The controversial Chinese film Mystery has taken top prize at the Asian Film Awards in Hong Kong. The thriller, which ran into trouble with the censors in its home country for both its violent content and its criticism of capitalism, also saw the Best Newcomer award go to its star Qi Xi. Meanwhile, both lead acting awards were won by Filipinos - Eddie Garcia for Bwakaw and Nora Aunor for Thy Womb.
This was the seventh annual ceremony with films selected from different areas of Asia, and it was the first not to be dominated by South Korea, which didn't win a single prize. Best Director went to Japan's Takeshi Kitano for yakuza drama Outrage Beyond and Japan also won in the Best Supporting actress categoty, with Makiko Watanabe commended for her work in Capturing Dad. Nawazuddin Siddiqui took the Best Supporting Actor gong home to India for Talaash: The Answer Lies Within. Meanwhile, international star Michelle Yeoh received a special award for Excellence in Asian Cinema. Looking on it as a lifetime achievement prize, she commented that she hopes casting agents won't take it the wrong way - she's only 49 and hopes to have many more films left in her future.