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Asian World Film Fest Asian World Film Fest

2016 Award Winners

November 7, 2016


Best Picture  • El Clásico, directed by Halkawt Mustafa (Iraq)

Best Picture • El Clásico, directed by Halkawt Mustafa (Iraq)

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 1, 2016 – Tonight the 2nd Annual Asian World Film Festival (Oct. 24 – Nov. 1, 2016) announced Festival award winners during the closing night ceremony at the ArcLight in Culver City. The evening was hosted by Korean-American actor Ricky Kim and included remarks from Culver City mayor Jim B. Clarke. The Festival concluded with a screening of Operation Chromite, one of the five Korean films featured throughout the week as part of the newly designed Korean Film Days program in association with CJ Entertainment. The screening was followed by a Q&A with director John H. Lee.

Almost 40 feature films were presented during the eight day festival that included 20 foreign language Oscar® contenders and a dozen Golden Globe® submitted films. The festival also held five industry panels as part of its Asian World Industry Forum, which featured entertainment industry leaders as moderators and panelists. The 3rd Annual Asian World Film Festival is slated for October 30 – November 7, 2017.

Said Georges Chamchoum, Executive and Program Director of the AWFF: “The Asian World Film Festival unfolded it’s second year wth a big bang and is a tower of strength and opportunity for Asian filmmakers. We have presented 38 movies from 26 countries with 56 screenings. Tonight’s awards represent the very best of the Asian World Film Festival. We look forward to continuing to present films which are exciting, original, exceptional and inspiring.”

Special Jury Prize
• Cold of Kalandar, directed by Mustafa Kara (Turkey)
Best Male Lead
• Haydar Sisman, Cold of Kalandar (Turkey)

The awards were presented by members of the AWFF jury that include jury president and producer Heather Rae (Tallulah), director Amin Matalqa (The Rendezvous), Golden Globe®-nominated composer Carlo Siliotto (Miracles from Heaven), Oscar®-winning screenwriter David Seidler (The King’s Speech), musician DCAT, actor Hakeem Kae-Kazim (Black Sails), producer/director Iram Parveen Bilal, model/actress Maria Shantanova, Emmy®-nominated director Uli Edel (Last Exit to Brooklyn) and ArcLight Films executive Ying Ye.

The Cinematic Legacy Award was presented to visionary Korean producer Keon-seop Park by Angela Killoren from CJ Entertainment. This award honors Keon-seop Park for the scope of his efforts to nurture, cultivate and build the Korean cinema into a successful industry in the 1990s and expand its’ horizons outside the Korean borders.

The “He Can Do, She Can Do, Why Not Me” Humanitarian Award was presented to El Clásico, directed by Halkawt Mustafa (Iraq). The film was chosen by a special jury of 17 designated by Dr. Tae Yun Kim, president of the AWFF Advisory Board and CEO of Lighthouse Worldwide Solutions. The film was selected because it delivers a powerful message of courage, hope, healing and determination. Dr. Kim presented the award along with a $10,000 cash prize.

The Murray Weissman Award for Movie Poster Art, named after the late legendary entertainment publicist, was presented to Earthquake (Armenia) by Weissman’s daughter, Julie Weissman Markovitz.

The 2nd Annual Asian World Film Festival winners include:

Best Female Lead – TIE • Ji-min Han, Age of Shadows (South Korea)

Best Female Lead – TIE • Victoria Isakova, The Student (Russia)

Best Picture 
• El Clásico, directed by Halkawt Mustafa (Iraq)

Special Jury Prize
• Cold of Kalandar, directed by Mustafa Kara (Turkey)
• Honorable Mention: The Student, directed by Kirill Serebrennikov (Russia)

Best Male Lead
 Haydar SismanCold of Kalandar (Turkey)

Best Female Lead – TIE
• Ji-min HanAge of Shadows (South Korea)
• Victoria IsakovaThe Student (Russia)

Best Musical Score
• The Black Hen, composed by Jason Kunwar (Nepal)
• Honorable Mention: Amanat, composed by Aktoti Ralmkulova (Kazakhstan)

Discretionary Jury Award for Courage in Storytelling 
• Redha, directed by Tunku Mona Riza (Malaysia)

Special Mention for Best Ensemble Cast
• Very Big Shot (Lebanon)

Audience Award
• The Faith directed by Garamkhand B. (Mongolia)

Opening Night – Images are available here.
Closing Night – Images will be available here after 3:00 a.m.:


Best Musical Score
• The Black Hen, composed by Jason Kunwar (Nepal)


The AWFF is generously sponsored by Aitysh Film, Lighthouse Worldwide Solutions, Etihad Airways, Variety, Sony Entertainment Television – Asia, The Los Angeles Film School, Consulate General of Lebanon in Los Angeles, CD Video Manufacturing, Inc., Chicago Music Library, Manatt Phelps & Phillips, LLP, BDO USA, Samsson, Casa Mexico Tequila, Final Draft, QuickFilmBudget, Arclight Cinemas, The Culver Hotel, Beverly Hills Luxury Interiors, City of Culver City, Hollywood Foreign Press Association, World Nomad Games 2016, Korean Film Council, Korean Cultural Center Los Angeles, Los Angeles World Affairs Council, 5 Star Moving, Los Angeles American Heritage Month, Lebanese Minister of Culture, Berri’s Kitchen, United World Colleges and the Art Directors Guild (IATSE Local 800).

Audience Award
• The Faith directed by Garamkhand B. (Mongolia)

About the Asian World Film Festival
The Asian World Film Festival (AWFF) brings 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. Uniting through cross-cultural collaboration, the Festival champions films from 51 countries across Asia spanning from Turkey to Japan and Russia to India and the Middle East. All films that participate in the Festival will have a unique chance to be guided through the challenging awards season, showcasing their foreign films to the Motion Picture Academy, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and all Guilds for enhanced exposure, media attention and awards consideration. AWFF is a non-profit organization under Aitysh USA. For more information, go to or follow #AsianWorldFilmFest on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Weissman/Markovitz Communications
Cheri Warner | (818) 760-8995 |
Leonard Morpurgo | (818) 731-3513 | leonard@publicity4all

Rachel Sine, Artistic Director