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"Evil Does Not Exist" by Hamaguchi Ryusuke emerged triumphant as the top pick for Best Picture during the latest Asian Film Awards ceremony



"Evil Does Not Exist" by Hamaguchi Ryusuke emerged triumphant as the top pick for Best Picture during the latest Asian Film Awards ceremony held on Sunday evening at the Xiqu Centre, nestled within the vibrant West Kowloon Cultural District in Hong Kong.


In a night filled with anticipation, the 17th edition of the awards showcased a diverse array of cinematic talent. Despite "Evil Does Not Exist" and the Korean blockbuster "12.12: The Day" leading the nominations with six nods each, including a fierce competition in the Best Film category, the honors were evenly spread. No single title managed to dominate, with each film clinching no more than two awards.


Even under the March drizzle, the atmosphere outside remained lively, undampened by the weather, while VIP guests were provided with purple umbrella escorts.


The event saw a robust turnout of filmmakers and industry insiders, with notable personalities gracing the red carpet and pre-event gatherings. Among the distinguished attendees were Lee Yong Kwan, former chair of the Busan film festival, Tom Yoda, Sabrina Baracetti and Thomas Bertacche of the Udine festival, acclaimed director Anthony Chen, Stanley Kwan, Rina Damayanti, Winnie Tsang representing Hong Kong distribution, Andrew Lau, and Mabel Cheung.


A surprise appearance on stage was made by Chinese superstar Fan Bingbing, who presented the highly coveted Best Actor award, acknowledging it as the most fiercely contested category. The honor went to Yakusho Koji, who had previously clinched the same accolade at Cannes last year for his role in Wim Wenders' "Perfect Days."


The Asian Film Awards marked the beginning of an eventful month for the film scene in Hong Kong, heralding the commencement of the Hong Kong FilMart, the region's largest film rights market, and the HAF film project market. This flurry of activities culminates with the Hong Kong International Film Festival at the end of the month, promising an exciting time for cinephiles and industry professionals alike.


Written by Erin Macpherson

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