Friday, October 13, 2017

11th Asia Pacific Screen Awards Nominations

The nominations for the 11th Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA), the region’s highest accolade in film, celebrating cinematic excellence were today announced in the seven narrative feature categories by Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk, together with former APSA International Jury President Lord David Puttnam, member of the APSA 2017 Nominations Council Kiki Fung and Chair of APSA and its Academy, Michael Hawkins.

41 films from 21 countries and areas of the Asia Pacific region have received nominations in 2017, including the first nomination for a film from Bhutan. Winners will be announced at the 11th APSA ceremony on November 23, where they will be presented with a unique and exquisite handmade APSA award vessel made by Brisbane-based internationally awarded glass artist Joanna Bone.

This edition has no clear nominations leader as there area three outstanding films leading the pack with three nominations each: Sweet Country by Warwick Thornton, The Third Murder by Hirokazu Kore-eda and Scary Mother by Ana Urushadze.

Perhaps what makes this edition remarkable is the Best Film category as for the first time in the short history of the event, three of these extraordinary filmmakers have had previous films win Asia Pacific Screen awards, Vivien Qu with Black Coal, Thin Ice in 2014, Samuel Maoz with Lebanon in 2010, and Warwick Thornton with Samson and Delilah, 2009; also Mohammad Rasoulof's Goodbye received three nominations in 2011.

Nevertheless, this year Best Film category has films by Vivian Qu, Samuel Maoz, Sergei Loznitsa, Mohammad Rasoulf and Warwick Thornton making category one with several of the most relevant contemporary filmmakers. Great.

Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said “These five films tell unique stories from Australia, China, Iran, Israel and Russia, each representing the incredible diversity and high caliber of film-making from the Asia Pacific region. This is an significant opportunity for our city to host some of the world’s most respected names in film and a great chance for our local and national film industry to forge new connections with the region. The Asia Pacific Screen Awards helps to elevate Brisbane’s position as a cultural hub and is a testament to our role as a leader in the region.”

Chair of the Asia Pacific Screen Awards and its Academy Michael Hawkins said ”As APSA forges into its 11th year, it is significant to note that among the nominees there are not only a great number of newer filmmakers, but also a large number of filmmakers who are already a part of the growing Asia Pacific Screen Academy, which was created precisely to encompass and connect the large body of talented filmmakers in the Asia Pacific Region. Significantly, this year there are APSA Academy members nominated across almost all categories, and we look forward to welcoming all of the nominees both to Brisbane as well as into the growing Academy”.

We already know about most great films as they have been in the festival circuit and/or are submitted to #Oscars2018 Best Foreign-Language category; but, the most interesting discovery for me is one Philippine movie with two nominations which suggests to have a remarkable story and most of all, lead transformation into a gorgeous woman is most beautiful to watch.  Interesting as most films with similar stories have not-so-successful cinematic transformations, sigh.

These are the #APSA2017 nominations

Best Film
Foxtrot, Samuel Maoz, Israel, Germany, Lithuania and Netherlands
Jia Nian Hua (Angels Wear White), Vivian Qu, China and Fance
Krotkaya (A Gentle Creature), Sergei Loznitsa, France, Germany, Lithuania, Netherlands
Lerd (A Man of Integrity),  Mohammad Rasoulof, Iran
Sweet Country, Warwick Thorton, Australia

Best Youth Feature
Ba Yue (The Summer is Gone), Zhang Dalei, China
Jasper Jones, Rachel Perkins, Australia
Koca Dünya (Big Big World), Reha Erdem, Turkey
Sekala Niskala (The Seen and Unseen), Kamila Andini, Indonesia, Netherlands, Australia and Qatar
Ski-Baz (The Skier), Fereidoun Najafi, Iran

Best Animated Feature Film
Hao ji le (Have a Nice Day, Liu Jian, China
kimi no na wa (your name), Makoto Shinkai, Japan
Koe no Katachi (A Silent Voice), Naoko Yamada, Japan
Saving Sally, Avid Liongoren, Philippines and France
Window Horses: The Poetic Persian Epiphany of Rosie Ming, Ann Marie Fleming, Canada

Best Documentary
Changjiang (A Yangtze Landscape), Xu Xin, China
Kim Dotcom: Caught in the Web, Annie Goldson, New Zealand
Last Men in Aleppo, Feras Fayyad, Syria, Denmark and Germany
Taste of Cement, Ziad Kalthoum, Germany, Lebanono, Syria, UAE and Qatar
The Opposition, Hollie Fifer, Australia and Papua New Guinea

Achievement in Directing
Anna Urushadze for Sashishi Deda (Scary Mother), Georgia and Estonia
Andrey Zvyagintsev for Nelyubov (Loveless), Russia, Belgium, France and Germany
Kore-eda Hirokazu for Sandome no Satsujin (The Third Murder), Japan
Mouly Surya for Marlina si Pembunuh dalam Empat Babak (Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts), Indonesia, France, Malaysia and Thailand
Sanal Kumar Sasidharan for Sexy Durga, India

