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NOMINATIONS ANNOUNCED IN 10th APSA FEATURE COMPETITION

Muhammad: The Messenger of God

Muhammad: The Messenger of God

The Asia Pacific Screen Awards, the region’s highest accolade in film which 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, one third of the earth and responsible for half of the world’s film output today announced the nominees in the 10th APSA narrative feature film achievements.

From a production pool that stretches from Egypt in the West to the Cook Islands in the East, and from Russia in the North to New Zealand in the South, in 2016, 39 films from 19 Asia Pacific countries and areas are nominated.

Vying for Best Feature Film are Mustafa Kara’s richly symbolic Northern Turkish tale Cold of Kalandar (Turkey, Hungary), Reza Mirkarimi’s portrait of the shifting balance of power within families Daughter (Islamic Republic of Iran), Zeki Demirkubuz’ slow-burn psychological drama Ember (Turkey, Germany), Kirill Serebrennikov’s portrait of a student empowered by religious fanaticism The Student (Russian Federation) and spiritual epic and passion project by Iranian master Majid Majidi, Muhammad: the Messenger of God.

In the landmark tenth year of this event celebrating cinema and cultural diversity from 70 countries and areas, the 2016 APSA International Jury comprises five eminent former APSA Jury Presidents hailing from three continents. The 2016 APSA International Jury President is acclaimed Academy-Award® winner Lord David Puttnam (United Kingdom, APSA 2010 Jury President), producer of Chariots of Fire and the Killing Fields. Puttnam will be joined by APSA Patron and co-founder and current Chairman of the Busan International Film Festival Kim Dong-Ho, prolific and multi-award winning producer from Hong Kong (PRC) Nansun Shi (APSA 2011), Palme d’Or and Academy Award®-winning Australian producer Jan Chapman (APSA 2012), and celebrated Indian master filmmaker Shyam Benegal (APSA 2013).

Winners in the 10th anniversary edition of the Asia Pacific Screen Awards will be announced on Thursday 24 November from the 10th APSA Ceremony in Brisbane, Australia, and via a live webcast to the globe. The APSA ceremony, a glamorous black tie event, will be attended by a record number of 1000 guests, including the 2016 APSA nominees and jurors and 500 international guests.

Three of the Best Feature Film nominees received a total of three nominations each. Best Feature Film nominee Cold of Kalandar is also nominated for Achievement in Cinematography for Cevahir Şahin and Kürşat Üresin and the prestigious APSA Cultural Diversity Award, under the Patronage of UNESCO.

In addition to Best Feature Film nominations, Iranian film Daughter has been honoured with nominations for Best Screenplay for Mehran Kashani and Best Performance by an Actor for Farhad Aslani while Turkish film Ember also received nods for Achievement in Directing for Zeki Demirkubuz and Best Performance by an Actress to Aslihan Gürbüz.

Indian film Psycho Raman also received a total of three nominations for Best Performance by an Actor for Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Achievement in Cinematography for Jay Oza and Achievement in Directing for Anurag Kashyap. Kashyap, an APSA Academy member, was awarded the APSA Special Jury Prize in 2012 for Gangs of Wasseypur. Kashyap also produced APSA Jury Grand Prize winner The Lunchbox (2013) and APSA Best Youth Feature Film nominee Udaan (2010).

Muhammad: the Messenger of God (Islamic Republic of Iran) received two nominations, for Achievement in Cinematography for 3-time Academy Award® winning Italian DOP Vittorio Storaro in addition to Best Feature Film.

Two more films have received two APSA nominations in 2016. The Throne (Republic of Korea) picked up nominations for Achievement in Directing for Lee Joon-ik and Best Performance by an Actor for legendary Korean actor Song Kang-ho. Kaili Blues (People’s Republic of China) is the first feature film for both director Bi Gan and cinematographer Wang Tianxing who both received nominations for their work.

Completing the Achievement in Directing category is APSA Academy member Feng Xiaogang for I Am Not Madam Bovary. This marks Feng’s 4th film to receive APSA nominations following craft nominations for If You Are The One (2009) and Back to 1942 (2013) and a record six APSA nominations for Aftershock (2010) resulting in wins for Best Feature Film and Best Performance by an Actor for Chen Daoming.

Also nominated for Best Screenplay is APSA Academy member Leena Yadav and Supratik Sen for Parched (India, United States of America, United Kingdom), Gurvinder Singh and Waryam Singh Sandhu for The Fourth Direction (India, France), Yang Chao for Crosscurrent (People’s Republic of China) and Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Tadashi Nohara and Tomoyuki Takahashi for Happy Hour (Japan). Completing Achievement in Cinematography is Gorka Gómez Andreu for House of Others (Georgia, Russian Federation, Spain, Croatia).

