Hong Kong superstar Chow Yun-fat named Asian Filmmaker of the Year at Busan International Film Festival

Hong Kong superstar Chow Yun-fat has been named Asian Filmmaker of the Year at the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF), becoming the second actor from the city to earn international acclaim in a week.

Announcing the honour on Tuesday, the organiser praised Chow, 68, for his contributions to local cinema and his instrumental role in elevating Hong Kong gangster films to international prominence.

The Asian Filmmaker of the Year award is presented to a professional or organisation in the region deemed to have made the most outstanding contribution to the development of Asian film industry and culture.

Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team.

‘Grow old in Hong Kong’: film legend Chow Yun-fat says he will never quit the city

The festival organiser said Chow had led the golden era of Hong Kong cinema and cemented his position as a key player in “Hong Kong film noir” as a global genre.

“Chow’s versatile talent knows no bounds, encompassing action to melodrama and comedy and historical drama, and subsequently established him as the most sought-after actor in Asia.”

A young Chow in God of Gamblers. Photo: GH_cinemas/Instagram

Since his debut in 1976, Chow has appeared in some 100 films, with notable works such as The Story of Woo Viet (1981), All About Ah-Long (1989), God of Gamblers (1989), Once a Thief (1991), Curse of the Golden Flower (2006), Let the Bullets Fly (2010) and Project Gutenberg (2018).

He has won three best actor titles at the Hong Kong Film Awards and two at Taiwan’s Golden Horse film awards.

Why Hong Kong star Chow Yun-fat’s hopes of Hollywood success were dashed

To celebrate Chow’s achievement, the festival will showcase three of his works, including signature pieces A Better Tomorrow (1986) and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), which triumphed at the Oscars, winning the Best Foreign Language Film award in 2001, as well as his latest cinematic endeavor this year, One More Chance.

Oscar-winning Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon earned Chow international fame. Photo: Handout

Often called the “Cannes of Asia”, BIFF has been a cultural landmark known for introducing new talent who have gone on to become leading voices in Asian cinema.

Established in 1996 in the lively southern port city of Busan, South Korea’s second-largest metropolis, the festival’s history mirrors that of the modern Korean film industry, which emerged as an international powerhouse in the late 1990s.

Chow is also known for bringing Hong Kong gangster flicks to world prominence. Photo: Handout

Chow, hailing from Hong Kong’s outlying Lamma Island, is also the second local actor to receive the Asian Filmmaker of the Year honor following Tony Leung Chiu-wai’s win last year.

Leung also came under the global spotlight last week when he became the first Chinese actor to be honored with the prestigious Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Film Festival.

Hong Kong superstar Andy Lau to receive special award at Toronto film festival

Hong Hong Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism Kevin Yeung Yun-hung on Tuesday congratulated Chow on the honour.

“With his outstanding acting skills, Chow plays a diverse repertoire and gives life to many classic characters. He made a name for himself in Hong Kong and even worldwide before successfully making his way to Hollywood, and established his status in the global film industry,” Yeung said.

He also highlighted Chow’s down-to-earth nature and approachability, endearing him to the people of Hong Kong.

Hong Kong actors had earned recognition worldwide by reaping a number of international awards in recent years, Yeung added, vowing the government and the Film Development Council would continue to provide support on various fronts and foster sustainable development of the industry.

Chow is expected to receive the award in person next month.

The 10-day festival starting on October 4 will screen 209 films from 69 countries in its official selection, including 80 world premieres.

More from South China Morning Post:

For the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2023.

Follow us on our official WhatsApp channel for breaking news alerts and key updates!

Next In Aseanplus News

Motor racing-Sainz sets final practice pace for Ferrari in Bahrain
Dengue cases increase in 8th epidemiological week, two deaths reported
Regent of Johor attends Chingay procession to mark end of Chinese New Year celebrations
Asean News Headlines at 9pm on Friday (March 1, 2023)
World in shock as more than 100 killed while seeking aid in Gaza, overall death toll passes 30,000
Cricket-Ireland claim first ever test victory with six-wicket win over Afghanistan
Frenchwoman Boutier delivers putting masterclass to grab Singapore LPGA lead
Indonesia's presidential palace in new capital Nusantara must be built with our own hands, says Jokowi
Athletics-Canada's Mitton wins shot put to open world indoor championships
Swiss man, wife apologise for their poor behaviour towards Thai female doctor in Phuket

Others Also Read