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Hong Huifang Loses Best Leading Actress To Sylvia Chang At Golden Horse Awards, But Wins Best Actress At Asian World Film Festival In Los Angeles

It's the veteran Mediacorp actress' first film award. Congratulations! 

Hong Huifang may not have taken home the Best Leading Actress at the 59th Golden Horse Awards on Saturday night (Nov 19), but the 61-year-old veteran Mediacorp artiste’s role as a middle-aged widow who rediscovers herself during a solo trip to South Korea in Ajoomma, won her Best Actress at the 8th Asian World Film Festival in Los Angeles.

Huifang's Best Actress win at the Asian World Film Festival was announced at the closing ceremony on Friday (Nov 18). This is the first film award for Huifang in her almost four-decade-long career. Chinese actress Zhou Dongyu won the same award in 2020 for her leading role in Better Days.

According to its website, the Asian World Film Festival “showcases the best of a broad selection of Asian World cinema to Los Angeles in order to draw greater recognition to the region's wealth of filmmakers —strengthening ties between the Asian and Hollywood film industries. The festival is supported by patrons from the diverse Asian communities in Los Angeles as well as general audience members who are passionate about foreign and independent cinema.”

In a statement, Huifang said, “I am very happy for this Best Actress award from the Asian World Film Festival in Los Angeles! I would like to thank the jury members for the recognition. I’m especially grateful to the Ajoomma team, family and friends in Singapore for their unwavering support throughout this amazing movie journey. I love you guys!”

Over at the Golden Horse Awards — held at the National Dr Sun Yet-Sen Memorial Hall — Ajoomma, a Korea-Singapore joint-venture produced by Anthony Chen (Ilo Ilo), didn’t win in the three other categories it was nominated for: Best New Director for He Shuming, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actor for Korea’s Jung Dong-Hwan.

Another Singapore film, Geylang, a crime thriller produced by Jack Neo and starring Mark Lee, also went home empty-handed. It received a nod for actor/stuntman Sunny Pang for Best Action Choreography.

In a text message, Sunny, who's best known for his role as Inspector Han in Code of Law, tells he is "contented to be mentioned". "[It's] just another day at the office, back to the drawing board," he adds, with a flexed biceps emoji.  

As of Nov 18, Ajoomma has earned about S$550,000 at the Singapore box-office since its Oct 26 release. The NC16 film, which also starred Kang Hyoung-Suk and Shane Pow, clinched the Best Film Award last month at the 2nd BaliMakarya Film Festival in the Southeast Asian Feature Competition section. 

Ajoomma, which is Singapore's Entry For Best International Feature Film Category at the Oscars, will be out in Taiwan on Dec 23. Geylang opens in cinemas on Apr 6; it will have its Southeast Asian premiere at this Saturday's (Nov 26) Singapore International Film Festival. 

Limbo, a Hong Kong action thriller starring Gordon Lam and Cya Liu, was the biggest winner at the Golden Horse Awards, with four gongs (out of 14 nominations): Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects, and Best Art Direction.

Coo-Coo 043, a Taiwanese drama set in the world of pigeon racing, won Best Narrative Feature. Elsewhere, Sylvia Chang was named Best Leading Actress for A Light Never Goes Out while Anthony Wong walked away with Best Leading Actor for The Sunny Side of the Street.

Click here for the full list of Golden Horse Awards winners. 

Photos: Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival Executive Committee

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