Asian Film Awards: 'Legend of the Demon Cat' Leads With 6 Nominations

Legend of the Demon Cat Still - Publicity - H 2017
New Classics Media/Kadokawa Corporation/Emperor Motion Pictures/Shengkai Film

Legend of the Demon Cat

Chinese films and co-productions dominate the list of nominees.

The Asian Film Awards (AFA) appear to have a relatively level playing field this year.

Fantasy mystery Legend of the Demon Cat leads the way with six nominations, followed by three films with five noms each out of a total 89 in 17 categories. All four frontrunners are from China or are Chinese co-productions. Youth, Angels Wear White and Love Education garner nominations in five categories.

The nominations for Chen Kaige's Legend of the Demon Cat are mostly in technical categories, including best visual effects, production design, costume design and cinematography. Chen is nominated for best director, and Kitty Zhang's performance in the film earns her a best supporting actress nomination.

Youth, last year's AFA winner Feng Xiaogang's controversial period piece set during the Cultural Revolution, nabs a best director nomination for the helmer and also competes in the best film category.

Angels Wear White, by Vivian Qu, was nominated for best new director and best film.

Sylvia Chang's Love Education is nominated for best director, best actress, best screenplay (all Chang), best supporting actress Estelle Wu and best supporting actor for the acting debut of director Tian Zhuangzhuang, as the husband of Chang's character.

Chinese films dominate not only in the number of nods a film received but also in the total number of nominations. The films the country produced or co-produced receive 36 nominations. The territory that follows is Hong Kong, with only half that number of nominations. In total, 32 films from 10 countries and territories are nominated.

The awards added two new categories, namely, best new director and best action film, and will celebrate martial arts films in Asian cinema.

The jury this year is headed by renowned martial arts coordinator and film director Ching Siu-tung, who has won best action choreography at the Hong Kong Film Awards and Taiwan's Golden Horse Awards numerous times and was the chief action choreographer at the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Actress Carina Lau serves as the celebrity juror.

The awards ceremony will be held on March 17 and will return to the Venetian Theatre of The Venetian Macao, which hosted the ceremony in previous years.


Nominations in Major Categories:

Best Film

Angels Wear White (China, France)

Newton (India)

The Day After (South Korea)

The Third Murder (Japan)

Youth (China)


Best Director

Chen Kaige, Legend of the Demon Cat

Sylvia Chang, Love Education

Ann Hui, Our Time Will Come

Hong Sang-soo, The Day After

Ishii Yuya, The Tokyo Night Sky is Always the Densest Shade of Blue

Feng Xiaogang, Youth


Best Actor

Kim Yun-seok, 1987: When the Day Comes

Sukollawat Kanarot, Malila: The Farewell Flower

Rajkummar Rao, Newton

Louis Koo, Paradox

Duan Yihong, The Looming Storm


Best Actress

Aoi Yu, Birds Without Names

Sylvia Chang, Love Education

Marsha Timothy, Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts

Kim Min-hee, The Day After

Zhou Dongyu, This Is Not What I Expected