The movie earns eight nominations, while Japan's 'Shoplifters,' India's 'Sanju,' and China's 'Shadow' follow with six each as Chinese films and co-productions garner a total of 34 nominations.

It is a battle of legends.

While South Korean auteur Lee Chang-dong's mystery drama Burning leads the 13th Asian Film Awards (AFA) nominations with eight nods, Japanese modern master Hirokazu Kore-eda's Cannes-crowned Shoplifters, Hindi film industry hitmaker Rajkumar Hirani's blockbuster Sanju, and Chinese cinema great Zhang Yimou's action epic Shadow are in hot pursuit with six nominations each.

Lee, Kore-eda, and Hirani face each other in both the best film and best director categories, whereas all nominations bagged by Zhang's Shadow are for technical awards.

Chinese megahit Dying to Survive, which grossed $453 million in the country, and Chinese Tibetan-language road movie Jinpa, produced by Hong Kong auteur Wong Kar Wai, round out the best film competition. Jinpa's Tibetan helmer Pema Tseden and Hong Kong maverick Fruit Chan, nominated for satire Three Husbands, join the best director race.

Burning, the first film Lee directed in eight years, is also in the running for best actor, best newcomer, best screenplay, best cinematography, best production design, and best sound.

In the best actor and best supporting actor categories, Sanju and Dying to Survive will battle it out with two nominations each, with Xu Zheng and Ranbir Kapoor in contention for best actor, and Zhang Yu and Vicky Kaushal for best supporting actor. Shoplifters also nabbed two acting nominations, for Sakura Ando and Mayu Matsuoka in the best actress and best supporting actress races, respectively.

As in previous years, Chinese films and co-productions continued to dominate the nominations, earning a total of 34 nods, with films from Japan and South Korea following with 14 nominations each.

Chinese American actress-director Joan Chen of The Last Emperor and Twin Peaks will preside over the jury, which counts Academy Award-nominated Japanese actor Ken Watanabe as the celebrity juror.

To be held on March 17 by the Asian Film Awards Academy, the AFA awards ceremony will return to Hong Kong again this year, after taking place in Macau in 2018.

Here are the nominations in major categories:

Best Film
Burning (South Korea)
Dying to Survive (China)
Jinpa (China)
Sanju (India)
Shoplifters (Japan)

Best Director
Lee Chang-dong, Burning
Pema Tseden, Jinpa
Rajkumar Hirani, Sanju
Hirokazu Kore-eda, Shoplifters
Fruit Chan, Three Husbands

Best Actor
Yoo Ah-in, Burning
Xu Zheng, Dying to Survive
Aaron Kwok, Project Gutenberg
Ranbir Kapoor, Sanju
Koji Yakusho, The Blood of Wolves

Best Actress
Zhao Tao, Ash Is Purest White
Samal Yeslyamova, Ayka
Han Ji-Min, Miss Baek
Sakura Ando, Shoplifters
Chloe Maayan, Three Husbands

Best Supporting Actor
Zhang Yu, Dying to Survive
Kwon Hae-hyo, Hotel by the River
Shinya Tsukamoto, Killing
Vicky Kaushal, Sanju
River Huang, Tracey

Best Supporting Actress
Jin Seo-yeon, Believer
Ding Ning, Cities of Last Things
Xu Qing, Hidden Man
Mayu Matsuoka, Shoplifters
Kara Wai, Tracey