Asian Brilliant Stars launched its second edition today, announcing a diverse line-up of films from across Asia that will compete in several expanded categories including Best Actor/Actress in a leading role, Best Director, Best Screenwriter, Best Producer and Best New Asian Icon. Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony during the Berlin International Film Festival on February 21st, 2018.
The inaugural Asian Brilliant Stars, held last February on the sidelines of Berlinale, was a decidedly Sinocentric affair. Organizers at the time emphasized that future editions would showcase more local language fare and filmmakers from other Asian markets, and they’ve kept their promise.
This year’s selection includes 19 films representing the best of Asia in terms of both their critical and box office performances. Titles include commercial juggernaut Wolf Warrior II, the highest-grossing film of all-time in China with more than $850 million earned this summer, Indian phenom Dangal, Thailand’s heist film Bad Genius as well as films from the Philippines, Japan, Iran, Turkey, Israel and South Korea.
This year’s jury will be comprised of legendary South Korean director Kim Ki Duk, Mandfred Wong, the former president of the Hong Kong Film Awards, and Japanese producer Shozo Ichiyama whose work includes Violent Cop (Takeshi Kitano), Goodbye South, Goodbye (Hou Hsiao-hsien) and Platform (Jia Zhangke).
There was also an air of diplomacy surrounding Tuesday’s announcements in Beijing, with the press conference taking place just one day ahead of South Korean President Mr. Moon’s visit. Jury member Kim Ki Duk attended the conference, in a common effort with the organizers to help bring relations closer between China and South Korea and emphasized the “boundless cultural and economic possibilities of cooperation between China and South Korea and “regretted the stagnation of our relations.”
Seoul and Beijing have been in a 15-month standoff over the deployment of THAAD, a U.S. anti-missile system in South Korea and cultural exchange between the two Asian countries had virtually ceased.
Both Kim and Richard Shen, General Secretary of Asian Film & Television Promotion, are hopeful the Asian Brilliant Stars can provide a platform to thaw China-South Korean relations and promote Asian films and culture around the world. Shen, an investor in two of the most successful Chinese-South Korean television drama co-productions Diamond Lover and Jade Lovers added: “As one of the early defenders of China-South Korean co-productions, I look forward to normalizing these relations.”
The Asian Brilliant Stars project is organized by Asian Film & Television Promotion, and co-organized by the Beijing Film Academy and the magazine Movie View.
The full selection of titles for the 2nd Asian Brilliant Stars:
1. Brotherhood of Blades II: The Infernal Battlefield 绣春刀II修罗战场 (China)
2. Wolf Warriors 2 战狼2 (China)
3. Path of The Soul 冈仁波齐 (China)
4. Our Time Will Come 明月幾時有 (China, Hong Kong)
5. Chasing the Dragon 追龍 (China, Hong Kong)
6. Love Education 相愛相親 (China, Hong Kong)
7. The Day After 그 후 (South Korea)
8. I Can Speak 아이 캔 스피크 (South Korea)
9. Anarchist from Colony 박열(South Korea)
10. Grain (Turkey, Germany, France, Sweden)
11. Foxtrot פוֹקְסטְרוֹט (Israel, Germany, France)
12. Dangal दंगल (India)
13. Pedicab Pauwi Na (Philippines)
14. What a Wonderful Family!家族はつらいよ (Japan)
15. The Third Murder 三度目の殺人 (Japan)
16. Mumon: The Land of Stealth 忍びの国 (Japan)
17. A Man of Integrity لِرد (Iran)
18. Youth 芳华 (China)
19. Bad Genius ฉลาดเกมส์โกง (Thailand)