'Mother' tops Asian Film Awards

Bong Joon-ho's thriller named best film

HONG KONG -- The spotlight shone bright on South Korea at the fourth Asian Film Awards in Hong Kong on Monday night, when director Bong Joon-ho led his countrymen in six wins with the best film award for his thriller "Mother."

The story of a mother who struggles to save her son from a murder accusation, also garnered Kim Hye-ja the award for best actress, and Bong and Park Eun-kyo the award for best screenwriter.

The star-studded event saw 14 awards handed out at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center where veejay and model Lisa S. emceed the broadcast for ATV and FOX.

Lu Chuan of China was named best director for his Nanjing massacre drama "City of Life and Death," and the best actor award went to China's Wang Xueqi for his performance in "Bodyguards and Assassins."

No prizes went to Japan this year, a letdown after Japanese films took home five AFA prizes in 2009.

The 2010 AFA best newcomer award went to Ng Meng-hui for an appearance in "At the End of Daybreak," a South Korean co-production with Malaysia and Hong Kong that also garnered Wai Ying-hung the best supporting actress prize.

South Korean Yi Zeon-hyoung won the best visual effects award for work on "Thirst."

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The inaugural best costume designer award -- presented by Donatella Versace -- went to the team of Christian Lacroix, Anne Dunnsford and Wang Chia-Hui for "Face."

The Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Indian acting and producing giant Amitabh Bachchan, and an award for Outstanding Contribution to Asian Cinema went to Chinese directing legend Zhang Yimou.

Bachchan has appeared in more than 100 movies in a career spanning four decades. His recent credits include "The Last Lear," "Sarkar Raj" and "Paa."

Zhang made his directorial debut in 1987 with "Red Sorghum," and is perhaps the best known of the Fifth Generation of Chinese film directors.

The Asian Film Award winners follow:

Best Film
"Mother" (South Korea)

Best Director
Lu Chuan, "City of Life and Death" (China)

Best Actor
Wang Xueqi, "Bodyguards and Assassins" (Hong Kong/China)

Best Actress
Kim Hye-ja, "Mother" (South Korea)

Best Newcomer
Ng Meng Hui, "At the End of Daybreak" (Malaysia/Hong Kong/South Korea)

Best Supporting Actor
Nicholas Tse, "Bodyguards and Assassins" (Hong Kong/China)

Best Supporting Actor
Wai Ying-hung, "At the End of Daybreak" (Malaysia/Hong Kong/South Korea)

Best Screenwriter
Parl Eun-kyo, Bong Joon-ho, "Mother" (South Korea)

Best Cinematographer
Cao Yu, "City of Life and Death" (China)

Best Production Designer
Alain-Pascal Housiaux, Patrick Dechesne/Lee Tian-Jue, "Face" (Taiwan)

Best Composer
Lo Ta-Yu, "Vengeance" (Hong Kong)

Best Editor
Lee Chatametikool, "Karaoke" (Malaysia)

Best Visual Effects
Yi Zeon-hyoung, "Thirst" (South Korea)

Best Costume Designer
Christian Lacroix, Anne Dunsford, Wang Chia-Hui, "Face" (Taiwan)

Special Awards:

Outstanding Contribution to Asian Cinema -- Zhang Yimou
The Asian Film Award for Lifetime Achievement -- Amitabh Bachchan
The Asian Film Award for 2009's Top-Grossing Film Director -- John Woo