Rajkumar Hirani’s Sanju (2018) begins 2019 on a good note as it competes against Japan’s Shoplifters (2018) and South Korea’s Burning (2018) for Best Film at the Asian Film Awards. China’s Dying To Survive (2018) and Jinpa (2018) are also up for the honour. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony held in Hong Kong on 17 March.
The Sanjay Dutt biopic picked up six nominations at the 13th edition of the awards. Besides Best Film, Hirani is also nominated for Best Director, and Best Screenplay with co-writer Abhijat Joshi. Actors Ranbir Kapoor and Vicky Kaushal have been nominated for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor, respectively. The film has also been nominated for Best Original Music.
Last year, Mayank Tewari and Amit Masurkar had won the Best Screenplay award for their film Newton (2017) at the 12th Asian Film Awards.
The Rajinikanth-starrer 2.0 (2018) has been recognized in the technical categories with two nominations for Best Sound for Resul Pookutty and Best Visual Effects for Srinivas Mohan. Tumbbad (2018) which seized the imagination of many last year, also received two nominations for Best Production Design for Rakesh Yadav and Nitin Zihani Choudhary and Best Cinematography for Pankaj Kumar.
Finally, filmmaker Rima Das has selected for Best New Director alongside Singapore’s Yeo Siew Hua and Japan’s Shinichiro Ueda. Das is nominated for her third film, Bulbul Can Sing, which had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival last year.
Actress-director Joan Chen is the jury president this year and will lead a seven-member jury to preside over the 16 awards recognising artistic and technical merits in film. Academy Award-nominee Ken Watanabe will be the celebrity juror this year.