The inaugural Asian Film Awards will give its first Asian Film Award for Outstanding Contribution to Asian Cinema to Josephine Siao.

Siao has starred in more films than any other Hong Kong actor, including Stephen Chow's Fists of Fury 1991 II, Corey Yuen's Fong Sai Yuk and Ann Hui's Summer Snow.

Her production company has worked on projects including Lung Kong's Hiroshima-28. She also founded Hong Kong's End Child Sexual Abuse Foundation and supports the Hong Kong Film Archives.

Siao will be presented with the award at the March 20 ceremony, organised by the Hong Kong International Film Festival in conjunction with Entertainment Expo.

Jacob Wong, curator of the Hong Kong International Film Festival, said: 'We are honored that Josephine Siao will be a part of the 2007 festival given her illustrious career and mark she has made within Asian cinematic history. Her work has touched many and her presence at the Asian Film Awards is a highlight for the festival.'

The new awards, which recognise the best of Asian cinema during the past year, will also honour film theorist David Bordwell. He will be presented with the Asian Film Award for Excellence in Scholarship in Asian Cinema.

Other attendees expected for the Asian Film Awards gala include Luc Besson, Kimura Yoshino, Rain, Johnnie To, Andrew Lau, Jafar Panahi, Jia Zhangke, Bong Jun-ho, Kiyoshi Kurosawa and Kore-eda Hirokazu.