9th Asia Pacific Screen Awards announces nominees

TEHRAN, Oct. 22 (MNA) – APSA Chairman Michael Hawkins today announced the nominations for the 9th Asia Pacific Screen Awards(APSA), the region’s highest accolade in film, in the Best Feature Film category and five craft award achievements.

Hawkins said ‘Film is one of the most powerful means by which we connect with other cultures and learn about them. APSA is very proud to have this as its focus as it encompasses 70 countries and areas of Asia Pacific, and half the world’s films. This focus is strengthened by the unique collaboration it is privileged to hold with UNESCO and the growing exceptional alumnus of the APSA Academy. It is encouraging to see many nominees in 2015 who are already APSA Academy members.

Leading the nominations is The Assassin (Nie Yinniang, Taiwan), nominated for Best Feature Film, Achievement in Directing for Hou Hsiao-hsien and Achievement in Cinematography for APSA Academy member Mark Lee Ping-Bing.

Competing alongside The Assassin for Best Feature Film are Thailand’s Cemetery of Splendour (Rak ti Khon Kaen, Thailand, Malaysia, France, Germany, United Kingdom), Japanese drama Journey to the Shore (Kishibe no Tabi, Japan, France) and the Korean features End of Winter (Cheol-won-gi-hang, Republic of Korea) and Alive (Sanda, Republic of Korea).

Maxine Williamson, Film Director APSA said ‘The seven member 2015 APSA International Nominations Council headed by Professor Hong-Joon Kim faced an incredibly difficult task in determining these nominees, from what was agreed to be the strongest field of films in competition in APSA’s nine year history. The announcement completes the lineup of nominations for the 9th annual awards, with a total of 39 films from 22 countries and areas of Asia Pacific represented.’

Nominations have previously been announced for the APSA UNESCO Award and the film categories of Best Youth, Animated and Documentary Feature Films.     

All winners will be announced at the 9th APSA ceremony on Thursday 26 November at City Hall, Brisbane.

The APSA Nominations announcement, attended by Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk, was held at the Museum of Brisbane in City Hall, where an exhibition of the unique and exquisite handmade APSA award vessels made by Brisbane-based internationally awarded glass artist Joanna Bone will be on display November 7 - 30. The exhibition displays Award vessels from each year of the Asia Pacific Screen Awards since it began in 2007.

Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said, ‘APSA is a key international event in the Brisbane calendar. APSA strengthens Brisbane’s position as a cultural hub of the Asia Pacific, and builds on Brisbane’s reputation and commitment to strengthen the region through cultural initiatives that align with its position as Australia’s New World City.’

Joining Hou Hsiao-hsien with nominations for Achievement in Directing are Thai writer/director Apichatpong Weerasethakul for Cemetery of Splendour (Rak ti Khon Kaen, Thailand, Malaysia, France, Germany, United Kingdom), Park Jungbum for Alive (Sanda, Republic of Korea), written, directed by and starring him, Russian writer/director Alexey German Jr. for Under Electric Clouds (Pod elektricheskimi oblakami, Russian Federation, Ukraine, Poland) and Kazakh writer/director Yermek Tursunov for Stranger(Zhat, Kazakhstan).

Five writer/directors have received nominations for the APSA for Best Screenplay, including 2012 APSA Best Feature Film winner for Beyond the Hill, Turkish writer/director Emin Alper, nominated for his feature Frenzy (Abluka, Turkey, Qatar, France), winner of three awards at the Venice Film Festival including the Special Jury Prize. Alper will be competing against fellow APSA Academy member Vimukthi Jayasundara for his film Dark in the White Light (Sulanga Gini Aran, Sri Lanka, France), Senem Tüzen for Motherland (Ana Yurdu, Turkey, Greece), also nominated for the APSA UNESCO Award, and the feature film debuts of Kenzhebek Shaikakov for Tent (Kurko, Kazakhstan) and China’s Xin Yukun and Feng Yuanling for The Coffin in the Mountain (Xin Migong, People’s Republic of China, France).

Women from five different countries have received nominations for Best Performance by an Actress, Japan’s Kirin Kiki for Naomi Kawase’s An (Japan, France, Germany), Iranian actress Fatemeh Motamed Arya for Avalanche (Bahman, Islamic Republic of Iran), Korean acting matriarch Lee Young-Ian for End of Winter (Cheol-won-gi-hang, Republic of Korea), the film’s second nomination, Shamaine Buencamino from the Philippines for Lorna (Philippines), and making her feature film debut, internationally celebrated model Evgeniya Mandzhieva for The Gulls (Chaiky, Russian Federation), also nominated for the APSA UNESCO Award.                    

