Hiroshi Abe

Source: Courtesy of the Asian Film Awards

Hiroshi Abe

Japanese actor Hiroshi Abe is to be honoured with the Excellence in Asian Cinema Award at the 16th Asian Film Awards in Hong Kong next month.

The actor is known internationally for roles in Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Still Walking and After The Storm, and Hideki Takeuchi’s Thermæ Romæ, for which he won his first Japan Academy Film Prize in 2013.

Abe will accept the award at the awards ceremony, which is set to be held in Hong Kong on March 12. The nominations were announced last month.

He will be the third Japanese recipient of the award, following actress Miki Nakatani in 2015 and actor Koji Yakusho in 2019. Previous AFA special award winners include Michelle Yeoh, Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan and acclaimed Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou.

Abe has appeared in more than 90 films in and out of Japan. His first starring role came in 1990 with Hong Kong-Japan co-production Saga of the Phoenix in 1990 and he is further known for titles such as action film Tokyo Raiders, in which he starred alongside Tony Leung, Thai action film Chocolate in 2008, and Japan-China co-production The Legend of the Demon Cat, which opened Tokyo International Film Festival in 2017.

He more recently starred in Eiji Uchida’s musical comedy Offbeat Cops, which received its world premiere at last year’s New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF), where the actor was honoured with the Screen International Star Asia Award.

The AFAs will return to Hong Kong for the first time since 2019, having been hosted in Busan for two years and not held in 2022. The ceremony will take place at the new Hong Kong Palace Museum on the night before content market Filmart launches its first physical edition since 2019. The awards have run since 2007 and are jointly backed by Busan, Tokyo and Hong Kong film festivals.