The fourth Asian World Film Festival (AWWF) is set to open on November 24 at ArcLight Cinema in Downtown, Los Angeles.

The 2018 theme is female empowerment and the role and growing professional influence of women in the Asian region film industry with Frieda Pinto, Lisa Lu and Awkwafina to be honoured at the event.

You might remember Frieda Pinto from her leading role in 2008 blockbuster ‘Slumdog Millionaire’. She now stars in ‘Love Sonia’, a film inspired by real events about a girl’s journey to rescue her sister from the world of international sex trafficking. The film is also a contender for India’s Golden Globe foreign language award.

As part of the festival, Frieda Pinto will  be receiving the ‘The Courage To Dream’ award alongside film veteran Lisa Lu who will receive the ‘Snow Leopard Lifetime Achievement Award’. Lisa Lu has been making films for over 60 years including ‘The Joy Luck Club’, ‘The Last Emperor’ and more recently, ‘Crazy Rich Asians’. Fellow ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ star, Awkwafina will also be honoured at the event receiving the ‘Snow Leopard Rising Star Award’.

AWWF is partnered with The Snow Leopard Trust, hence the awesome award names. The Snow Leopard Trust raises awareness for snow leopards and their eco-system in the high mountains of Asia

The night will close on November 1 with China’s ‘In Harms Way’, the story of a WWII American pilot who was forced to bail out near the coast of China after a bombing raid on Tokyo following the Pearl Harbour Attack. A young, local widow risks her life to hide the injured soldier in her home.

The centrepiece film will be South Korea’s current Oscar Contender ‘Burning’, the story of a part time worker who bumps into an old friend who asks him to look after her cat while she goes to Africa. Upon returning, she introduces Ben, who confesses his own secret hobby.

Both opening and closing night screenings will be followed by a cocktail reception. Panel discussions will be held on October 26 starting at 10am.

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