Asian Film Awards 2019: Tibetan Thriller and “Dying to Survive” Make Shortlist

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5:22 AM HKT, Sat January 12, 2019 1 mins read

Whew, big week for film news. First we told you about this great slate of Chinese documentaries at SFMOMA, then there was news of a possible Fan Bingbing comeback, and then… well, then there was this:

And now we have the full list of nominations for the 2019 Asian Film Awards. Yup, it’s awards season in Asia too.

China has two horses in the race for the Best Film prize: surprisingly heavy-hitting drugs smuggling drama Dying to Survive and Tibetan language revenge movie Jinpa. Here’s a short clip from the latter:

That film has also earned Pema Tseden a Best Director nomination, a category which also features Hong Kong’s Fruit Chan for the film Three Husbands, which Variety said painted a “grotesquely satirical picture of Hong Kong”. In the Best New Director nominations, Beijing Film Academy graduate Bai Xue gets recognition for her debut feature The Crossing, which centers on a young drug mule to tell a “moving, universal story of teenage angst” according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Other Chinese films featured on the awards shortlist include stirring dialect-heavy Jia Zhangke offering Ash is Purest White — for which Zhao Tao gets a well-deserved Best Actress nomination to go with the film’s Best Screenplay nod — and Operation Red Sea. The latter, which somewhat bizarrely is Hong Kong’s Oscar pick, is among those hoping to take home prizes for Best Editing, Best Visual Effects, and Best Newcomer (courtesy of Johnny Huang).

The awards are set to take place in Macau on March 16. Here’s the full list of nominations:

Best Film

Burning (South Korea)

Dying to Survive (China)

Jinpa (China)

Sanju (India)

Shoplifters (Japan)

Best Director

Lee Chang-dong (Burning)

Pema Tseden (Jinpa)

Rajkumar Hirani (Sanju)

Hirokazu Koreeda (Shoplifters)

Fruit Chan (Three Husbands)

Best New Director

Yeo Siew Hua (A Land Imagined)

Rima Das (Bulbul Can Sing)

Phuttiphong Aroonpheng (Manta Ray)

Shinichiro Ueda (One Cut of the Dead)

Oliver Chan Siu-kuen (Still Human)

Bai Xue (The Crossing)

Best Actor

Yoo Ah-in (Burning)

Xu Zheng (Dying to Survive)

Aaron Kwok (Project Gutenberg)

Ranbir Kapoor (Sanju)

Koji Yakusho (The Blood of Wolves)

Best Actress

Zhao Tao (Ash Is Purest White)

Samal Yeslyamova (Ayka)

Han Ji-min (Miss Baek)

Sakura Ando (Shoplifters)

Chloe Maayan (Three Husbands)

Best Supporting Actor

Zhang Yu (Dying to Survive)

Kwon Hae-hyo (Hotel by the River)

Shinya Tsukamoto (Killing)

Vicky Kaushal (Sanju)

River Huang (Tracey)

Best Supporting Actress

Jin Seo-yeon (Believer)

Ding Ning (Cities of Last Things)

Xu Qing (Hidden Man)

Mayu Matsuoka (Shoplifters)

Kara Wai (Tracey)

Best Newcomer

Erika Karata (Asako I & II)

Jun Jong-seo (Burning)

Xie Zhangying (Cities of Last Things)

Johnny Huang (Operation Red Sea)

Huang Yao (The Crossing)

Chan Charm-man (Three Husbands)

Best Screenplay

Ash Is Purest White


Dying to Survive

Project Gutenberg


Best Editing


Operation Red Sea

Project Gutenberg


The Spy Gone North

Best Cinematography



Manta Ray



Best Original Music






Best Costume Design

Hidden Man

Project Gutenberg

Punk Samurai Slash Down


The Spy Gone North

Best Production Design


Hidden Man




Best Visual Effects


Hidden Man

Operation Red Sea

Project Gutenberg

Punk Samurai Slash Down

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