2021 Asian World Film Festival Announces Juried and Special Awards

Brighton 4th Takes Home Snow Leopard for Best Film and Tolepbergen Baisakalov and Arawinda Kirana for Best Actor and Best Actress Yusif, Shambala, On the Silk Road, and Director Eran Kolirin also Honored

November 12, 2021 9:24 AM EST

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LOS ANGELES, Nov. 12, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The 2021 Asian World Film Festival (AWFF) announced the winners of its competition categories this evening at the Closing Night Gala at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills. Brighton 4th (Georgia), directed by Levan Koguashvili, garnered the Snow Leopard Award for Best Film. The award was presented by celebrated television star and jury member Loni Anderson. The jury bestowed the Snow Leopard for Best Actor upon Tolepbergen Baisakalov for Fire (Kazakhstan) and for Best Actress upon Arawinda Kirana for Yuni (Indonesia). Eran Kolirin, director of Let it Be Morning (Israel), was honored with the Snow Leopard Distinction Award for Directing and Yusif (Lebanon) was recognized with Snow Leopard Special Jury Award for the film's production (Houssein Haidar, producer, actor, and screenwriter and Mohammed Kazem Fayad, director).

The Snow Leopard Audience Award went to Shambala (Kyrgyzstan), directed by Artykpai Suyundukov.

Shambala also received the Dr. Dao and Dr. Linh Filmmaker Cash Award of $10,000. On the Silk Road (Uzbekistan), directed by Sherzod Nazarov, topped the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) short film competition and was given the HFPA Scholarship Award of $5000.

"It's especially gratifying to announce AWFF's top honors after a festival that showcased such an abundance of great Asian content," said Georges N. Chamchoum, AWFF executive director. "The film community overcame unprecedented challenges over the last year, and it's a privilege to play our part in shining a light on their stellar accomplishments."

Krista Kleiner, performer and founder, One Heart Movement, and Jeff Locker, actor and filmmaker, hosted the gala ceremony. Asian and Hollywood filmmakers and stars walked the red carpet and presented the honorary Snow Leopard Awards (previously announced). Director Roo Seung-wan (Escape from Mogadishu) gave the Snow Leopard Award for Outstanding Cinematic Achievement to Oscar-winning director Chloé Zhao (Eternals) and legendary actress Lisa Lu (Crazy Rich Asians), the Lifetime Achievement Award to fellow actress France Nuyen (Joy Luck Club).

Serving on the 2021 AWFF jury were: Sydney Levine, film consultant (jury president); Loni Anderson, actress, author, activist; Andrzej Bartkowiak, cinematographer; Lianne Hu, producer, writer, actor, businessperson; Cheng Sim-Lim, film curator; Peter Luo, CEO, Starlight Media; Arati Misro, producer; and Ivana Nguyen, producer, actress.

The 2021 AWFF, now in its seventh year, showcased feature films from more than 20 nations. Screenings included a combined total of 15 Academy Award for Best International Feature Film and Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture, Foreign Language submissions and a Window to Africa program. Twelve films screened in competition, and winners received Snow Leopard Awards that were redesigned for 2021 by master sculpture Sir Daniel Winn.

2021 AWFF Competition Winners

  • Snow Leopard for Best Film - Brighton 4th (Georgia), Levan Koguashvili, director
  • Snow Leopard for Best Actor - Tolepbergen Baisakalov for Fire (Kazakhstan)
  • Snow Leopard for Best Actress - Arawinda Kirana for Yuni (Indonesia) 
  • Snow Leopard Distinction Award for Directing - Eran Kolirin, Let it Be Morning (Israel)
  • Snow Leopard Special Jury Award for production - Yusif (Lebanon), Houssein Haidar, producer, screenwriter, and actor and Mohammed Kazem Fayad, director
  • Snow Leopard Audience Award –Shambala (Kyrgyzstan), Artykpai Suyundukov, director
  • Dr. Dao and Dr. Linh Filmmaker Cash Award of $10,000 - Shambala (see above)
  • Hollywood Foreign Press Association Scholarship Award of $5000 - On the Silk Road (Uzbekistan), Sherzod Nazarov, director

2021 AWFF Honorees (Previously Announced)

  • Snow Leopard Award for Outstanding Cinematic Achievement - Chloé Zhao, director
  • Snow Leopard Lifetime Achievement Award – France Nuyen, actress
  • Snow Leopard Rising Star Award – Mayling Ng, actress
  • Ladies Tiffany Circle/Red Cross Courage to Dream Award - Lady Maiden Alex Ibru, publisher, chairman and CEO, The Guardian Newspapers (Nigeria), humanitarian, and film producer
  • Winn Slavin Humanitarian Award - Kieu Chinh, actress
  • One Heart Award - Her Royal Highness of Cambodia, Norodom Arunrasmy, princess, politician, and diplomat, in honor of her father, King Norodom Sihanook, statesman, royal, and filmmaker.
  • Angel Benefactor Award –Korean Cultural Center, Los Angeles (KCCLA). Dr. Wijin Park, KCCLA director accepted the award
  • Angel Benefactor Award - Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA). Helen Hoehne, HFPA President, and Lena Basse, journalist, accepted the award
  • The Bruce Lee Award, presented in partnership with the Bruce Lee Foundation - Andy Cheng, actor, stuntperson, and martial artist

Partners and Sponsors: Aitysh Film, The City of Culver City, DAO Medical Group, The One Heart Movement, Winn Slavin Fine Art, Stars Collective & Starlight, Snow Leopard Trust, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Korean Cultural Center, LA, Asia Society, Asia Group Plus Holdings, Dutcher Crossing Winery, CBN 14.5, GDN STUDIOS (Nigeria), Variety, AKIpress, Art Confidential Magazine, The Landmark, SPRK Music, Prodocbus, Sparklight, Moredii, Novartizan, Asiania, AiKhun Entertainment, Fifth Atrium, DeJong Film, Beirut Film Society, Wende Museum of the Cold War, Jackson's Market & Cafe, L'Amai, Pholicious, Emporium Thai, Kitchen 51, La Cuisine with Chef Josette, Normandie Country Bakery, Gaby's Mediterranean, Regals De Bretagne, and Starlight Media.

ABOUT THE ASIAN WORLD FILM FESTIVAL (AWFF)The Asian World Film Festival (AWFF), founded by Kyrgyz public figure Sadyk Sher-Niyaz, brings the best of a broad selection of Asian world cinema to Los Angeles to draw greater recognition to the region's wealth of filmmakers and to strengthen ties between the Asian and Hollywood film industries. Uniting through cross-cultural collaboration, the Festival champions films from more than 50 countries across Asia, from Turkey to Japan and from Russia to India and the Middle East. All participating films are provided with the unique opportunity to be guided through the challenging awards season. They're also showcased to Motion Picture Academy members, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and the entertainment Guilds for enhanced exposure, media attention, and awards consideration. AWFF is a non-profit organization under Aitysh, USA.

Photos Available at: https://bit.ly/3Hfr7B3

Media Contact at Weissman/Markovitz Communications:Rick Markovitz, 310.776.2560 323657@email4pr.com

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SOURCE Asian World Film Festival



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