Best Performance by an Actress nominations include three feature lead debut performances from Agrippina Steklova in Insight (Russian Federation), Aslihan Gürbüz in Ember (Turkey, Germany) and newcomer Hasmine Killip in Ordinary People (Philippines) competing against more established actresses Natalia Pavlenkova in Zoology (Russian Federation, France, Germany) and multi-award winning Youn Yuh-jung, with a career spanning 40 years and almost 30 feature films, for The Bacchus Lady (Republic of Korea).

Best Performance by an Actor nominees are all established and award-winning masters of their craft. Dev Patel is nominated for his performance in Lion (Australia), Farhad Aslani in Daughter (Islamic Republic of Iran), APSA Academy member Manoj Bajpayee for Aligarh, Nawazuddin Siddiqui for Psycho Raman (India) and Korean superstar Song Kang-ho in The Throne (Republic of Korea).

2016 nominees for the APSA Cultural Diversity Award, under the Patronage of UNESCO, are Dmitrii Davydov for The Bonfire (Russian Federation), Hussein Hassan for The Dark Wind (Iraq, Qatar, Germany), Mustafa Kara for Cold of Kalandar (Turkey, Hungary), Tamer El Said for In the Last Days of the City (Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Germany, United Kingdom) and Wang Xuebo for Knife in the Clear Water (People’s Republic of China)

These nominations add to the previously announced 2016 APSA nominees in categories of Best Youth, Animation and Documentary Feature Film.

Nominated films are drawn from all over Asia Pacific encompassing films from Afghanistan, Australia, Cambodia, Democratic People’s Republic Of Korea, Egypt, Georgia, India, Iraq, Islamic Republic of Iran, Japan, People’s Republic of China, Philippines, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of the Union of Myanmar, Russian Federation, Taiwan, Turkey, United Arab Emirates.

2016 saw a record number of films In Competition – 303 films from 43 countries and areas of Asia Pacific.

Over APSA’s 10 years, the APSA Competition has featured 2192 films In Competition drawn from 58 of the 70 Asia Pacific countries and areas which are encompassed by APSA’s vast geographical reach.

Chair of the APSA International Nominations Council, Professor Hong-Joon Kim said “The 10th APSA Competition has been a unique year in terms of the level of diversity amongst the films. In watching the 135 films in the feature narrative competition we saw diversity of everything – commercial vs arthouse films, big industry vs small independent films, different nations and countries representing the major film producing nations, and the developing screen culture from countries with young film industries.  The achievement honouring directors was a particularly difficult decision this year due to the number of films by first or second filmmakers who have remarkable cinematic voices. I am already really excited for future editions of APSA as we see the work of these first time directors reach full maturity as we saw many major auteurs in the making.”

APSA Film Director and member of the APSA International Nominations Council Maxine Williamson said “It has been a privilege and an honour to establish this Awards competition and see it grown in strength from year to year. How fitting that we have, in our 10th year, the strongest competition to date.”

Chairman of the Asia Pacific Screen Awards and its Academy Michael Hawkins said “More than ten years ago, APSA Founding Chairman Des Power had a dream to unite the filmmakers of this vast region through an Academy inspired by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and its European counterpart, the European Film Academy. This Academy would present an annual award to honour the rich diversity of the region. The Asia Pacific Screen Academy now has close to 1000 members and the Asia Pacific Screen Awards are now celebrating their 10th year of honouring the cinematic excellence and cultural diversity of this region.

“I thank those important organizations who have guided and supported APSA on this journey and who have been instrumental in APSA’s success. We are grateful for our ongoing collaboration with UNESCO, FIAPF, the European Film Academy (EFA), the Motion Picture Association (MPA), NETPAC (the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema) and the Asia Pacific Screen Lab (APSL) through Griffith Film School. They have all played an important role in the nurturing of this event and celebrate this 10 year milestone with us. ”

The winner of the 10th APSA FIAPF Award for Outstanding Achievement in Film in the Asia Pacific region, esteemed Iranian producer Manoochehr Mohammadi, was announced from Cannes earlier this year by APSA and the International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF).

The APSA International Jury may, at its discretion, award Jury Grand Prizes.

In celebration of the 10th Asia Pacific Screen Awards milestone, a new, important and relevant award achievement has been introduced – the APSA Young Cinema Award presented by NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema) and Griffith Film School (GFS). This important Award addition 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.

Nominees are inducted into the Asia Pacific Screen Academy making them eligible to apply for the 2016 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).

President of the APSA Academy is Australian screen legend Jack Thompson AM PhD. The Academy boasts over 1000 of the region’s leading filmmakers and provides exclusive networking, development and funding opportunities available to Academy members through the APSA’s association with NETPAC, the MPA APSA Academy Film Fund, and Academy mentoring opportunities for the next generation of Asia Pacific filmmakers through the Asia Pacific Screen Lab in collaboration with Griffith Film School. The APSA’s Academy partner, the European Film Academy shares the common interest of presenting pan-International Awards that promote and award excellence in cinema.

The Asia Pacific Screen Awards, based in Brisbane, are presented by Treasury Casino & Hotel, supported by Brisbane City Council and managed by 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.

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.