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The Asian Academy Creative Awards announced its National Winners for its 5 headline Drama Categories at an exclusive party in Cannes, France this evening.

Industry heavyweights gathered at the plush Carlton Hotel, along the fame Promenade de la Croisette, to discover just which shows will represent their nation at the inaugural Gala Final to be staged in Singapore on December 7.

The five final categories announced were Best Drama, Best Single Drama or Telemovie, Best Actor, Best Actress plus Best Director (Fiction).

Judges across the region scored shows in each country to deliver the National Winners, who will then compete against each other for the highly sought after AAA’s statuette, dubbed the “Goddess of Creativity”.

Phantom Films’ Netflix blockbuster, Sacred Games was the star attraction for India taking Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director and Best Drama Series (adding to the Best Supporting Actor/Actress category wins announced the previous day).

Perhaps the shock of the night was Indonesia’s Oscar entrant Marilina The Murderer In Four Acts being overrun by HOOQ’s other big play Critical Eleven, which had been somewhat overshadowed by it’s more fancied stablemate, which had picked up a staggering 4 National Wins the previous day.Viu’s acclaimed The Publicist will represent Indonesia in the coveted Best Drama series category.

In another major surprise, the local judges gave the Best Drama Series nod to Taiwan Public Television Service’s Wake Up season 2 ahead of hot favourite Rozeki from Hakka TV. Rozeki picked up Best Actress for Pei-Jia Huang and Best Director Yi-an Lo. Hakka’s Burning Crowsdelivered a Best Actor victory for Jag Huang.

IQIYI’s entrant for China, Burning Ice, showed it too will be a serious contender, picking up Best Drama and Best Director for Lu Xing, meanwhile, for Hong Kong, Viu TV’s highly fancied Eason Chan starrer My Very Short Marriage was out in force with three wins. One for Chan as Best Actor as well as Best Drama and Bes Director (Steven Chan). The series is also up for Best Theme Song.

Korea’s MBC weighed in with Emperor: Owner of the Mask for Best Drama and Australia’s entry will be the Foxtel’s period drama A Place To Come Home, which also saw Marta Dusseldorp selected as Best Actress In A Leading Role. And in a stunning show of strength Japan’s Hulu swept up 4 categories thanks to Miss Sherlock and You Are Tender When It Rains.

The conclusion audiences can draw from the announcement is that the AAA’s drama awards will be a heavyweight battle between the region’s major scripted studios and their stars.