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  • Writer's pictureThe Beverly Arts

9th Annual Asian World Film Festival Opening Night Celebration

Updated: Nov 11, 2023


The Asian World Film Festival team members


Culver City, California, USA. 8th October, 2023. The 9th Annual Asian World Film Festival (AWFF) held its opening night celebration at the Culver Theatre in Culver City, California. The event showcases the best of Asian cinema from around the world, with the goal of bringing greater recognition to the region's wealth of talented filmmakers. This festival is unique in that it predominantly screens Oscar and Golden Globe-submitted films from Asia for Best Foreign Language Film. All films that participate in the Festival have the chance of being guided through the challenging awards season, showcased to members of various industry groups and the press for enhanced exposure, media attention and awards consideration.


Georges N. Chamchoum, AWFF Executive Director


Georges N. Chamchoum, AWFF Executive Director, stated, "Asian storytellers continue to make an indelible stamp on the art and business of filmmaking. This year, the AWFF will showcase Asian content destined to make significant contributions to the craft, to the box office and to streaming services around the world." The festival is supported by members of the Asian and diverse communities in Los Angeles, as well as others who are passionate about foreign and independent cinema. Through cross-cultural collaboration, the festival strives to create opportunities for filmmakers and strengthen ties between the Asian and Hollywood film industries. Actresses Lisa Lu Yan ("The Joy Luck Club" and "Crazy Rich Asians") and Kieu Chinh ("The Joy Luck Club" and "Journey from the Fall") and others came to walk the red carpet and support the event.


Georges N. Chamchoum, AWFF Executive Director, and Asel Sherniyazova, AWFF Co-founder and Managing Director


Georges Chamchoum is the executive director of AWFF and an Emmy and multiple award-winning Film Director and Producer, born in Niger West Africa of Lebanese origin. He was educated in France, Germany and Wales and entered the film industry in 1968 after graduating from the Conservatoire du Cinema Francais in Paris. Georges has directed and produced over 35 features in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Canada and the USA, with many screened at various International Film Festivals and Universities.


Asel Sherniyazova is the co-founder of AWFF and managing director. She has an economic and business educational background and for two years studied in China, representing Kyrgyzstan on the Cross-Cultural Exchange Program. Fluent in Chinese, Russian, English and Kyrgyz, she is a Co-Founder of both a Business Consultancy Company in China and a non-profit organization on Public Speaking in Kyrgyzstan. She was Assistant Producer on the multi-award winning film 'Kurmanjan Datka Queen of the Mountains' and worked on the Oscar and Golden Globe campaigns for the film which was submitted for Best Foreign Language Film. She is an integral part of the Festival, liaising with and assisting attending filmmakers in addition to overseeing the programming of all submitted films.


Actress Lisa Lu Yan (Photo by Susan Li)


TV host Joey Zhou, founder of LABA


Joey Zhou, founder of the Los Angeles Beverly Arts (LABA), attended walked the red carpet. He is an international TV host, producer, and director - films include the documentary ”Chasing the Dream“ and “The Pandemic Enlightenment.“ Zhou joined International Documentary Association and became a new member this year. Zhou is the founder of LABA, the LABA Biennial International Art Festival, and LABA Icon Awards.


Actress Kieu Chinh


TV host Joey Zhou, founder of LABA, and TV and media host Gigi Yam


TV and media host Gigi Yam attended the festival celebration. In addition to her media work, Gigi is deeply involved in volunteer and philanthropic efforts that support the Chinese and Asian community. Joey Zhou introduced her to LABA Blue-chip artist Jiannan Huang by video conference (iPhone) to talk about the festival. He also met with members of the Internet Celebrity Economic Alliance and Bemy Awards, Boyi Sun, director, and Ray Wang, founder.


TV and media host Gigi Yam with LABA Blue-chip artist Jiannan Huang by video conference (iPhone)


Boyi Sun, Director of Bemy Awards, TV host Joey Zhou, founder of LABA, and Ray Wang, founder of Bemy Awards and Internet Celebrity Alliance.


The AWFF is proudly sponsored by Presenting Partner: Winn Slavin. Additional sponsors include: Bruce Lee Foundation, Tincom Media, Dr J's, Korean Cultural Center - Los Angeles (KCCLA), Dutcher Crossing, Panavision, Pechanga, Taiwan Academy, Taiwan Creative Content Agency (TAICCA), Fifth Atrium, Copacetic, BARCO, Emporium Thai, HC Foods, Hollywood Arab Film Association, Vivenu, DTLA Ayce Korean BBQ and The Dive Oyster Bar, among others.


About the Asian World Film Festival


The Asian World Film Festival (AWFF), founded by Kyrgyz Public Figure Sadyk Sher-Niyaz, brings the very best of a broad selection of Asian World Cinema to Los Angeles to draw greater recognition to the region's wealth of filmmakers and strengthen ties between the Asian and Hollywood film industries. Uniting through cross-cultural collaboration, the Festival champions films from over 50 countries across Asia, spanning from Turkey to Japan and from Russia to India and South-East Asia. The Festival is unique in that it predominantly screens Academy Award® and Golden Globe® submissions for Best International Feature Film and Best Motion Picture - Non-English Language respectively. All films that participate in the Festival will have a unique chance to be guided through the challenging awards season and showcased to members of various industry groups and the press for enhanced exposure, media attention and awards consideration. AWFF is a non-profit organization under Aitysh USA.








The Beverly Arts is sponsored by The Beverly Arts Foundation

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