Nominees for Best Performance by an Actor are Australian Reef Ireland for Downriver, Russian stage, screen and television star Alexey Gusykov for The Find (Nakhodka, Russian Federation), Georgian actor Misha Gomiashvili for The President (Georgia, United Kingdom, France, Germany), Korean actor Jung Jaeyoung for Right Now, Wrong Then (Jigeumeun Matgo Geuttaeneun Teullida, Republic of Korea) and Shide Nyima, a household name amongst Tibetan popular culture, for Tharlo (People’s Republic of China).

Vying for Achievement in Cinematography alongside Mark Lee Ping-Bing is fellow APSA Academy member from Kazakhstan, Murat Aliyev for Stranger (Zhat, Kazakhstan), Chinese director/producer/cinematographer Miaoyan Zhang for the three-time nominated film A Corner of Heaven (Tiantang jiaoluo, People’s Republic of China), Jean-Marc Ferrière for Sunrise (Arunoday, India), and Lu Songye for Tharlo (People’s Republic of China).

Winners in the feature film award achievements will be determined by the 2015 APSA International Jury, headed by APSA Patron and Korean film industry legend Kim Dong-Ho. Mr Kim is joined on the APSA International Jury by internationally celebrated Iranian actress Negar Javaherian, award-winning writer/director Mostofa Sarwar Farooki (Bangladesh), distinguished director/writer/curator/producer and Beijing Film Academy Professor, Zhang Xianmin (People’s Republic of China), leading figure of Malaysian new wave cinema, writer/director, U-Wei Bin HajiSaari and renowned Russian writer/director Alexei Popogrebsky, who represents APSA’s Academy alliance with the European Film Academy (EFA).

The FIAPF Award for Outstanding Achievement in Film in the Asia Pacific region will be announced in the coming weeks and will be presented to the winner at the ceremony. This award celebrates a film practitioner from the region whose career and actions contribute strongly to the development of the Asia Pacific film industry.

All nominees are inducted into the Asia Pacific Screen Academy, a growing body of the region’s most influential names in film including past APSA nominees, International Jurors and Nominations Council members, led by President Jack Thompson AM PhD. The Academy provides exclusive networking, development and funding opportunities available to Academy members and supports mentoring opportunities for the next generation of Asia Pacific filmmakers through the Asia Pacific Screen Lab.

APSA’s Academy partner, the European Film Academy shares the common interest of presenting panInternational Awards that promote and award excellence in cinema.

Three streams of development funding are supported through the Asia Pacific Screen Academy:

• MPA APSA Academy Film Fund which awards USD$100,000 in screenwriting funds through four grants exclusive to APSA Academy members, supported wholly by the Motion Picture Association (MPA).

• APSA Academy Children’s Film Fund by 4 Boys Films is a scriptwriting fund specifically for life affirming stories for and about the youth of Asia Pacific, and exclusive to APSA Academy members.

• An award for emerging talent, the APSA Academy NETPAC Development Prize of USD$10,000, proudly supported by the Griffith Film School, Griffith University, is awarded to a first or second time feature filmmaker in the Best Feature narrative competition. The prize is awarded by the APSA NETPAC Jury drawn from the APSA International Nominations Council of 2015.

The Awards, proudly presented by Treasury Casino and Hotel, are supported by Brisbane City Council and managed by economic development board Brisbane Marketing in a unique collaboration with Paris-based UNESCO and FIAPF-International Federation of Film Producers Associations, recognize and promote cinematic excellence and cultural diversity of the world’s fastest growing film region: comprising 70 countries and areas, 4.5 billion people, and responsible for half of the world’s film output.

Full List of 2015 nominees below:

Best feature film

Alive (Sanda), Republic of Korea, Produced by Park Jungbum, Kim Youngjin, Jang Byungwon, Lee Sangyong, Park Hongsik

The Assassin (Nie Yinniang), Taiwan, Produced by Hou Hsiao-hsien

Cemetery of Splendour (Rak ti Khon Kaen), Thailand, Malaysia, France, Germany, United Kingdom, Produced by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Keith Griffiths, Simon Field, Charles de Meaux, Michael Weber, Hans W. Geißendörfer

Co-produced by Viola Fügen, Najwa Abu Bakar, Moisés Cosio Espinosa, Eric Vogel, Ingunn Sundelin, Joslyn Barnes, Caroleen Feeney, Danny Glover

End of Winter (Cheol-won-gi-haeng), Republic of Korea, Produced by Lee Im-kul

Journey to the Shore (Kishibe no Tabi), Japan, France, Produced by Hiroko Matsuda, Kousuke          Oshida, Co-Produced by Hitoshi Endo, Masa Sawada

