Shabana Azmi, who along with Smita Patil, Om Puri and Naseeruddin Shah helped the Indian New Wave in the 1970s with brilliant portrayals, has been nominated for the Asian Film Awards as one of the five actresses in a supporting role in Neerja. The work recalls in a fiction feature the tragic killing of a Pan Am stewardess, Neerja Bhanot, during a Libyan-backed hijack at Karachi airport in 1986.
The Awards - which will this year take place in Hong Kong to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the territory’s handover -- will be announced on March 21. For the past three years, Macau had been the venue.
Other than Azmi’s, Indian cinema, despite being miles and miles ahead of the other Asian nations in movie production, has not been able to garner any nomination.
It is the tiny South Korea with an equally tiny annual film output that has bagged an impressive tally of nods with the country’s The Handmaiden (which competed at Cannes last year) walking away with six. China’s I Am Not Madame Bovary clinched five nominations, and so did South Korea’s Train to Busan.
The Handmaiden, a lesbian tale of treachery, helmed by Park Chan-wook, got the pat for the best supporting actress, best newcomer, best screenplay, best editing, best costume design and the best production design. But it missed out in the best movie and best director categories.
It was the Chinese helmer, Feng Xiaogang, who got the best director nod for his scathing social satire, I Am Not Madame Bovary - which will also run the best film race. Additionally, the movie got nominations for the best actress, the best supporting actor and best cinematography.
A sleeper-hit, Train to Busan, won nods for the best actor, best supporting actor, best editing, best costume design and the best visual effects.
The best film category will witness a hot race among The Wailing and The Age of Shadows, both from South Korea, Harmonium from Japan, Godspeed from Taiwan and I Am Not Madame Bovary from China.
What may seem somewhat strange to some is that of the 34 movies which were nominated this year from 12 countries in 15 categories, 21 titles are from China or produced partly with Chinese funds. And 20 pats have gone to South Korea.
List of nominations:
The Wailing, South Korea
The Age of Shadows, South Korea
I Am Not Madame Bovary,China
Na Hong-jin, The Wailing
Koji Fukada, Harmonium
Derek Tsang, Soul Mate
Feng Xiaogang, I Am Not Madame Bovary
Lav Diaz, The Woman Who Left
Michael Hui, Godspeed
Gong Yoo, Train to Busan
Asano Tadanobu, Harmonium
Fan Wei, Mr. No Problem
Richie Jen, Trivisa
Son Ye-jin, The Last Princess
Fan Bingbing, I Am Not Madame Bovary
Haru Kuroki, A Bride for Rip Van Winkle
Kara Wai, Happiness
Charo Santos-Concio, The Woman Who Left
Best Supporting Actor
Jun Kunimura, The Wailing
Ma Dong-seok, Train to Busan
Ayano Go, Rage
Dong Chengpeng/Da Peng, I Am Not Madame Bovary
Lam Suet, Trivisa
Best Supporting Actress
Elaine Jin, Mad World
Moon So-ri, The Handmaiden
Maeda Atsuko, The Mohican Comes Home
Shabana Azmi, Neerja
Lynn Xiong, See You Tomorrow
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