue his work in the underworld. After a violent territorial disagreement and a botched assassination attempt, Zenong finds himself on the run with a hefty bounty on his head. With the help of mysterious “bathing beauty” Liu Aiai, can he escape his fatalistic destiny? (SGIFF 2019)


Best Original Music

Karsh Kale, The Salvage Audio Collective for Gully Boy (Zoya Akhtar) – India | 2019 – 153 minutes

A young man’s parents want him to be white-collar worker. However, his love for rap is too strong and he sets out to realize his dream despite his family’s objections. His journet takes him from rapping on the streets of India to the main stage.


Best Costume Design

Pacharin Surawatanapongs for Happy Old Year (Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit) – Thailand | 2019 – 113 min.

Jean returns to Thailand after studying interior design in Sweden. Being a minimalist, she plans to disposes of needless stuff and turn her house into a studio. Despite the emotional conflict with her family and friends, Jean tries to throw away everything, but suddenly she changes her mind and brings back the stuff she dumped. The movie unfolds under the ‘KonMari Method’, which says to throw away things that do not make us flutter, but eventually it reminds us of relationships with people and objects. Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit, a regular at BIFF who has previously won the New Currents Award for 36, directed the film. Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying who played a genius girl in Bad Genius provides an impressive performance as Jean. (Boo Kyunghwan | Busan 2020)


Best Production Design

Lee Ha Jun for Parasite (Bong Joon-ho) – South Korea | 2019 – 132 minutes

Best Visual Effects

Tomi Kuo, Renovatio Pictures for Detention (John Hsu) – Taiwan | 2019 – 103 minutes

In 1962 Taiwan during the White Terror martial law period, Fang Ray Shin, a female student at the hillside Greenwood High School is attending counselling with teacher Mr. Chang, and they gradually fall in love. It was a dangerous period where sensitive books were banned and free speech were restricted, but Mr. Chang secretly organised a study group for banned books, together with fellow teacher Miss Yin and male student Wei Chong Ting. (IMDb)


Best Sound

Kureishi Yoshifumi for Listen to the Universe (Kei Ishikawa) – Japan | 2019 – 119 minutes

Facing a fierce international competition, the four piano geniuses with different backgrounds inspire each other and confront themselves as they grow and “awaken” along the way. (TokyoIFF 2019)


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