Best youth feature film

A Corner of Heaven (Tiantang jiaoluo), People’s Republic of China, France, Produced by Miaoyan Zhang and Guillaume de Seille

Mina Walking, Afghanistan, Canada, Produced by Andrew Korogyi and Asef Baraki

Mustan, Turkey, Qatar, France, Germany, Produced by Charles Gillibert, Co-Produced by Frank Henschke, Anja Uhland and Mine Vargi

River (Gtsngbo), People’s Republic of China, Produced by Sangye and Alexandra Sun, Co-Produced by Pema Tseden and Du Qingchun

Set Me Free (Geo-in), Republic of Korea, Produced by Pyun Kyung-woo

Best animated feature film

Blinky Bill The Movie, Australia, India, Ireland, Produced by Barbara Stephen and Jim Ballantine

Miss Hokusai (Sarusuberi: Miss Hokusai), Japan, Produced by Keiko Matsushita, Asako Nishikawa

The Road Called Life (Mae-mil-ggot, Un-su Jo-eun Nal, Geu-ri-go Bombom), Republic of Korea, Produced by Lee Sang-wook

The Snow Queen 2: The Snow King (Snezhnaya Koroleva 2: Snezhnyy Korol), Russian Federation, Produced by Timur Bekmambetov, Yuri Moskvin and Diana Yurinova

When Marnie Was There (Omoide no Marnie), Japan, Produced by Yoshiaki Nishimura

Best documentary feature film

Among the Believers, Pakistan, United States of America, Produced by Jonathan Goodman Levitt and Hemal Trivedi                           

Another Country, Australia, Produced by Molly Reynolds, Peter Djigirr and Rolf de Heer

The Chinese Mayor (Datong), People's Republic of China, Produced by Zhao Qi

The Look of Silence (Senyap), Indonesia, Denmark, Norway, Finland, United Kingdom, Produced by Signe Byrge Sørensen, Co-Produced by Anonymous Indonesians, Kaarle Aho, Torstein Grude and Bjarte Mørner Tveit

A Flag Without a Country, Iraq, Produced by Bahman Ghobadi

Achievement in directing

Park Jungbum for Alive (Sanda), Republic of Korea,

Hou Hsiao-hsien for The Assassin (Nie Yinniang), Taiwan

Apichatpong Weerasethakul for Cemetery of Splendour (Rak ti Khon Kaen), Thailand, Malaysia, France, Germany, United Kingdom

Yermek Tursunov for Stranger (Zhat), Kazakhstan

Alexey German Jr for Under Electric Clouds (Pod elektricheskimi oblakami), Russian Federation, Ukraine, Poland

Best screenplay

Senem Tüzen for Motherland (Ana Yurdu), Turkey, Greece

Emin Alper for Frenzy (Abluka), Turkey, Qatar, France

Xin Yukun, Feng Yuanliang for The Coffin in the Mountain (Xin Migong), People's Republic of China

Kenzhebek Shaikakov for Tent (Kurko), Kazakhstan

Vimukthi Jayasundara for Dark in the White Light (Sulanga Gini Aran), Sri Lanka, France

Achievement in cinematography

Jean-Marc Ferrière for Sunrise (Arunoday), India

Murat Aliyev for Stranger (Zhat), Kazakhstan

Mark Lee Ping-Bing for The Assassin (Nie Yinniang), Taiwan

Lu Songye for Tharlo, People's Republic of China

Miaoyan Zhang for A Corner of Heaven (Tiantang jiaoluo), People’s Republic of China, France

Best performance by an actress

Kirin Kiki in An Japan, France, Germany

Lee Yeong-lan in End of Winter (Cheol-won-gi-haeng), Republic of Korea

Shamaine Buencamino in Lorna, Philippines

Fatemeh Motamed Arya in Avalanche (Bahman), Islamic Republic of Iran

Evgeniya Mandzhieva in The Gulls (Chaiky), Russian Federation

Best performance by an actor

Alexey Gusykov in The Find (Nakhodka), Russian Federation, Finland

Jung Jaeyoung in Right Now, Wrong Then (Jigeumeun Matgo Geuttaeneun Teullida), Republic of Korea

Reef Ireland in Downriver, Australia

Misha Gomiashvili in The President, Georgia, United Kingdom, France, Germany

Shide Nyima in Tharl, People's Republic of China


Miaoyan Zhang for A Corner of Heaven (Tiantang jiaoluo), People’s Republic of China, France

Ella Manzheeva for The Gulls (Chaiky), Russian Federation

Senem Tüzen for Motherland (Ana Yurdu), Turkey, Greece

Hany Abu-Assad for The Idol (Ya Tayr El Tayer), Palestine, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Netherlands

Stephen Page for Spear, Australia




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