'Lust' and war at Asian Film Awards

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HONG KONG -- "Lust, Caution" and "The Warlords" will compete head-to-head at the second annual Asian Film Awards at the Hong Kong International Film Festival in March, organizers said Thursday.

The Chinese-language blockbusters lead the pack with six nominations each, including best film and best director for Ang Lee ("Lust, Caution") and Peter Chan ("Warlords"), and best actor for Tony Leung Chi-Wai and Jet Li, respectively.

Joining "Lust, Caution" and "Warlords" in the best film race are China's "The Sun Also Rises," South Korea's "Secret Sunshine," Japan's "I Just Didn't Do It" and Iran's "Buddha Collapsed Out of Shame."

The nominations were announced by Wilfred Wong, chairman of the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society.

Following the rise in prominence of Asian cinema in recent years, both in terms of its eminence at major festivals and popularity at the boxoffice, the AFA was inaugurated last year to honor talents in the region.

"AFA's inaugural event last year showed there was tremendous international interest in the celebration of the Asian cinema," Wong said. "Building on that momentum, this year's event promises to be even bigger and better, especially with participation of major creative forces and stars from internationally acclaimed and high-profile films."

The star-studded ceremony will be telecast in Hong Kong and via several pan-Asian satellite broadcasters across the region.

Last year, favorites in the international film festival circuit dominated the winners list. South Korea's "The Host" was named best film, while China's Jia Zhangke took home the best director statue for "Still Life."

Wong said this year would mark a step closer to establishing the AFA "as the most prominent and definitive film awards event for the region."

Awards in 12 categories will be given out March 17 in Hong Kong, coinciding with the opening of the Entertainment Expo Hong Kong and the 32nd Hong Kong International Film Festival.

Six nominations are selected for each major category, and two categories, best supporting actor and actress, will be added this year.

A complete list of nominees follows:

Best film

"Lust, Caution" (Taiwan/China/USA)
"The Warlords" (Hong Kong/China)
"The Sun Also Rises" (China)
"Secret Sunshine" (South Korea)
"I Just Didn't Do It" (Japan)
"Buddha Collapsed Out of Shame" (Iran)

Best director

Ang Lee, "Lust, Caution" (Taiwan/China/U.S.)
Peter Chan, "The Warlords," (Hong Kong/China)
Jiang Wen, "The Sun Also Rises" (China)
Zhang Lu, "Desert Dream" (China)
Lee Chang-Dong, "Secret Sunshine" (South Korea)
Suo Masayuki, "I Just Didn't Do It" (Japan)

Best actor

Jack Kao, "God Man Dog" (Taiwan)
Song Kang-ho, "Secret Sunshine" (South Korea)
Kase Ryo, "I Just Didn't Do It" (Japan)
Joe Odagiri, "Tokyo Tower: Mom and Me, and Sometimes Dad" (Japan)
Tony Leung Chi-Wai, "Lust, Caution"
Jet Li, "Warlords" (Hong Kong/China)

Best actress

Jeon Do-Yeon, "Secret Sunshine" (South Korea)
Joan Chen, "The Home Song Diaries" (China)
Tang Wei, "Lust, Caution" (China)
Kiki Kirin, "Tokyo Tower: Mom and Me, and Sometimes Dad" (Japan)
Kim Yunjin, "Seven Days" (South Korea)
Deepika Padukone, "Om Shanti Om" (India)

Best supporting actor

Chun Ho-Jin, "Skeletons in the Closet" (South Korea)
Kobayashi Kaoru, "Tokyo Tower: Mom and Me, and Sometimes Dad" (Japan)
Mario Maurer, "Love of Siam" (Thailand)
Sun Honglei, "Mongol" (Mongolia)
Tsutsumi Shin'ichi, "Always: Sunset on Third Street 2" (Japan)

Best supporting actress

Joan Chen, "The Sun Also Rises" (China)
Kong Hyo-Jin, "Happiness" (South Korea)
Kim Hye-Soo, "Skeletons in the Closet" (South Korea)
Apinya Sakujaroensuk, "Ploy" (Thailand)
Yakushimaru Hiroko, "Always: Sunset on Third Street 2" (Japan)

Best screenwriter

Au Kin Yee and Wai Ka-Fai, "The Mad Detective" (Hong Kong)
Im Sang-Soo, "The Old Garden" (South Korea)
Peng Tao, "Little Moth" (China)
James Schamus and Wang Hui-Ling, "Lust, Caution" (Taiwan/China/U.S.)
Suo Masayuki, "I Just Didn't Do It" (Japan)

Best cinematographer

Hooman Behmanesh, "Those Three" (Iran)
Chankit Chamnivikaipong, "Ploy" (Thailand)
Liao Pen-Jung, "Help Me Eros" (Taiwan)
Shanker Raman, "Frozen"(India)
Arthur Wong, "The Warlords"(China/Hong Kong)

Best production designer

Cao Jiuping and Zhang Jian Qun, "The Sun Also Rises" (China/Hong Kong)
Kim Yu-Jeong and Lee Min-Bok, "Epitaph" (South Korea)
Iwaki Namiko, "Sakuran" (Japan)
Pisut Pariwattanakit and Thanakorn Pongsuwan, "Opapatika" (Thailand)
Tsai Ming-Liang, "Help Me Eros" (Taiwan)

Best composer

The August Band, Flure, Witwisit Hirunwongkul, Chukiate Sakveerakul, Passakorn Wiroonsup, "Love of Siam" (Thailand)
Vishal Dadlani, Shekhar Ravjiani, Pyarelal Ramprasad Sharma, "Om Shanti Om" (India)
Alexandre Desplat, "Lust, Caution" (Taiwan/China/Hong Kong)
Xiao He, "Mid-Afternoon Barks," China
Shiina Ringo, "Sakuran," Japan

Best editor

Charliebebs Gohetia, "Slingshot," The Philippines
Hirasawa Shogo, "Maiko Haaaan!!!" Japan
Lee Eun-Soo, "The Old Garden," South Korea
Wenders Li, "The Warlords," China/Hong Kong
David Richardson, "Eye in the Sky," Hong Kong

Best visual effects

Thomas Duval, "The Sun Also Rises," China/Hong Kong
Hyung Rae Shim, "D-War," South Korea
Ng Yuen Fai, "The Warlords," China/Hong Kong
Seshita Hiroyuki, "Dainipponjin," Japan
Yamazaki Takashi, "Always: Sunset on Third Street 2," Japan
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