Winners in the Asia Pacific Screen Awards are determined by an International Jury of renowned filmmakers. The Jury meets ahead of the Awards Ceremony to watch the nominated films and deliberate to decide the winners across eight award categories.
This year, Oscar®-winning Iranian writer and director Asghar Farhadi has been appointed as the International Jury President to lead a group of accomplished Jury members.
Asghar Farhadi, Jury President – Islamic Republic of Iran
Asghar Farhadi was born in 1972 in Iran. He became interested in cinema when he was a teenager and started his education in filmmaking by joining the Youth Cinema Society of Esfahan in 1986 where he made 8mm and 16mm short films. He received his Bachelors in Theater from the School of Dramatic Arts in Tehran University in 1998 and his Masters in Stage Direction a few years later.
Farhadi made his directorial debut, Dance In The Dust (2003), The film earned recognition at Fajr and Moscow International Film Festivals and a year later, Beautiful City (2004) received awards from Fajr and Warsaw International Film Festivals. His third film, Fireworks Wednesday (2006) , won the Gold Hugo at the 2006 Chicago International Film Festival. His fourth film, About Elly (2009) was called “a masterpiece” by film critic David Bordwell and won the Silver Bear for Best Director at 59th Berlin International Film Festival as well as Best Picture at Tribeca Film Festival. It was also Iran’s official submission for the Foreign Language Film competition of Academy Awards in 2009. His next film, Nader And Simin, A Separation (2011) , became a sensation. It got critical acclaim inside and outside of Iran; Roger Ebert called it “the best picture of the year,” and it was awarded the Crystal Simorgh from Fajr Film Festival, Golden Bear for Best Film and Prize of the two silver bear for the best group of actor and the best group of actress. from Berlin International Film Festival, and also won Best Foreign Language Film from The Boston Society of Film Critics, Chicago and Los Angeles Film Critics Association, New York Film Critics Circle, National Board of Review, Golden Globes, César Award, Independent Spirit Award, and ultimately the Academy Award in the ‘Best Foreign Language Film of the Year,’ making him the first Iranian filmmaker ever to win an Oscar. His Oscar acceptance speech at the 84th Academy Awards, a message of peace in tens political times in his country, made him an instant hero amongst Iranians. His film also received nomination for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Award in the best ‘Film Not in the English Language’ category and for an Academy Award in the ‘Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen’ category.
Farhadi made his latest movie, The Past (2013) in France. Berenice Bejo won the best actress prize from Cannes Film Festival. The Past also was nominated in Golden Globe for the best foreign language film and won the Best Foreign language film of NBR ( National Board of Reviews ) and was nominated in 5 categories of Cesar Film Festival including Directing, Best Script and Best Actress.
Asghar Farhadi received the Medal of Officier des arts et des lettres from the Ministry of Culture of France on 27th of February for his artistic influence on French Art and Literature.
Anthony Chen – Singapore
Born in 1984 in Singapore, Anthony Chen enrolled in Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s School of Film and Media Studies at an early age of 17 to pursue his passion for filmmaking. He graduated from film school with his graduation film, G-23 which screened at multiple festivals worldwide and won awards in Europe and Asia. His second short film, Ah Ma (Grandma), was nominated for the Palme d’Or for Short Film at the 60th Cannes Film Festival, and was awarded a Special Mention. Haze (2008), his next short screened in competition at the 58th Berlin International Film Festival.
Collectively, his shorts have screened at numerous prestigious film festivals such as Cannes, Berlin, Rotterdam, Busan, London, Sao Paulo, Stockholm, Sydney, Montreal, Melbourne, Chicago, Hawaii, etc. In 2009, he was accorded the Young Artist Award by the National Arts Council of Singapore. In 2010, he completed his Masters in Film Directing at the National Film and Television School, UK. Anthony is currently based in London.
His debut feature, Ilo Ilo, was selected for the Directors’ Fortnight at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival and was awarded the Camera d’Or for Best Debut Feature, the first award for a Singapore feature film at Cannes. It picked up over 30 other awards at festivals worldwide including 4 Golden Horse Awards (Best Film, Best New Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress) at the 50th Golden Horse Awards in Taiwan, the equivalent of the Oscars for Chinese-speaking people worldwide. Anthony has also been recently named as Variety magazine’s 10 Directors to Watch.
Additional Jury Member appointments will be announced over the coming months. Stay tuned!