Cover South Korean actor Yoo Ah-In takes home the Best Actor award from the Asian Film Awards 2021 (Photo: Asian Film Awards)

A total of 36 films produced in eight Asian regions competed for 18 prizes. Read on to find out who took home the awards

The Asian Film Awards (AFA) is a celebration of filmmakers who have cultivated the Asian film industry. This year’s edition took place on October 8 where a total of 36 films produced in eight Asian regions were nominated.

The Lee Chang-dong-led jury awarded 18 prizes in total including Best Film, Best Director and Best Newcomer. Awards that were announced before the ceremony are the Excellence in Asian Cinema, which was given to Korean actor Lee Byung-hun and the highest-grossing movie of 2020 which was awarded to the anime, Demon Slayer Kimetsu no Yaiba The Movie: Mugen Train.

Compared to previous editions where one film mostly dominated a few award categories, this year, that wasn’t entirely the case with Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Wife of a Spy, winning three awards including the top prize for Best Film. Non-East Asian films were also able to take home awards compared to previous years such as Best Screenplay for Chaitanya Tamhane for The Disciple.

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Other big winners include Yoo Ah-in’s dialogue-free performance in Voice of Silence, for which he earned another Best Actor award. After five nominations, Aoi Yu finally takes home an award—Best Actress for Wife of a Spy. Newcomer Kim Hyun-bin bagged the newcomer award for his role in Silent Forest.

Hong Kong films also received awards this year. Limbo was awarded Best Sound and Best Production Design while The Way We Keep Dancing clinched the Best Original Music award

Read on to find out the full list of winners.

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Best Film

  • Wife of a Spy (Japan)

Best Director

  • Zhang Yimou for One Second (China)

Best Actor

  • Yoo Ah-in for Voice of Silence (South Korea)

Best Actress

  • Aoi Yu for Wife of a Spy (Japan)

Excellence in Asian Cinema Award

  • Lee Byung-hun

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The Highest Grossing Film of 2020

  • Demon Slayer Kimetsu no Yaiba The Movie: Mugen Train

Best Supporting Actor

  • Kim Hyun-bin for The Silent Forest (Taiwan)

Best Supporting Actress

  • Makita Aju for True Mothers (Japan)

Best New Director

  • Hong Eui-jeong for Voice of Silence (South Korea)

Best Newcomer

  • Liu Haocun for One Second (China)

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Best Screenplay

  • Chaitanya Tamhane for The Disciple (India)

Best Editing

  • Li Yongyi for Cliff Walkers (China)

Best Cinematography

  • Masoud Amini Tirani for The Wasteland (Iran)

Best Original Music

  • Day Tai for The Way We Keep Dancing (Hong Kong)

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Best Costume Design

  • Koketsu Haruki for Wife of a Spy (Japan)

Best Production Design

  • Kenneth Mak for Limbo (Hong Kong)

Best Visual Effects

  • Tim Crosbie and Joy Wu for The Eight Hundred (China)

Best Sound

  • Nopawat Likitwong for Limbo (Hong Kong)

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