Achievement in Cinematography
Lyu Songye for Kong Shan Yi Ke (Ghost in the Mountains),  Heng Yang,  China
Mindia Esadze for Sashishi Deda (Scary Mother), Anna Urushadze, Georgia and Estonia
Pyotr Dukhovskoy and Timofey Lobov for Meshok Bez Dna (The Bottomless Bag),  Rustam Khamdamov, Russia
Shehnad Jalal for Loktak Lairembee (Lady of the Lake),  Haobam Paban Kumar, India
Warwick Thornton and Dylan River for Sweet Country, Warwick Thornton, Australia

Best Screenplay
Amit V Masurkar and Mayank Tewari for Newton, Ait V Masurkar, India
Boris Khlebnikov and Natalia Meshchaninova for Aritmiya (Arrhythmia),  Boris Khlebnikov, Russia
Dastan Zhapar Uulu and Bakyt Mukul for Atany Kereezi (A Father's Will),  Dastan Zhapar Uulu and Bakyt Mukul,  Kyrgyzstan
David Tranter and Steven McGregor for Sweet Country, Warwick Thornton, Australia
Kore-eda Hirokazu for Sandome no Satsujin (The Third Murder), Kore-eda Hirokazu, Japan

Best Performance by an Actress
Cut Mini in Athirah (Emma' (Mother)), Riri Riza, Indonesia
Ecem Uzun in Tereddüt (Clair Obscur), Yesim Ustaoglu, Turkey, France, Germany and Poland
Na Moon-he in I Can Speak, Hyun-seok Kim, Korea
Nata Murvanidze in Sashishi Deda (Scary Mother), Anna Urushadze, Georgia and Estonia
Shou Xun in Ming Yue Ji Shi You (Our Time Will Come), Ann Hui, China and Hong Kong

Best Performance by an Actor
Navid Mohammadzadeh in Bedoune Tarikh, Bedoune Emza (No Date, No Signature), Vahid Jalilvand, Iran
Paolo Callesteros in Die Beautiful, Jun Robles Lana, Philippines
Koji Yakusho in Dandome no Satsujin (The Third Murder), Kore-eda Hirokazu, Japan
Rajkummar Rao in Newton, Amit V Masurkar, India
Mohammad Bakri and Saleh Bakri in Wajib (Duty), Annemarie Jacir, Palestine, Colombia, France, Germany, Norway, Qatar, UAE

UNESCO Cultural Diversity Award
Centaur, Aktan Arym Kubat, Kyrgyzstan, France, Germany, Netherlands, and Japan
Dede, Mariam Khatchvani, Georgia, Croatia, Netherlands, Qatar and UK
Die Beautiful, Jun Robles Lana , Philippines
Loktak Lairembee (Lady of the Lake), Haobam Paban Kumar, India
Munmo Tashi Khyidron (Honeygiver Among the Dogs)m Dechen Roder, Bhutan

APSA International Jury
President: Jill Bilcock, editor, Australia
Adolfo Alix Jr., writer and director, Philippines
He Saife, actress, China
Yoshi Yatabe, Tokyo festival programmer, Japan
Adilkhan Yerzhanov, writer, director and cinematographer, Kazakhstan

Best Youth Feature Film, Best Documentary and Best Animation Jury
President: Haifaa Al Mansour, director, Saudi Arabia
Melanie Coombs, producer, Australia
Steve Abbott, producer, UK

Now in its second year, the APSA Young Cinema Award presented by NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema) and Griffith Film School (GFS) will be presented at the ceremony. This important Award recognises the abundant emerging talent of Asia Pacific which increases in prevalence in the APSA competition each year. The award is eligible to directors of debut or sophomore feature narrative films, with the recipient chosen from the APSA feature narrative film competition.

The APSA FIAPF Award for Outstanding Achievement in Film, to be announced soon and presented at the APSA ceremony, celebrates a film practitioner from the region whose career and actions contribute strongly to the development of the film industry.

The Asia Pacific Screen Awards, based in Brisbane, is supported by Brisbane City Council and managed by its economic development board, Brisbane Marketing. APSA has the privilege of a unique collaboration with Paris-based UNESCO and FIAPF-International Federation of Film Producers Associations, and recognises and promotes cinematic excellence and cultural diversity of the world’s fastest growing film region: comprising 70 countries and areas, 4.5 billion people, and is responsible for half of the world’s film output.

Nominees and Jury members are inducted into the Asia Pacific Screen Academy, making them eligible to apply for the 2017 MPA APSA Academy Film Fund. The Fund was created to support, at script stage, new feature film projects originated by APSA Academy members and their colleagues across Asia Pacific. The fund awards four development grants of US$25,000 annually, and is wholly supported by the MPA (Motion Picture Association).

APSA and its Academy is committed to its ongoing collaborations with UNESCO, FIAPF, the European Film Academy (EFA), the Motion Picture Association (MPA), NETPAC (the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema), the Asia Pacific Screen Lab (APSL) and Griffith Film School.

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