Called the “Oscars of Asia,” the Asian Film Awards is an annual ceremony celebrating the best in Asian film. The nominees come from all over Asia‒ including South Korea, Japan, India, and China. To help you catch up before the ceremony on Sunday, here is a list of all the Chinese movies nominated.

  1. 1 Jinpa (撞死了一隻羊)


    The movie starts off with Jinpa's vehicular manslaughter of a sheep. Jinpa then picks up a hitchhiker that (unbeknown to him) wants to murder his father. 

    The movie explores the similarities between the two men- both killers. It digs deep into the differences in their motives and actions. 

    The Hollywood Reporter defined Jinpa as “an intriguing if austere art house item” with “gorgeous” cinematography and “extremely precise and effective production values.” 

    The movie is nominated for: 

    • Best Film
    • Best Director
    • Best Cinematography
    • Best Original Music
  2. 2 Dying to Survive (我不是藥神)


    Inspired by a true story, "Dying to Survive" is about a small drug store owner who sells cheaper, generic drugs from India to leukemia patients who can't otherwise afford them. 

    The owner starts off with pure financial motivation, but gradually forms friendships with the patients he helps. 

    Screen International described "Dying to Survive" as a “torn-from-the-headlines [story] that delivers laughs and tears in equal measure.” 

    The movie is nominated for: 

    • Best Film
    • Best Actor
    • Best Supporting Actor
    • Best Screenwriter
  3. 3 Shadow (影)


    Variety describes the film as a “tall twisted tale of power plays and divided loyalties.” The film's plot twists and monochromatic cinematic style has garnered it praise from film critics in China and abroad. 

    In the Pei Kingdom, the city of Jingzhou has just been invaded. The king seeks advice from Commander Yu on how to handle the threat. The real Commander Yu is sick. In his place, however, he has appointed his lookalike or 'shadow' to act for him.  

    While his shadow and the king are both dealing with the invaders in their own way, Commander Yu is pulling the strings in ways that they, and the audience, cannot expect.

    The movie is nominated for: 

    • Best Editing
    • Best Cinematography
    • Best Original Music
    • Best Costume Design
    • Best Production Design
    • Best Sound Editing
  4. 4 Project Gutenberg (無雙)


    The Hollywood Reporter describes this thriller as “anchored by a pair of solid action set pieces, structured cleverly enough to keep the tension simmering and blessed with a pair of endlessly appealing stars.” 

    In order to catch a notorious counterfeiter, the Hong Kong police department recruit a former member of the counterfeiter’s gang that recently ended up in a Thai prison. The film's twists and shocking reveals make it a great crime drama. 

    The movie is nominated for: 

    • Best Actor
    • Best Screenwriter
    • Best Editing
    • Best Costume Design
    • Best Visual Effects
  5. 5 Operation Red Sea (紅海行動)


    The highest grossing Chinese movie of 2018, Operation Red Sea follows an elite assault team in their mission to evacuate Chinese personnel from a fictional African country dissolving into civil war. 

    According to Screen International, “the unflinching rawness of the action has considerable impact.” In the film, the elite team pursues a terrorist group to save a hostage and stop a bomb threat all while dealing with obstacles and loss at every step. 

    The movie is nominated for: 

    • Best New Actor
    • Best Editing
    • Best Visual Effects
    • Best Sound
  6. 6 Hidden Man (邪不壓正)


    Set in the 1930s, a young doctor becomes a spy to avenge the murder of his family by the Japanese. Along the way, he gets drawn into subplots involving a woman’s murder and the opium trade. 

    Variety characterized the movie as a period blockbuster with “an airy, fantastical quality that is fleet and fun.” "Hidden Man" is the third installment in director Wen Jiang’s gangster trilogy, preceded by "Let the Bullets Fly" and "Gone with the Bullets." 

    The movie is nominated for: 

    • Best Supporting Actress
    • Best Costume Design
    • Best Visual Effects
    • Best Production Design
  7. 7 The Crossing (過春天)


    "The Crossing" follows the life of PeiPei- a 16-year-old student that joins a smuggling ring that brings iPhones from Hong Kong to Mainland China. 

    Why would an ordinary student join a smuggling ring? She is trying to earn money to go to Japan for the Christmas holidays with her wealthy friend. 

    "The Crossing" has already won Best Film at the PingYao International Film Festival's Fei Mu Awards. 

    The movie is nominated for: 

    • Best New Actor
    • Best Director 
  8. 8 Ash is Purest White (江湖兒女)


    "Ash is the Purest White" follows the story of a criminal couple- Guo Bin and Qing. Guo Bin is a small-town mobster running a mahjong parlor. His girlfriend, Qing, uses her street-smarts to make a place for herself in their male-dominated world. 

    Running in seedy underworld circles forces Qing to make a life-changing choice. The movie follows her life for the next fifteen years as she deals with the consequences of that life-altering decision. 

    Los Angeles Times called the film “fierce, gripping, emotionally generous and surprisingly funny.” 

    The movie is nominated for Best Actress.


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Erin Dumke

Erin Dumke is the head editor at Chinosity. She is a journalist who recently graduated from the University of Kentucky. She hopes to bridge the education gap and promote international communication.
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