CineAsia to honor horror filmmakers James Wan and Leigh Whannell

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James Wan and Leigh Whannell will receive CineAsia’s 2017 “Franchise Achievement Award” for Insidious during the Sony Pictures Releasing International product presentation on Dec. 13 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The duo’s fourth film in the Insidious franchise, which they co-created, Insidious: The Last Key, is set to be released in cinemas in Asia beginning in early January. Whannell will be on hand to accept the award. 

“It gives us great pleasure to honor James Wan and Leigh Whannell at CineAsia. They have entertained audiences on a global scale and their ability to relate with cinema audiences around the world is a true gift,” said Andrew Sunshine, president of The Film Expo Group, which manages CineAsia.

Steven O’Dell, president of Sony Pictures Releasing International, added, “James and Leigh have excelled at keeping audiences on the edges of their seats and their fingers over their eyes. We’re thrilled that CineAsia will be honoring their contributions at this year’s convention.”

Leigh Whannell is best known for co-creating the Saw and Insidious franchises and has steadily gained recognition for his contributions to film through his writing, acting, producing and now directing, having made his directorial debut on Insidious: Chapter 3. In addition to writing and starring in all four installments of the Insidious franchise, Whannell wrote and starred in Saw and Saw III, co-wrote Saw II and is executive producer on the Saw franchise. He also wrote Dead Silence, and co-wrote, starred in and executive produced the Australian feature The Mule and horror comedy Cooties. He is currently in post-production on his original sci-fi thriller Stem, which he wrote and directed for Universal/Blumhouse/Goalpost.

James Wan was the director of Saw, Insidious and The Conjuring—all origin films for major successful horror franchises, two of which he co-created. Wan also directed Furious 7, the number-six film on the all-time worldwide box-office list. Other notable films directed by Wan include Dead Silence, Death SentenceInsidious: Chapter 2 and The Conjuring 2. Wan’s The Conjuring Universe has made more than $1 billion at the box office worldwide, and he has producing credits on its films including Annabelle, Annabelle: Creation, The Conjuring 2 and the upcoming The Nun. Additional producing credits include Lights Out, Insidious: Chapter 3 and Insidious: The Last Key, as well as being executive producer on the entire Saw franchise. Wan is currently directing DC’s Aquaman for Warner Bros.

CineAsia will also present a Lifetime Achievement Award to Insidious: The Last Key star Lin Shaye. In addition to her role in the Insidious franchise, Shaye has appeared in the horror films Nightmare on Elm Street, Amityville and Ouija, and the Farrelly Brothers comedies Dumb and Dumber, There’s Something About Mary and Kingpin.