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Global Talents Highlight Asian World Film Festival Gala

Global Talents Highlight Asian World Film Festival Gala

The event took place November 18 at Beverly Hill’s Saban Theatre.

A special musical performances by leading Vietnamese talent Dam Vinh Hung capped the eighth annual Asian World Film Festival (AWFF) Closing Night Gala, a star-studded, music-filled event that took place November 18 at Beverly Hill's Saban Theatre.

Multi-genre singer Dam Vinh Hung and singer, actress, and philanthropist Ha Phuong crowned an awards ceremony that followed ten days of film screenings and festivities featuring Asian voices from around the world. Seventeen motion pictures screened in AWFF's competition and Last Film Show (India) took home the Snow Leopard Award for Best Film.

"AWFF is about everything that Asia has to offer in every way, culturally and artistically," explained Georges Chamchoum, AWFF executive director. "We are extremely grateful for the wide range of talented Asian artists who participated in our awards gala and look forward to more showcases in the future to help celebrate Asian cinema and Asian culture."

The AWFF performance lineup also included Chinese-American Cultural Dance Group, Ctrl.Alt.SD K-pop Dance Team, Kachin Dance Crew Los Angeles, Los Angeles Taiko Ichiza, and Myanmar Dance Troupe. Rounding out the entertainment list was Tarek Rahbani's Magic of the Orient "Musical Journey into the Heart of Asia" and Zaki Nassif's "Dance of the Jars," which was arranged, orchestrated, and visualized by Dr. Jamal A Hosn and choreographed by Fusion Art's Malek Andary.

A singer, TV personality, and entertainment executive, Dam -known as Mr. Dam to fans in his native land-has garnered nearly every top Vietnamese music award, including a Lan Song Xanh Award (Green Wave Award) and Cong Hien Award (Music Dedication Award). Dam's catalogue of recordings ranges from pop to pre-Vietnam War songs and his YouTube clips often exceed ten million views.

Dam has been featured in numerous Vietnamese reality and competition TV shows, and he was the winning coach on several seasons of "Fantastic Duo" and "Bolero Idol."

Currently residing in New York, the multi-talented Ha has been performing since childhood. She starred in the 2019 feature film, Finding Julia, which was inspired by the novel she penned about her early life in Saigon. All the profits from the artist's DVD/CD sales, concerts, and films go to Ha Phuong Foundation, which she formed to help underprivileged and visually impaired children in her home country.

Among the many stars who attended the standing room-only gala were a half-dozen cast members from Park Chan-wook's upcoming HBO series "The Sympathizer," which is currently in production in Los Angeles.

In addition to Best Film, multiple awards were presented including the Snow Leopard for Best Actor, which went to Mohsen Tanabandeh for World War III (Iran), and Snow Leopard for Best Actress, which went to Hui Fang Hong for Ajoomma (Singapore).

Park was honored with the Snow Leopard Outstanding Cinematic Achievement Award, which was accepted in his behalf by legendary Vietnamese actress Kieu Chinh (Park was tied up on set). Also present was Vietnamese-American singer/songwriter Ky Duyen Nguyen who bestowed actor Desmond Chaim with the Snow Leopard Rising Star Award.

The eighth annual Asian World Film Festival took place November 9 - 18 in Los Angeles and featured 20 submissions for the Best International Feature Film Oscar.

AWFF sponsors and partners include: Aitysh USA, PEER, Dr. Dao Medical Center, Winn Slavin Fine Art, Dutcher Crossing, Panavision, THE ONE Heart Movement, The Bruce Lee Foundation, Ha Phuong Foundation, Barco, Korean Cultural Center (KCC, LA), Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), Asia Society, Southern California, Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (CAPE), Taiwan Academy, Los Angeles, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, Taiwan Creative Content Agency (TAICCA), American Red Cross/Ladies Tiffany Circle, AKIpress News Agency, Nova Entertainment, Jackson Market and Deli, and Emporium Thai.


The Asian World Film Festival (AWFF), founded by Kyrgyz public figure Sadyk Sher-Niyaz, brings the best of a broad selection of Asian world cinema to Los Angeles to draw greater recognition to the region's wealth of filmmakers and to strengthen ties between the Asian and Hollywood film industries.

Uniting through cross-cultural collaboration, the Festival champions films from more than 50 countries across Asia, from Turkey to Japan and from Russia to India and the Middle East. All participating films are provided with the unique opportunity to be guided through the challenging awards season.

They're also showcased to Motion Picture Academy members, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and the entertainment Guilds for enhanced exposure, media attention, and awards consideration. AWFF is a non-profit organization under Aitysh, USA.

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