‘Evil Does Not Exist,’ ‘12.12: The Day’ Lead Asian Film Awards Nominations – Variety

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Hamaguchi Ryusuke’s “Evil Does Not Exist” and Korean blockbuster “12.12: The Day” dominated the nominations for the 17th edition of the Asian Film Awards. Both picked up six nominations, including those in the best film category.

The nominations were announced on Friday afternoon in Hong Kong, ahead of a ceremony on March 10, that will return to the city’s West Kowloon Cultural District and the Qiyu Centre.

The AFAs risk repeating themselves in another way. In 2023, Korean romantic-crime drama “Decision to Leave” was the most nominated title, picking up nominations in ten categories. But it only won three prizes and lost the best picture award to Hamaguchi’s “Drive My Car.”

The 2024 prizes will be decided by a jury headed by cult Japanese director Kurosawa Kiyoshi (“Cure,” “Pulse,” “Wife of a Spy”). He sent a video message to the nominations event and praised the AFAs for helping with Asia’s cinematic diversity.

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The nominations, however, were heavily clustered among titles from East Asia – Korea, Japan and Greater China – with only one film from South Asia receiving a nod. That was Sri Lankan director Prasanna Vithanage’s “Paradise,” which collected four nominations, including ones for best film and for best director. Another film to collect four nominations was “Snow Leopard,” by Pema Tseden, the Tibetan-Chinese director who died last year.

The AFAs will kick off a month of frantic film activity in Hong Kong. They precede Hong Kong FilMart, the biggest film rights market in Asia, and the HAF film project market. At the end of the month Hong Kong International Film Festival will swing into action.

More to follow.

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