The reigning Miss World Canada—who was prevented from competing in the 2015 Miss World finals in China due to her human rights work—has won Best Actress in the 2016 Leo Awards, held in Vancouver on June 5.
Anastasia Lin won Best Female Lead Performance in a TV Movie for her performance in “The Bleeding Edge,” a feature-length thriller from Vancouver director Leon Lee, who won a Peabody Award for a documentary on forced organ harvesting last year.
Lin accepted the award by honouring the victims of forced organ harvesting in China, a subject brought to light in the film. She plays a Falun Gong practitioner who is imprisoned for her spiritual beliefs and subjected to abuse in a labour camp. The film, a Gabriel Award winner earlier this year, is based on true events.
“I feel like I’m receiving this award on behalf of the incredible cast and crew of ‘The Bleeding Edge.’ They each made tremendous sacrifices to be in the production,” she said.
She also thanked the people who shared their stories of abuse and imprisonment with her when she was preparing for the role.
“They opened up their scars to show me the most profound fear and most incredible courage human beings can possess,” she said.
Soon after winning the Miss World Canada title last May, Lin made international headlines when she revealed her father, who lives in China, was threatened by Chinese security forces in an attempt to silence Lin’s human rights advocacy.
When it came time for the Miss World pageant in the Chinese city of Sanya last November, Lin was denied a visa to enter the country, preventing her from competing.
However, she continues speaking up for human rights and freedom of belief in her native country.
“The Bleeding Edge” exposes the forced harvesting of organs from Falun Gong prisoners of conscience in China. Ethan Gutmann, author of “The Slaughter,” estimates that at least 65,000 Falun Gong practitioners were killed for their organs between 2000 and 2008.
“We hope ‘The Bleeding Edge’ continues to bring awareness and hope for the victims of these terrible crimes,” Lee said this week in Vancouver.