Indian Ocean, the well-known Indian band, won the Best Music Score trophy at the highly prestigious Asian Film Awards at Hong Kong for its score in PEEPLI LIVE, a film directed by Anusha Rizvi and produced by Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao. It was India's official Oscar entry. The film came into limelight after it was selected in the world cinema section of Sundance 2010.
Though largely ignored by the celebrity driven domestic awards, the film was nominated in four categories of the most important awards in the Asian region. It was nominated in the best film, the best newcomer (Omkar Das Manikpuri), the best music score (Indian Ocean), and the best editing (Hemanti Sarkar), and it competed with the best of Asian films of last year.
Apichatpong Weerasethakul's internationally acclaimed fairy tale UNCLE BOONMEE WHO CAN RECALL HIS PAST LIVES got the best film award. An exotic tale of death and reincarnation, the film was the toast of 2010 Cannes Film Festival, and was a hot favorite among international critics. It beat the two Chinese box office blockbusters of last year AFTERSHOCK and LET THE BULLETS FLY in the race. The South Korean film POETRY, another festival favorite, directed by Lee Chang-dong, won the best director and screenplay awards. It had also won the best screenplay award at Cannes last year. Ha Jung-Woo won the best acting award for his role as a contract killer in THE YELLOW SEA while AFTERSHOCK, a film based on 1976 Tangshan earthquake in China and its aftermath, brought its lead actress Xu Fan the best actress award. The long time producer of globally popular films like ENTER THE DRAGON, FISTS OF FURY, HAND OF DEATH and THE TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, RAYMOND CHOW, was given away the Lifetime Achievement Award this year.
The effects of the events in Japan were clearly felt during the ceremony as winners kept their speeches short. The absence of nominees and winners from Japan was acutely felt. The event's hosts and many award recipients expressed sympathy and condolences to the people of Japan and some even made donations to the charities involved in rescue and rehabilitation mission. Tatsumi 'Tom' Yoda, the chairman of the Tokyo International Film Festival, was present and he thanked the Asian Film Industry for its support and sympathy.
(Rajesh Kumar Singh is Editorial Consultant for Festivals and Markets for BollywoodTrade.com. He is a filmmaker, critic and market analyst)