Iranian film "The Separation" shone at the Asian Film Awards on Monday, taking home top prizes including best film and best director, while China dominated the ceremony with six prizes.
The movie, which won Iran's first-ever Oscar for best foreign language film last month, won four out of five nominations it received at the Asian top film event. The two other awards were for best screenwriter and best editor.
The only nomination that it did not win was in the best actress category, which went to Hong Kong's veteran actress Deanie Ip for her role as a loyal servant in the film "A Simple Life".
"This is an absolute honour," The Separation's lead actress Leila Hatami said as she received the best film award on behalf of director Asghar Farhadi who was absent.
"I want to say a very sincere thank you," Hatami, who was clad in a black Islamic headscarf, told the crowd at the glitzy ceremony held at Hong Kong's harbourside convention centre late Monday.
"A Separation" presents a social expose of the Islamic republic behind the veneer of a taut family drama, while exploring themes of love, lies and honour.
The movie begins with a reluctant divorce bid by a couple, but broadens out as they find themselves in a separate legal dispute with another couple following a desperate, tragic event at home.
The Asian Film Awards, organised by the Hong Kong International Film Festival and held annually since 2007, are aimed at showcasing the region's movie talent. Thirty-two films from across the region vied for the 14 prizes.
Hong Kong director Ann Hui was honoured for her life's work at the ceremony with the Lifetime Achievement Award. She is the first female director to receive the award.
- Leila Hatami
- Asian Film Awards
- Hong Kong