The Asian Brilliant Stars film award program launched its second edition this Tuesday December 12 at a Beijing press conference, introducing a diverse selection of 19 films as well as several renowned jury members. On top of Best Director, Producer, and Screenwriter awards already present at last year’s program, the second Asian Brilliant Stars will also contain awards for Best Actor/Actress in a leading role and Best Asian New Talent.
Modeled after the European Shooting Stars program, Asian Brilliant Stars is a collaboration between Asian Film & Television Promotion (AFTP), the Beijing Film Academy, and Movie View, with the support of the Berlin International Film Festival. While Tuesday’s press conference revealed the program’s nominees, the actual award winners will be announced at a ceremony on February 21, 2018, during the Berlin International Film Festival.
The previous inaugural Asian Brilliant Stars program had a heavily Chinese focus. However, this iteration of the program has ample representation from the rest of Asia and beyond.
This edition’s jury includes renowned South Korean director Kim Ki-duk, former Hong Kong Film Award president Manfred Wong, and Japanese producer Shozo Ichiyama (from Platform; Goodbye South, Goodbye; Violent Cop). Of the 19 selected films — which include popular titles like Wolf Warriors 2, Bad Genius, and Dangal — over half are from outside China, with great representation from South Korea.
“Asian Brilliant Stars is not only an award ceremony, but also a platform to promote Asian films and create a bridge between Asia and the world,” said Richard Shen, Secretary-General of AFTP. “If Asian culture wants to gain influence in tomorrow’s world, it also needs an internal dialogue.”
If talk of “influence” and “bridges” has a geopolitical tinge, that’s not a coincidence. Asian Brilliant Stars seems to channel, intentionally or not, Xi Jinping’s desires to have China assume a more prominent role in pan-Asian and global multilateral affairs. The press conference occurred the day before South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s visit to Beijing, and that fact was not lost on the participants.
“I have always believed that there are boundless cultural and economic possibilities of cooperation between China and South Korea and I regret the stagnation of our relations recently,” said Kim Ki-duk. “Asian Brilliant Stars will help develop China-South Korea cultural relations and help promote Asian films and culture around the world.”
“The THAAD conflict has frozen the China-South Korean cultural relations for 15 months, so as one of the early defenders of China-South Korean co- productions, I look forward to normalizing these relations,” said AFTP Secretary-General Shen.
The 2nd Asian Brilliant Stars lineup includes :
- Brotherhood of Blades II: The Infernal Battlefield 绣春刀II修罗战场 (China)
- Wolf Warriors 2 战狼2 (China)
- Path of The Soul 冈仁波齐 (China)
- Our Time Will Come 明月幾時有 (China, Hong Kong)
- Chasing the Dragon 追龍 (China, Hong Kong)
- Love Education 相愛相親 (China, Hong Kong)
- The Day After 그 후 (South Korea)
- I Can Speak 아이 캔 스피크 (South Korea)
- Anarchist from Colony 박열(South Korea)
- Grain (Turkey, Germany, France, Sweden)
- Foxtrot פוֹקְסטְרוֹט (Israel, Germany, France)
- Dangal दंगल (India)
- Pedicab Pauwi Na (Philippines)
- What a Wonderful Family! 家族はつらいよ (Japan)
- The Third Murder 三度目の殺人 (Japan)
- Mumon: The Land of Stealth 忍びの国 (Japan)
- A Man of Integrity لِرد (Iran)
- Youth 芳华 (China)
- Bad Genius ฉลาดเกมส์โกง (Thailand)