Joe Hisaishi's score to Hayao Miyazaki's Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea anime film has earned him the Best Composer honor at the third annual Asian Film Awards in Hong Kong on Monday. This is the first time that this award has honored a soundtrack for an anime, although Tamiya Terashima was nominated in 2007 for his score to Ghibli's Tales from Earthsea.
Ponyo itself was one of the nominees in the Best Film category, but the award went to Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Tokyo Sonata. Miyazaki received a Best Director nomination, but lost to Still Walking's Hirokazu Kore-eda. Kore-eda is currently working on a live-action adaptation of the manga Blow-Up Doll (Kūki Ningyō).
Ken'ichi Matsuyama (Detroit Metal City) lost to Departures' Masahiro Motoki in the Best Actor category, while Shota Matsuda (Hana Yori Dango: Final) lost in the Best Newcomer category to Forever Enthralled's Yu Shao-qun. Paco and the Magical Book, the live-action fantasy film by Kamikaze Girls director Tetsuya Nakajima, earned three nods for Best Cinematographer (Shoichi Ato), Best Production Designer (Towako Kuwajima), and Best Visual Effects (Kamikaze Girls's Masahide Yanagawase), but did not win any awards.