Chloé Zhao awarded at The 7th Asian World Film Festival Closing Night


LOS ANGELES, Nov. 12, 2021 — The 2021 Asian World Film Festival (AWFF) announced the winners of its competition categories Nov. 11 evening at the Closing Night Gala at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills. Brighton 4th (Georgia), directed by Levan Koguashvili, garnered the Snow Leopard Award for Best Film. The award was presented by celebrated television star and jury member Loni Anderson. The jury bestowed the Snow Leopard for Best Actor upon Tolepbergen Baisakalov for Fire (Kazakhstan) and for Best Actress upon Arawinda Kirana for Yuni (Indonesia). Eran Kolirin, director of Let it Be Morning (Israel), was honored with the Snow Leopard Distinction Award for Directing and Yusif (Lebanon) was recognized with Snow Leopard Special Jury Award for the film’s production (Houssein Haidar, producer, actor, and screenwriter and Mohammed Kazem Fayad, director).

Chloé Zhao, Snow Leopard Award for Outstanding Cinematic Achievement Recipient

HRH of Cambodia, Norodom Arunrasmy

Georges N. Chamchoum, AWFF executive director

“It’s especially gratifying to announce AWFF’s top honors after a festival that showcased such an abundance of great Asian content,” said Georges N. Chamchoum, AWFF executive director. “The film community overcame unprecedented challenges over the last year, and it’s a privilege to play our part in shining a light on their stellar accomplishments.”

Director Ryoo Seung-wan (Escape from Mogadishu) gave the Snow Leopard Award for Outstanding Cinematic Achievement to Oscar-winning director Chloé Zhao (Eternals) and legendary actress Lisa Lu (Crazy Rich Asians), the Winn Slavin Humanitarian Award to fellow actress Kieu Chinh (Joy Luck Club). Kieu Chinh 

Lisa Lu and Chloé Zhao

From Left: Director Anna Chi (Left), legendary actress Lisa Lu (Crazy Rich Asians)

From Left: Actress Nancy Kwan, Kieu Chinh the Winn Slavin Humanitarian Award Winner (Joy Luck Club)

The Bruce Lee Award, presented in partnership with the Bruce Lee Foundation – Andy Cheng , actor, stuntperson, and martial artist

Andy Cheng (Right)

Yosan An, actor and filmmaker

From Left: Archie David Kao, actor and producer. Andy Cheng

From Left: actor Chen Tang, actor Anthony Lien

AWFF managing director Asel Shemiyazova (Right 3)

Jing Li

From Left: Richard Ren, Matt William Knowles, Archie Kao, Andy Cheng

AWFF managing director Asel Shemiyazova (Left 4)

From Left: Richard Ren, Robert Sun, Anthony Lien, Michael Fang

Asian and Hollywood filmmakers and stars walked the red carpet and presented the honorary Snow Leopard Awards (previously announced).

Krista Kleiner and Jeff Locker

Krista Kleiner, performer and founder, One Heart Movement, and Jeff Locker, actor and filmmaker, hosted the gala ceremony.

Sir Daniel Winn

Snow Leopard Awards were redesigned for 2021 by Sir Daniel Winn

Serving on the 2021 AWFF jury were: Sydney Levine, film consultant (jury president); Loni Anderson, actress, author, activist; Andrzej Bartkowiak, cinematographer; Lianne Hu, producer, writer, actor, businessperson; Cheng Sim-Lim, film curator; Peter Luo, CEO, Starlight Media; Arati Misro, producer; and Ivana Nguyen, producer, actress.

The 2021 AWFF, now in its seventh year, showcased feature films from more than 20 nations. Screenings included a combined total of 15 Academy Award for Best International Feature Film and Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture, Foreign Language submissions and a Window to Africa program. Twelve films screened in competition, and winners received Snow Leopard Awards.


Lisa Lu and Anthony Lien

From Left: actor TianYang Ma, Richard Ren, actor Anthony Lien, producer Michael Fang

Director Ryoo Seung-wan 

producer Eileen Chen (Left)