Asian Film Awards: Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s ‘Evil Does Not Exist’ Wins Best Film, Hirokazu Kore-eda Takes Best Director For ‘Monster’

Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Evil Does Not Exist won Best Film at the Asian Film Awards (AFAs) this evening in Hong Kong. Scroll down for the full list of winners.

This is the second year running that a film helmed by Hamaguchi has picked up the award. He won the top prize last year with Drive My Car. This year, however, the director was not in attendance to accept the award due to what he described as “work commitments” in a video message played at the top of the ceremony.

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Evil Does Not Exist, which also picked up an award for original music, debuted at the 2023 Venice Film Festival. The film follows Takumi and his daughter Hana, who live in Mizubiki Village close to Tokyo. Like generations before them, they live a modest life according to the cycles and order of nature. A plan to construct a glamping site near Takumi’s house, offering city residents a comfortable “escape” to nature, threatens to endanger the ecological balance of the area and the local people’s way of life.

Another Japanese filmmaker, Hirokazu Kore-eda, took best director for his last feature Monster. This is the third time Kore-eda has taken home the awards body’s top directing honor. The Hamaguchi-Kore-eda leading double is an identical replica of last year’s honors and further solidifies Japan’s dominance at the AFAs.

Best actress went to Chinese actress Jiang Qinqin for her role in Dwelling by the West Lake, while Japanese actor Yakusho Koji took best actor for his leading role in Wim Wender’s Tokyo-set drama Perfect Days.

Elsewhere, veteran Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou received both the Lifetime Achievement Award and the 2023 Highest-Grossing Asian Film Award for his last feature Full River Red.

The noms on the eve had been led by Hamaguchi’s Evil Does Not Exist and the period action pic 12.12: The Day, from Korea, which both had six nods, including Best Film and Best Director. The awards were held at the Xiqu Centre in Hong Kong. Now in its 17th year, the Asian Film Awards have previously been held in Korea and Macau.

Full winners list:

Best Film

  • Evil Does Not Exist

Best Director

  • Kore-eda Hirokazu — Monster

Best Actor

  • Yakusho Koji — Perfect Days

Best Actress

  • Jiang Qinqin — Dwelling by the West Lake

Best Supporting Actor

  • Park Hoon — 12.12: The Day

Best Supporting Actress

  • Rachel Leung — In Broad Daylight

Best New Director

  • Nick Cheuk — Time Still Turns the Pages

Best Newcomer

  • Tergel Bold-Erdene — City of Wind

Best Screenplay

  • Pema Tseden — Snow Leopard

Best Editing

  • Kim Sang-bum — 12.12: The Day

Best Cinematography

  • Matthias Delvaux — Snow Leopard

Best Original Music

  • Ishibashi Eiko — Evil Does Not Exist

Best Costume Design

  • Man Lim Chung — The Goldfinger

Best Production Design

  • Eric Lam — The Goldfinger

Best Visual Effects

  • Yamazaki Takashi — Godzilla Minus One

Best Sound

  • Inoue Natsuko — Godzilla Minus One

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