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Asian Film Awards to be held at 31st Hong Kong Intl Film Fest on 20 March

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MUMBAI: Hong Kong International Film Festival Society chairman Wilfred Wong has announced the launch of the Asian Film Awards (AFA) which will take place on 20 March 2007, on the opening night of the 31st Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF).

Organized by the HKIFF and held in conjunction with Entertainment Expo, the Asian Film Awards will honour the best of Asian cinema over the past year, including filmmakers with outstanding career achievements and emerging artists who demonstrate extraordinary talent in the field of cinema.

Awards will recognize films and filmmakers from all over Asia - from Iran to China to India - in 10 categories including Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Screenwriter, Best Cinematographer, Best Production Designer, Best Composer, Best Editor and Best Visual Effects.

A jury of 17 film professionals, whose experiences and expertise in cinema are internationally recognized (filmmakers, key personnel from international film festivals, and industry experts from all over the world) have screened over 700 eligible films produced in the region in 2006. Up to six nominees in each category have been selected. AFA winners will be announced at the Awards Gala on 20 March 20, informs an official release.

"With more than 4 billion people in Asia - 60% of the global population - a celebration of the Asian cinema is long overdue" stated Wong. "We aim to make the AFA the most prominent and definitive film awards for the region by highlighting excellence in Asian filmmaking and by bringing broader attention to the rich and diverse stories and storytellers from all over Asia today."

The red-carpet gala and award ceremony will be broadcast throughout Asia. AFA is currently in negotiation with major TV outlets for international broadcast throughout Asia. The gala's presenters and performing acts as well as the design of the AFA trophy will be forthcoming.

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