Lifetime Achievement Award
This year’s Snow Leopard Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Chinese actress Lisa Lu, an inter-nationally renowned veteran of film, television and stage. Lisa has worked in the United States and China across a multitude of English and Chinese productions and has shown great versatility in her style, allowing her to take on a large scope of productions ranging from modern drama to Chinese Opera and Southern Kun Qu. Her film career took off in the 1970’s with supporting roles in Demon Seed and Peter Bogdanovich’s Saint Jack and during this period she received three Best Actress Golden Horse en Horse Awards for her Chinese-language films The Arch, The Empress Dowager and The Fourteen Amazons. Her most well-known films include Disney’s The Joy Luck Club and Bernardo Berto-lucci’s Academy Award-winning The Last Emperor.
Lisa was featured in 100 Chinese Mo-tion Picture Stars in commemoration ofthe 100th anniversary of motion picturemaking worldwide and her Chinese film,Apart Together, opened the 2010 BerlinFilm Festival. Her latest film is this sum-mer’s smash hit Crazy Rich Asians whichhas become the highest-grossing roman-tic comedy of the last 10 years.
Georges Chamchoum, the Festival’s Executive and Program Director, said, “I am thrilled and delight- ed that we are honoring such a wonderful and talented actress as Lisa, at this year’s Asian WorldFilm Festival. The theme of the Festival this year isfemale empowerment and the role of women inAsian film and it is therefore extremely fitting thatour Lifetime Achievement Award will be presentedto this outstanding, phenomenal actress.”
Lisa is currently filming the drama A Dream of Red Mansions in London, which is being directed by theChinese film director Hu Mei.
The Courage to Dream Award
The Asian World Film Festival, in partnership with the American Red Cross and Tiffany Ladies Circle, present the 'Courage to Dream Award' each year to a person of Asian descent, in recognition of their career accomplishments and their philanthropic endeavors.
Each recipient is selected because not only have they had the courage to dream but they have also, through hard work and determination, achieved those dreams and gone on to utilize theirsuccess and platform for the good of others.
Past recipients include:
• 2015: Kimberly Cheng – Reporter for KTLA
• 2016: Dr. Tae Yun Kim – CEO, author, and entrepreneur
• 2017: Hannah An – Chef and Owner of some of Los Angeles’ most successful restaurants.
This year we are honoring the Indian actress Freida Pinto for her undeniable career successes, including the award-winningfilms Slumdog Millionaire and Rise of the Planet of The Apes. Herdedicated humanitarian work with women and underprivileged children is in line with the theme of this year’s Asian World Film Festival, female empowerment, and we are thrilled to honor such an exceptional woman who champions women and women’scauses.
Rising Star Award
American actress and rapper AWKWAFINA will be honored with the Snow Leopard Rising Star Award at the Asian World Film Festival’s Closing Night Gala Ceremony.
Awkwafina, real name Nora Lum, become a major breakout talent during the summer of 2018. She can currently be seen on the big screen as Peik Lin in Warner Bros’ Crazy Rich Asians opposite Con- stance Wu, Michelle Yeoh, Henry Golding and Ken Jeong. The film opened this August to rave reviews.
Earlier this year, Awkwafina was seen in Warner Bros’ box office hit Ocean’s 8 which was directed by Gary Ross and featured an ensemble cast including Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Sarah Paulson, Rihanna and Helena Bonham Carter. She is soon set to star in the indie drama Paradise Hills opposite Emma Roberts and Milla Jovovich, as well as an untitled film written and directed by Lulu Wang.
Noted for the satire of her hilarious original music, Awkwafina became an internet sensation in 2012 with her viral video “My Vag.” She later made her feature film debut in the comedy Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, with Seth Rogen, Zac Efron and Rose Byrne. She was also heard as the voice of Quail in the 2016 animat- ed adventure Storks.
Chingiz AitmatovAdvancement of Culture Award
Chingiz Aitmatov was a Soviet-Kyrgyz author and statesman and one of the best known figures in Kyrgyzstan’s literature. His works have been translated into more than 150 languages across the world and several of his stories turned into popular films. In 1995 he became Kyrgyzstan’s ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands and also represented his home coun-try in the European Union, NATO and UNESCO.
The Chingiz Aitmatov Advancement of Culture Award is a new AWFF award and will be presented each year to a distinguished entertainer, writer or cultural figure who has significantly contribut-ed to the development and progression of their country’s Culture.
This year, the first award will go to the popular award-winningTurkish actress, screenwriter and director Turkan Soray who hasstarred in the most feature films for a female actress worldwide, with 222 films to her name. She played the lead in the 1977 Turk-ish romantic drama film The Girl with the Red Scarf, based on a story by Aitmatov.